Across the United States, including in Indiana, social trends and financial pressures are driving lawmakers and courts to reconsider key areas of law that are being tested and challenged each day. Since family and criminal law constitute the majority of cases, you must understand these to be an informed citizen and have awareness as it impacts your life and legal suits and those of your friends and family. This blog says in one place at one time the “unsaid” of what is known to and a ...
Tag: family law
In civil litigation, the trial and any appeals are one-and-done. This means that except for extraordinary circumstances, such as later trying to re-open the case,1 a civil case later brought on the same issues or matter cannot be re-litigated under legal doctrines known as res judicata and/or collateral estoppel.2 This blog post addresses child custody and related matters, such as support, that can always be re-litigated and why an appeal of an unfavorable judgment may be still vital. As noted, ...
February 21, 2017 / Custody Modification
Indiana’s elected judges are tasked with the important job of weighing the evidence of the parties’ positions when presented with a custody modification case or contempt of court for a wide range of circumstances, such parenting time interference. In a recent key dissent (from granting transfer [i.e., taking the case by its discretion]), the Indiana Supreme Court1 signaled that when the facts can support but one conclusion—a parent has intentionally interfered with parenting time--such continual interference itself can ...
Court room proceedings and trials before judges are misunderstood many times by members of the public and compared with certain reality TV court shows. In reality, the courtroom process is a high-emotion place with those who prevail and those who do not. Television and the pressures of trial sometimes obscure the simple reality of a trial: within the bounds of certain laws and trial rules, a trial is aimed at giving a neutral fact finder the information necessary to make a sound, fair ...
Making the Factual Showings in Custody Modification Almost every two people hear about a situation and come up with a different opinion. This is because second hand reporting removes the context and non-verbal communication that may be present, such as grimaces, winces, and other body language. Because of this, the Indiana Court of Appeals and Indiana Supreme Court give great deference to trial court judges in custody modification cases. In cases where there is a pure factual dispute, and no question of the application of the law ...
March 8, 2016 / Protective Order
The Doctrine of Unintended or Unknown Consequences Throughout the United States, including Indiana, there is a relatively uniform system in place to allow certain parties in domestic relationships to obtain an ex parte (without notice to the other party) protective order. There is a specific, short time to challenge this order if granted or may stand for up to two years. In daily life, many persons who are served with POs do not challenge them because of the stress and a variety of other reasons. However, ...
November 3, 2015 / Custody Evaluation
Any party to a divorce, paternity, or the Court may request/order a custody evaluation. A custody evaluation is normally done to request a professional’s opinion on what is in the children’s best interests for custody, parenting time, and/or relocation. At the end of the process, an evaluator will make custody type recommendations to the Court after spending a significant amount of time with the parties. In the event you obtain an unfavorable custody evaluation, there are five important ways you may challenge the recommendations if you believe they ...
Under the law in the United States, including Indiana, the American Rule is followed regarding legal fees. The American Rule directs, absent agreement or statute or other authority, each side pays his or her own legal fees.1 Nevertheless, within divorce and paternity matters, there are a number of provisions that allow a trial court to award attorneys fees where there is a financial imbalance between the parties, particularly where children are involved. This is likely due to the inherent policy that such litigation is necessary ...
January 19, 2015 / Supreme Court
The sometimes-bitter litigation between a child’s adoptive parent and her grandparents who raised her from a young age yielded a decision from the state’s highest court that family law experts believe may represent a significant shift in adoption cases...read more on Indiana Lawyer.