Parental alienation is just what it claims to be.1 It is a parent (usually the custodial parent if the parties are divorced or the child is born out of wedlock) who engages in a systematic campaign to denigrate the other parent and make the child(ren) of the parties afraid of the other parent. Unfortunately, with children of a young age, they may be more than just conditioned to be afraid of the alienated parent, but they may come to have false memories of some bad act or event caused by the alienated parent. How this plays into a contested custody ...
Tag: custody evaluation
September 4, 2020CD
For many reasons, parents of children of divorce or paternity become estranged from their child. Psychological research shows that children are the most developed and have the best adult lives when they have a solid relationship with both parents. It may be a significant out-of-state move and/or re-marriage that has caused the split or, in some cases, it may be your child has been alienated by his or her other parent. This blog covers the major types of alienation and legal remedies you may utilize to re-establish the relationship. In perhaps the most common scenario, a parent has simply drifted away ...
August 14, 2020CD
In all child custody litigation—the original determination by a court or in passing on a modification petition—the trial court always looks at what is in the child’s best interests. In making its initial determination to award physical custody, there is no preference for either parent. With a modification, a substantial change in circumstances must be established and be in the child’s best interests. In this blog, we cover how courts consider the wishes of a child fourteen (14) years of age or older. With regard to age, a child’s advanced age is important to two (2) significant types of litigation: custody ...
July 22, 2020CD
Courts routinely order custody evaluations in cases so a person trained with what is key in a child’s psycho-social development can investigate the case and speak with the children and make a custody recommendation to the court of what is in the child’s best interest. Some judges place great value on a custody evaluation and others do not. Nevertheless, if you receive an unfavorable custody evaluation, it is not necessarily the end of your case. These three sound approaches to address an unfavorable custody evaluation depending on your case. When it is apparent the evaluator did not consider (or have available ...
February 27, 2020CD
Maybe. Most likely not. In many divorce cases, children have important information the court needs to determine what custody arrangement is the children’s best interests. However, many parents simply do not want to put their children in the situation of being called as a witness in open court against the other parent. Most Indiana trial court judges do not want the children under the pressure of being pitted against their parents. So then how can a child’s voice be heard in court? This blog covers four common ways the evidence the child has is brought up in court so the ...
February 7, 2020CD
A common question litigants have in family law cases is whether there is a way they can be reimbursed for their attorney’s fees? The answer is somewhat complicated and it depends. In most litigation in the United States, we follow the “American Rule”, which is each side pays its own attorney’s fees. However, in divorce and paternity cases in trial courts and on appeal there are ways a party may recover some or all of his or her attorney’s fees. This blog covers what you need to know about attorney fee awards in divorce and paternity cases. Perhaps the most common ...
December 18, 2019CD
In high conflict custody cases, it is common to have a forensic Ph.D. level custody evaluator conduct an evaluation and make recommendations to the court as to who should have custody in the child’s best interests. These evaluations result in a written report. However, no professional is accurate all of the time, and occasionally an errant report issues. In short, we all make mistakes—even professionals. If you get an adverse custody evaluation in your case, this blog is focused on potential “fixes” for a custody evaluation that we have tried over time. Review of the custody evaluation by another expert. It ...
September 10, 2019CD
Indiana trial court judges are tasked with the duty to make sure that at the time of divorce (or paternity) adjudication the children’s best interests are met. If the parents have an agreement on custody and it is not contested, they may infer that agreement of the parties is in the children’s best interests. However, where physical and/or legal custody is contested, there are four key ways a trial court judge determines what is in a child’s best interests. Most of the time litigants with their lawyers have the ability to choose or have input on the way the evidence ...
August 19, 2019CD
In many cases, when the marriage is “done”, the question becomes “how fast can I get a divorce?”. The answer is, “it depends”. No one likes the uncertainty and turmoil associated with divorce. Often, a divorce significantly impacts family, friends, and work. So, in theory for most litigants, the sooner the divorce is complete, and the marriage dissolved, the better it is to move on in life. As a statutory matter, sixty days must pass before a trial court can enter a divorce if there is an agreement on all terms. Most of the time the divorce is not completed in ...
July 23, 2018CD
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 consider in making a custody decision in the child’s best interests. Are these useful in your case? The first is to ...
June 7, 2018CD