Yes, in some cases. Nationally as well as in Indiana, grandparents are increasingly raising their adult children’s children. Sometimes this is just being great and helpful grandparents. In some cases, such as a parent going back to school or distant work relocation, parents must do so to better their lives, but in others, they do so for legally impermissible reasons, such as addiction issues; these parents simply leave their children with grandparents to raise. For all practical purposes, the grandparents take over the role of caregiver and provide all the support, shelter, ...
September 26, 2018 / Child Custody
Eventually, the “litigation” dust settles for most every acrimonious divorce or paternity fight over custody and the parents remain to co-parent. No longer are there attorneys or judges in the picture. Nevertheless, there is often lingering hostility that may become exacerbated by everything—including a new romantic interest. This dynamic often makes co-parenting what courts describe as a “battleground”. While there are numerous ways to address parenting-time conflicts that take time and cost money—such as contempt’s or parenting coordinators, this blog covers three common sense, but often ...
August 22, 2018 / Estate Planning
In the trying time with the loss of a loved one, you may need to determine how to handle the estate of that person. Everyone has heard the term “probate”. But what does this mean? How does this happen? What must be done? Where do you start? Who do you contact or notify? All these are dizzying questions. Estates can be a tricky. This blog covers five basic concepts or questions to be answered to help you understand the process of opening an estate and helping an attorney move it through probate ...
August 6, 2018 / Custody Evaluation
In many, if not most contested paternity or divorce cases, the issues that led up to the breakdown in relationship are somewhat apparent and would not require a forensic psychologist evaluation. For instance, one parent may lose his job, and this creates untenable financial stressors on the other parent, or the parent who lost the job may slump into depression. Perhaps most common in marriage today is; marriage is not a necessity as it was a few decades ago—to survive—given social programs that have created safety nets that did not exist in ...
In love, war, divorce and most other major aspects of life and daily living, someone or some side has an actual or perceived advantage. Most fathers in child custody dispute cases recognize that a large part of our society has a general belief that mothers should have custody of their children and believe this is reflected in custody laws—mothers have an advantage because women carry and bear the children of the world. However, many changes are occurring. Now there is gay marriage and adoption and more children are being raised by third ...
In child custody disputes, whether initially made with a divorce or paternity filing, or on with a modification petition, the court decides child-related issues before it by determining what is in the best interests of the child. With most cases, a party seeking custody, as well as the court, want to “hear” from the child in some way. This blog explores the four key ways a child’s voice, views, and positions can be presented to a court for it to ...
The keys to making your best case for obtaining what you want in a divorce trial by focusing on the obvious and basics—but what is rarely ever consciously considered by the parties before or at trial.
Raising Someone Else’s Children A word that has almost vanished from common conversations is the term “nuclear” family. This conjured up the notion of a mother, father, two children (a boy and a girl), family dog, and the proverbial white fence. Now children are routinely shared between same-sex parents, divorced parents or have a single parent. However, there are tens of thousands of children being raised by neighbors, other family members, or a trusted friend of parents. Sometimes the children are abandoned, not supported or contacted ...
September 6, 2017 / Divorce
Most civil cases resolve before court; however, a small percentage go to trial. A first and good impression goes a long way toward building a rapport with the judge. A person who acts like court is a burden to attend and dresses casually--like going to the beach--makes less than a good impression. This blog addresses five key things to do and not to do in court and includes tips from recent observations in our recent trials. First, normal emotion is expected. However, scoffing at ...
June 27, 2017 / Child Custody
Most litigants speak of custody loosely today and take it to mean who has the children, with the other parent getting Indiana Parenting Time Guideline time with the children and paying child support. In other blogs, we have posted materials to differentiate physical custody from legal custody and parenting time. This blog focuses solely on legal custody as more and more parents have differing life views that come into sharp focus and dispute during marriage and paternity cases—and today marriage and having a child is not ...