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: indiana court of appeals
November 13, 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
Appeals from divorce cases, or post-decree custody matters, constitute a large number of cases taken to the Indiana Court of Appeals. By the time a divorce trial is over (or subsequent child custody modification case), many people are drained emotionally and have spent a lot of money to litigate a divorce or modification action. However, the losing party (or both parties) can appeal. For most people, the mere thought of having to retain new appellate counsel to address an appeal is an unpleasant thought at best. Since there is no requirement to file an appellee’s brief, the question we often ...
October 22, 2020CD
For many couples, divorce is a long, arduous journey. Finally getting the divorce decree marks the end of the road for a broken relationship and opens the door to a world of new possibilities. That said, the actual divorce decree may still leave many legal details to be attended to or a party is placed in substantial risk in the weeks, months, and even years to come. This blog looks at five mistake that are commonly made when a divorce decree is entered—don’t let this be your case. Designation of Beneficiary Status: A designation of a beneficiary is a person named ...
September 23, 2020CD
Ever since the United States Supreme Court determined that state bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional,1 the legal landscape has seen numerous changes regarding same-sex individual’s legal rights in divorces and ancillary matters flowing out of the divorce, such as division of property. One of the biggest changes that has occurred is the legal rights an individual has to a child born during the marriage. So, you may be wondering, what are my rights to my child born during my same-sex marriage? In this blog, we try to answer that question, as well as provide general information on an individual’s rights ...
September 17, 2020CD
In many instances, individuals getting divorced will enter into settlement agreements to divide what is deemed “marital property.” Settlement agreements are contractual in nature. Therefore, when individuals enter into settlement agreements dividing marital property, the settlement agreements become binding on the parties. The trial court only retains jurisdiction to interpret the terms of the property settlement agreement and to enforce them. But what happens if the settlement agreement was improper or was based on something like fraud? Is there ever any instance in which a court can modify an agreement? The Court of Appeals recently addressed such questions in their ...
July 23, 2020CD
In all child custody litigation—the original determination by a court or in passing on a modification petition—the trial court always looks at what is in the child’s best interests. In making its initial determination to award physical custody, there is no preference for either parent. With a modification, a substantial change in circumstances must be established and be in the child’s best interests. In this blog, we cover how courts consider the wishes of a child fourteen (14) years of age or older. With regard to age, a child’s advanced age is important to two (2) significant types of litigation: custody ...
July 22, 2020CD
Child custody litigation is a gut-wrenching experience for all parents. Both want the same amount of time they had before the divorce or post-divorce they may be seeking a modification to gain additional time, but there is only a finite amount of time for custody and parenting time. That said when a parent loses a custody battle their first thought often is to appeal. Sometimes this is possible and sometimes it is not. Further, there are a number of different reasons to appeal. When and why you should appeal a loss in custody litigation is the focus of this blog ...
July 7, 2020CD
Any party who loses a civil trial (bench or jury) has the right to appeal. Trials and appeals are expensive and laden with emotion. That said, we often receive inquiries from “appellees” when they find out the losing party is taking an appeal.1 These calls all focus on what really happens if they do not file an appellee’s brief. Clearly, the winner in the trial court does not have to file an Appellee’s Brief. This blog explores the reasons a potential appellee should strongly consider filing an Appellee’s Brief. There are two key reasons you should consider retaining appellate counsel to ...
May 15, 2020CD
In Indiana, there are thousands and thousands of trials and hearings each year. For litigants who lose on the merits in civil or criminal litigation, there are roughly 3,000 appeals taken to the Indiana Court of Appeals.1 This is Indiana’s intermediate appellate court. The entire appellate process is laborious for the lawyers who handle appeals and time-consuming for the Court because three judges are assigned to review every case. As might be expected, there are comprehensive rules to ensure efficiency and consistency in the process because these appeals come from all of Indiana’s 92 counties. The one rule that can ...
April 30, 2020CD