Everyone has heard of a “nightmare” child custody battle. Most other civil cases boil down to money. In some high conflict custody cases, the battle is about custody, joint custody, or additional parenting time beyond what is set forth in the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines. This blog covers what courts consider in deciding physical custody and your options if you receive an unfavorable final order. As a threshold matter, a litigant must understand how the Divorce Act directs judges to analyze and decide child custody in the children’s best interest. Specifically, the judge hearing the evidence is to determine what is ...
Tag: de facto custodian
November 13, 2020CD
When a couple divorces or establishes paternity, no party is a preferred parent. In other words, there is no presumption favoring either parent.1 Under the law, a father is just as likely to obtain physical custody as a mother—and fathers do obtain sole physical or primary custody in Indiana and throughout the United States. However, the parents and or children’s situations and circumstances change over time and a parent may seek to modify custody. This blog works through the basics of what you need to know about physical custody modification. To move to modify custody, a parent must be able to ...
November 5, 2020CD
Unfortunately, situations arise in our society where a child’s biological parent(s) may no longer be the best person to raise the child. If such a situation is present, there are different avenues a third-party can utilize in order to seek custody of a child in lieu of the biological parent. One of the ways in which a third-party can seek custody of a child is being declared the child’s “de facto custodian.” But you may be wondering “what is a de facto custodian?” or “how can I become a de facto custodian?” In this blog, we try to answer these ...
October 29, 2020CD
There are several studies and statistical data compilations indicating a growing number of children in the United States are being raised by third parties. These third parties range from grandparents to relatives or sometimes just a friend of a custodial parent. This person may become a “de facto custodian” and seek physical custody. To do so, he or she must establish evidence they have had the infant or toddler and been their primary caregiver and means of financial support for at least six (6) months in cases where the child is less than three years of age.1 This blog addresses ...
September 28, 2020CD
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 ...
September 4, 2020CD
Yes. No. Maybe. In Indiana, child custody is always modifiable, if modification is in the child’s best interests and there is a substantial change in one (1) or more factors1 the court can consider under the initial custody determination statute, namely (1) the age and sex of the child; (2) the wishes of the child’s parent or parents; (3) the wishes of the child, with more consideration given to the child’s wishes if the child is at least fourteen (14) years of age; (4) the interaction and interrelationship of the child with the child’s parent or parents, the child’s siblings, and ...
June 5, 2020CD
For many of us, Grandparents played an important role in our lives. Now more than ever, grandparents seem to be actively involved in the raising of their grandchild(ren). In many instances, a grandparent may be raising their grandchild all together. If you have found yourself in such a situation, or you know someone who is, you may be wondering, “can I get custody of my grandchild?” This blog provides a brief overview for grandparents who are exploring options for obtaining custody of a grandchild they are raising. A few things to point out before discussing the different options. First, Indiana makes ...
November 8, 2019CD
As we all know, “life happens” and circumstances change. That custody order you once had may seem to become impractical as time goes on. Maybe you moved to be closer to your child and now you want more time. Or maybe you were once on hard times but now feel you are able to offer your child more than when the custody order was put in place. Whatever the reason may be, Indiana has established a specific statutory code to deal with the modification of custody. This blog provides a brief overview of the modification of a custody order and ...
November 7, 2019CD
You do not have to be a lawyer to recognize that today’s children are being raised in large numbers by third-parties, ranging from grandparents to relatives to friends and total strangers. Knowing how important stability is to a child’s sense of well-being, many third-parties mistakenly believe that they can just file in court and obtain “custody” since they are raising someone else’s children. However, the United States Supreme Court has determined that natural (and adoptive) parents have one of the oldest and most protected rights—a fundamental right—to raise their children. Thus, a third-party has a legal barrier to overcome in ...
August 27, 2019CD
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, and care and nurture of the grandchildren. In ...
January 8, 2019CD