On March 6, 2020, Governor Holcomb issued executive order 20-02 formally declaring a public health disaster in Indiana due to the novel Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) outbreak. Since at least that time, parents of divorce who have children or couples who had children out of wedlock began wondering how this impacted physical custody and parenting time. While some parents carried on as normal with their parenting time exchanges, others took the position that the children would remain with them and not be out being exchanged for the duration of the disaster. Judges and lawyers conducted frantic group calls to determine how to ...
Tag: family law
April 1, 2020CD
In today’s world, fathers are more active in their children’s lives than ever. In households where both parents work, some fathers are their children’s primary caregivers. However, in the unfortunate situation where a divorce occurs, many fathers feel “doomed” and have the belief that mothers always get “custody”. This blog explores what “custody” means and provides key tips for fathers who seek custody in a divorce. The point to start with is an understanding of both “physical” and “legal” custody under Indiana law. Physical custody is given to the parent who is identified as the primary care-giver and when this is ...
June 6, 2019CD
In paternity (children born out of wedlock) and divorce cases, the initial determination is gender neutral and made without any preference for either parent; the court decides physical custody considering any relevant factor to what is in the child’s best interests. For parents who present a strong factual and legal case and do not prevail, many consider appealing the decision to the Indiana Court of Appeals. This blog analyzes the general considerations for whether to appeal a losing custody decision or move to modify it in the future. That said, unlike most all other judgments in civil litigation, including property division ...
August 2, 2018CD
The Tax Man Cometh – And He Taketh Away: Good or Bad? In most divorce cases, there are tax considerations, such a dependent exemptions. This is sometimes a key concern in divorce cases. As part of the much anticipated tax reform, our financial partners are providing the meaning and impact upon divorcing parties, divorced parties, and paternity cases. This is the focus of this blog post. The first major change analyzed in this blog is the elimination of the dependent exemption. After years of fighting over the right to claim the child(ren) as a dependant and receive the tax benefit of same, ...
January 11, 2018CD
Law changes ever so imperceptibly every day. It has to in order to keep up with our society and afford each of us the right to achieve “life, liberty and happiness” through due process of law. The right to due process of law protects the family that is singled out for the most protection in the Constitution —there is a fundamental right of parents to raise their children as they see fit, even if other people or government believes otherwise or disagrees. This blog explores the key daily changes in domestic law and how they balance against the rights of ...
December 27, 2017CD
Throughout the last several years, the concept of parenting coordination has been catching on in Indiana. Effectively, Parenting Coordinators (known as “PCs” in high conflict matters) help parties resolve disputes in real time so children do not miss events or time with the other parent. The only other viable option before parenting coordination was a contempt petition or other legal filing in court, which was heard after the fact. As of January 1, 2017, the Indiana Supreme Court officially recognized Parenting Coordination; it approved rules regarding appointment and terms of service. These build on the knowledge and benefits that Parenting Coordinators ...
September 22, 2017CD
Once the divorce process is initiated, often times understandably, the parties want to be finished with the process, and each other and move on in life, as quickly as possible. Divorce attorneys sometimes hear the party request a speedy trial. The “Speedy Trial” rule applies to criminal cases. Ultimately, there are several variables that affect how long it takes for the divorce process to be finalized. Below are three (3) key reasons your divorce may require some patience that is required by the Divorce Act or need to properly divide the marital estate, which may make the divorce well, less speedy: 1. ...
September 7, 2017CD
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 daily struggle for law enforcement officers, prosecutors, lawmakers’ judges, and attorneys. First, natural (and adoptive) ...
June 29, 2017CD
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, custody and child support can be modified at any time upon showing certain facts and meeting a higher modification standard. A ...
June 22, 2017CD
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 establish a substantial change to lead to a modification of custody. This case is important for three key reasons. First, a parent who ...
February 21, 2017Adam Hayes