In today’s world, busy courts have limited time to hear cases. The average case load in Indiana, that most judges manage, is in the thousands. In divorce and paternity cases, these judges have to decide child physical and legal custody, in the children’s best interests. Due to the fact many custody disputes have significant amounts of data relevant to the case and the children’s best interests, in many cases, the parties will elect to have a forensic child clinical psychologist appointed to make a custody evaluation report to the court. This single document, in many cases, eliminates the need for ...
Tag: legal custody
August 28, 2020CD
After one party files for divorce, what happens next? By statute, sixty (60) days must pass before the court can enter a divorce decree. A divorce is often a complex financial transaction separating the parties’ assets and an emotional one involving child custody and support. Most divorces take at least a few months to finalize. During this time, many parties cannot agree on who will live in the marital residence, how they will share the children, what car each will drive and who will pay what bills. In these cases, typically one party will move the court to set a ...
August 27, 2020CD
Child custody proceedings tend to be confusing and emotional times. Whether it be an initial custody proceeding or a modification of a pre-existing custody order, the process always seems to be draining on all involved parties. However, you can relieve some of the emotional burden by understanding the basic workings of child custody in Indiana. In this blog, we provide four things to know about child custody in Indiana. Physical and Legal. The first thing to know about child custody in Indiana is that it is divided into two distinct categories. First, there is physical custody. Physical custody simply means the ...
July 16, 2020CD
In most civil litigation, when you are sued, such as in a divorce, which is technically a complaint, you have to provide an answer to avoid a default judgment and losing.1 However, in divorce, there is no requirement to provide a cross-petition (or answer in a technical sense).2 Yet in a few instances, it may make sense to cross-petition. This blog addresses cross-petitions and their uses and some common myths surrounding cross-petitions. Factual mistakes: Perhaps the most common reason to file a cross-petition is that the divorce petition has factual mistakes that should be corrected to have accurate filings before the ...
May 28, 2020CD
In domestic cases, trial courts are given wide discretion to decide matters initially, such as when the parties divorce or later in child-support and/or physical and/or legal custody modification proceedings. Further, because so much time, emotion, and judicial resources go into domestic cases, Indiana’s appellate court gives trial courts vast leeway to judge the credibility of witnesses when deciding issues.2 Even if the Court of Appeals might have decided the case differently, it defers to domestic courts on how much weight to assign to a witnesses’ credibility. However, the appellate court’s do not defer to the trial court if it applies ...
May 6, 2020CD
Whether it be from personal experience or a movie you saw on television, most of us have some understanding of the concept of custody. However, when people think of custody, most of the time they are only thinking of physical custody. But, physical custody is just one part of child custody as a whole. Who makes decisions about school? Religion? Medical? Do these decisions have to be agreed upon? What if we cannot agree or have differing views on the subjects. These are questions that many don’t think about until a custody proceeding begins, and it can be confusing to ...
March 10, 2020CD
In today’s blended society, it is common for parents to have different religious beliefs and practices. However, if they both feel strongly about their religion and divorce, a war can erupt over how the children are raised at and after divorce. This is where the concept of legal custody comes in. On divorce or in paternity cases, the court can award joint legal custody. Legal custody covers decisions about the children’s medical care, religious upbringing, and educational training. Legal custody then has nothing to do with which parent will receive physical custody and the other parent parenting time. This blog ...
February 28, 2020CD
Mediation is a beneficial tool for many who find themselves involved in child custody litigation. Not only is mediation cost-efficient relative to a trial, but it can lead to quicker resolutions. However, mediation is only as beneficial as you make it. In this blog, we provide three tips for preparing to go to mediation in a child custody proceeding. Be Open-Minded. The first tip is to remember to be open-minded going to mediation. Remember that mediation is simply a negotiation between the parties, so you must be willing to negotiate. Many litigants go into mediation with a mindset that makes him/her ...
February 19, 2020CD
It would be naive to think that it is a rare occasion that substance abuse by a parent is raised in divorce and paternity cases; it is common and must be addressed by the courts. In a divorce proceeding it is important to note that, substance abuse, covers a very broad spectrum of “drugs” and is considered in varying degrees. If you find yourself in a situation where the words “substance abuse” have been brought up in your divorce, you may find this blog helpful. It is first important to understand that when an opposing party (husband or wife or father ...
December 13, 2019CD
In high conflict custody cases, it is common to have a forensic Ph.D. level custody evaluator conduct an evaluation and make recommendations to the court as to who should have custody in the child’s best interests. These evaluations result in a written report. However, no professional is accurate all of the time, and occasionally an errant report issues. In short, we all make mistakes—even professionals. If you get an adverse custody evaluation in your case, this blog is focused on potential “fixes” for a custody evaluation that we have tried over time. Review of the custody evaluation by another expert. It ...
September 10, 2019CD