Normally these cold, overcast days and dark weather leave us a bit glum. Nevertheless, for parents who have children who are not in a relationship with the other parent (by paternity and the relationship did not last or divorced parents), it’s time to think about the Spring Holidays, Holy days and the Summer and, well of course, parenting time. On the upside, on February 2, 2019, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow, so it should all be a little brighter and happier soooooon . . . .an early Spring is coming so look forward to sun and fun with ...
February 15, 2019CD
Indiana trial court judges can consider literally anything and everything relevant to a parent-child relationship to make a child custody decision that is in the child’s best interests. Sometimes a single factor—such as a severe drug abuse or incarceration—make the decision much easier for the judge to sort through the evidence, as it is apparent that a parent who is locked up cannot be the child’s custodian. However, in most cases, both parents have good qualities and faults in parenting. This blog explores the three most important factors that influence a judge’s child custody decision, so you can develop these ...
January 3, 2019CD
Can I Be Required to Contribute Toward My Kid’s College Expenses If We Have Had No Relationship After the Divorce1? Maybe? Maybe not! Under Indiana law, there is no absolute duty for a divorced parent to be ordered to contribute toward his or her adult child’s college expenses. Generally, Indiana divorce courts order divorced parents to pay toward their adult child’s college.2 However, where repudiation can be established—that there is no relationship between the adult child and parent--the court may determine the child has repudiated the relationship with the parent and relieve him of his or her obligation to contribute toward ...
November 14, 2018CD
Indiana trial court judges and attorneys encourage the parties to reach agreements in divorce and paternity cases. There is even a specific statute in the Divorce Act expressly encouraging custody agreements.1 However, Indiana trial court judges have a legal duty to watch over children of the marriage and ensure their best interests are met. For this reason, there are a few types of agreements the parties cannot settle for or even request the trial court to order in a contested trial. This blog addresses these four types of child-related terms the parties cannot agree to and why that is the ...
September 13, 2018CD
In large segments of the United States population, couples are not having children, fewer kids, or waiting until later l in ife. This may account for the growing multi-billion-dollar industry related to pets: Dog dadaycarePet therapists. Organic pet food. These are all words that are as common to hear and convey as lol and emojis. And hearing “my child” is a dog [cat, or fill in the blank] is a norm. It is at the time of divorce, the pets sometimes become focal points. Both litigants “love” the dog and want him/her; in more acrimonious divorces one wants the pet ...
July 31, 2018CD
Daily news stories and life experiences demonstrate to us all that third parties, such as neighbors, friends, and grandparents are helping more and more to raise children. Sometimes disputes like divorce causes such third parties to be removed from a care-giving role that they want to continue and perhaps the children need for security and stability. This blog post explores this topic. Third parties always have one big legal hurdle to overcome, although many have done so in Indiana and other states. This is a parent’s fundamental right to raise his or her children with a minimal of state interference. The ...
October 15, 2015Adam Hayes
There are two general types of adoptions of a minor child. The new family adoption, and the step-parent adoption. First, the new family adoption, which terminates both the Mother and Father’s parental rights, and the new family (new mother and father) acquire the same parental rights as the biological parents once had.1 The second type of adoption is commonly known as “step-parent” adoption. A step-parent adoption only divests one parent of his or her parental rights in lieu of the step-parent acquiring parental rights. For example, biological mother and step-father wish for step-father to adopt mother’s child; the biological father’s rights terminate, ...
June 25, 2013CD
How to Decide What School Children Will Attend The Public vs. Private Debate Another school year is quickly approaching, if not already started for most children. With the ringing in of the 2012-2013 school year, conversations regarding children’s schooling and where children will attend school come to the forefront in domestic law cases. Where a child will attend school is a choice made by the parent(s) with legal custody. In many cases, divorced parents or parents who are involved in paternity actions share joint legal custody. Under joint legal custody, both parents have a say in matters of education, religion, and medical choices ...
August 2, 2012CD
In Part I of this blog post, two of the “mistakes” that often occur by nothing more than human nature in a custody evaluation were discussed: (1) trying to answer psychological testing in a favorable way, and (2) coaching children to a degree before a custody evaluation. It is important to be aware of these because they can occur at the unconscious level–engaging in these behaviors without realizing it. By realizing these common mistakes or issues, a parent can make the most of his or her custody evaluation, and ultimately, to act in their child’s best interests. Below in Part II ...
July 26, 2012CD
One tool frequently used in a paternity or divorce, or post-paternity or divorce or custody modification, is requesting a custody/parenting time evaluation. An evaluation is helpful for many reasons. Globally, it is a tool used to allow a mental health professional to observe the parent-child relationship from a neutral, third-party position, and evaluate the family dynamic and make recommendations to the trial court what custody and parent time arrangement is in the child’s best interests. This third party evaluator often refers to other materials and statements of third parties to assemble a complete “family snapshot” with evidence that would otherwise be difficult ...
July 24, 2012CD