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
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
It’s important for the attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C., as family law practitioners, to stay updated on Indiana laws to best serve our clients. Part of our ongoing effort to provide effective and efficient legal counsel to meet our clients’ goals includes learning about legislation that impacts the types of cases in which we are often involved. In this blog post, we discuss several changes that will become effective in 2019 that may impact issues in family law (divorce, paternity, child support modification, guardianship, adoption, etc.) that an individual may find themselves facing if you are involved in one ...
May 15, 2019CD
Today the definition of “family” is constantly changing and has a different meaning for Millennials than Boomers and is driven by the state of our society. Grandparents are raising their grandchildren. A friend, neighbor, or coach may be raising a child that is not his or her child. Presently, many kids are in DCS’ placement with foster families. Adults, parents, and grandparents are living longer, need assistance as they get older, and may move in with their children and live together for a long time. At some point, many of these situations become a “major problem”; and those who are ...
August 20, 2018CD
Today, millions of children are being raised by grandparents, friends, neighbors, and sometimes, total strangers. This trend is growing each year. In this situation, these individuals acting as “parents” have no legal rights to the children they are raising, despite the fact they are providing for all aspects of their physical and emotional well-being. Practically speaking, this reality can create a multitude of problems for the caretakers, from enrolling the children in school to obtaining health care. All the while, the children are bonding with this caregiver like a biological parent. However, sometimes a parent just shows up years later ...
June 18, 2018CD
In many homes across America today, a grandparent (or third party) is the one raising a child or children of the biological parents. This may be for many reasons; typically, it is due to the instability of a parent, physical or mental health issues, drug use, incarceration of a parent or a pure lack of the ability and/or desire of a biological parent, well, to parent. This blog addresses what happens when a grandparent (or third party) becomes a bonded caregiver for such children and what steps they can take to keep “custody” in the child’s best interests. Over time, a ...
February 19, 2018CD
Raising Someone Else’s Children A word that has almost vanished from common conversations is the term “nuclear” family. This conjured up the notion of a mother, father, two children (a boy and a girl), family dog, and the proverbial white fence. Now children are routinely shared between same-sex parents, divorced parents or have a single parent. However, there are tens of thousands of children being raised by neighbors, other family members, or a trusted friend of parents. Sometimes the children are abandoned, not supported or contacted by the parent or parents again. This creates problems with school enrollment to medical care. The ...
December 1, 2017CD
As part of a divorce, custody, guardianship or other family law matter, children’s medical records are often sought to address any number of issues. Perhaps the child’s caregiver needs certain medical records for a child to be enrolled in school or an activity/sport. A parent may need the children’s medical records to determine whether child support should continue past the age of nineteen (19) if there is a severe medical issue where the child is incapacitated and there is a divorce action pending.1 Nevertheless, an individual’s medical records, including those of children, are protected under state and federal law, specifically HIPAA.2 ...
October 10, 2017CD
Without question, more third parties--from neighbors to grandparents--are caring for or raising others’ children. What are their rights to contact, visitation, parenting time, and custody of the children they are caring for and/or raising? This is a complex factual and legal question since the United States Constitution provides biological (and adoptive) parents with the fundamental (i.e., high level) right to raise their children; this legal right trumps the fact a third party may do a markedly better job. This blog post explores the current exceptions to this (fundamental) constitutional right of parents and explores third-party rights or exceptions recognized under Indiana law--given ...
February 16, 2017Adam Hayes
All issues involving child custody and child support have significant social, political, economic and psychological dynamics operating within the legal system and controlling laws. Two key policies that support the law is to maintain the child with a style of living as if the parents were married and meet the child’s best interests. In the very broad area, this blog post explores three trends that are slowly changing domestic law across the country: joint custody, child support ending at age 18, and third parties obtaining custody. At present, the parent who is not awarded physical custody is given parenting time (overnights) ...
July 7, 2016Adam Hayes