Indiana trial court judges can consider literally anything and everything relevant to a parent-child relationship to make a child custody decision that is in the child’s best interests. Sometimes a single factor—such as a severe drug abuse or incarceration—make the decision much easier for the judge to sort through the evidence, as it is apparent that a parent who is locked up cannot be the child’s custodian. However, in most cases, both parents have good qualities and faults in parenting. This blog explores the three most important factors that influence a judge’s child custody decision, so you can develop these ...
January 3, 2019CD
In child custody disputes, whether initially made with a divorce or paternity filing, or on with a modification petition, the court decides child-related issues before it by determining what is in the best interests of the child. With most cases, a party seeking custody, as well as the court, want to “hear” from the child in some way. This blog explores the four key ways a child’s voice, views, and positions can be presented to a court for it to consider in making a custody decision in the child’s best interests. Are these useful in your case? The first is to ...
June 7, 2018CD
In divorce or paternity cases, custody evaluations are common. They are provided for in the paternity and divorce statutes, as well as local court rules and discovery rules. A trial court judge has the inherent discretion and power to order a custody evaluation. In simple terms, a custody evaluation is nothing more than a trained professional interviewing the adults and children and reviewing materials they provide to make a written report to the trial court of what is in the children’s best interests. However, there are three things you must know to make the most of a custody evaluation. These ...
March 1, 2018CD
The keys to making your best case for obtaining what you want in a divorce trial by focusing on the obvious and basics—but what is rarely ever consciously considered by the parties before or at trial.
December 19, 2017CD
In many civil cases, particularly divorce preliminary and final hearings, the judge receives many types of information or evidence, from who should have the house, to the division of accounts and debts, to forks and household items. Despite the clearest testimony and diligence of judge, it is hard to identify and track all of this information for the attorneys and judges during the dynamics of a trial. This blog covers a common tool many attorneys use that aids the judge in tracking these items and ultimately in the ruling: summaries of the testimony. A summary of the testimony is a written document, ...
October 13, 2017CD
There are numerous legal debates about mistakes you can make carrying a handgun for personal protection. For instance, in a metropolitan community and dense urban area, an argument can be made that open carry and certain body movements in conjunction are intimidation or brandishing? Is leaving a carry gun at a restaurant or in a bathroom such that it makes a person subject to criminal charge (or civil liability)? These questions have one clear legal answer: it “depends”. That said, in numerous cases over the years we have observed one single factor that has eroded, damaged or criminalized what may have ...
July 12, 2017CD
Divorce trials are different from other civil and criminal trials because the events that led to the divorce are still going on and creating evidence and issues up to the point of trial. For this reason, a great deal of trial prep occurs near the time of the trial to capture the essence of the divorce dynamics. In this situation, it is often hard to determine any sort of rules to follow in presenting your case to the court (i.e., your testimony). However, over the years, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys have observed a few relative constant do’s and don’ts for ...
October 11, 2016Adam Hayes
Good lawyers never stop learning. Some valuable insights into trial practice and how to be a better advocate from your client can be learned in the heat of the moment—trial. In this blog post, it covers three valuable tips Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys have learned over the last several months of trial. We hope they help you better understand inside courtroom, which is vastly different than what is depicted on television courtroom shows. The first relates to objections. A large number of potential objections are unnecessary because the evidence in question will be admissible in a number of other ways. ...
September 29, 2016Adam Hayes
The Indiana Court of Appeals stand open to all litigants to bring appeals of most all final orders (and some interlocutory orders) from Indiana’s trial courts. This is a now a constitutional right (in the late 1800s this Court was created to assist the Indiana Supreme Court with an overflow of cases and later became a permanent court). While all such cases may be appealed, a general disagreement with the impartial decision of fact by a judge and/or jury isn’t necessarily a great appeal, and may have a “lack of appeal” in the sense of reversal. The are many issues that ...
February 16, 2016Adam Hayes
As a general rule, there is a strong presumption in American law that a judge or jury properly weighed the evidence and decided a case. A fair amount of attention has been focused in the recent media on actions within court rooms that may have swayed a verdict. One is an attorney who appeared to yawn1 at a closing argument as if to dismiss it. Generally, the first line of attack is to have counsel determine if this is harmless error—meaning it did not matter. If this is not the case, it may be that due process of law was not ...
February 11, 2016Adam Hayes