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
In Indiana, there are two higher courts a party may seek an appeal from any final trial court order. There is an appeal as a matter of legal right to the Indiana Court of Appeals. A party dissatisfied with a decision of the Indiana Court of Appeals may seek discretionary transfer to the Indiana Supreme Court. This blog covers the five most common types of appeals taken to the Indiana Court of Appeals from final orders in domestic cases (i.e., paternity, divorce, and modification). The first two types of cases may stem from property division or custody determination (which includes child ...
January 10, 2017Adam Hayes
Over the last two decades, social and psychological science research, and an ever-changing view of what constitutes a “family” and who and how work is done by parents, has shifted the view of custody. Not that long ago, women were de facto awarded custody on divorce and father’s obtained “visitation.” Now the importance of frequent contact with both parents has been validated, and the non-custodial parent is awarded “parenting time.” This reinforces the concept of shared parenting. This blog post explores some of the more common parenting orders of custody reached by agreement or after a trial. The first is joint time ...
May 24, 2016Adam Hayes
The Divorce Act and cases that control Indiana divorce law are driven by policies that favor the parties reaching agreements. Particularly where children are involved, agreements avoid the “warfare” that sometimes ensues with contested custody cases. However, all such agreements must be in the children’s best interests. Ultimately, Indiana’s trial court judges stand in loco parentis (act as a parental figure) and review agreements to ensure all such agreements between the parties over their children are, in fact, in their best interests. In most cases, this is the case. Recent Indiana decisions have re-confirmed there are two matters parents cannot agree to. ...
March 22, 2016Adam Hayes
In every disputed custody case, the difficult decision facing the judge is who should have custody of the children and what parenting time the non-custodial parent should receive. The trend between litigants is seeking something close to equal time with the children. Whatever your objective, there are simple tips you can used to help your case for custody. First, don’t be the parent who makes an issue out of everyday and normal deviations in parenting time a “war.” Under best interest standard, a judge considers who will do the most to facilitate the other parent’s time and help him or her ...
December 1, 2015Adam Hayes
Divorce is the best of times and the worst of times for most people (parties, friends, and family) all at the same time. It is difficult to manage the day-to-day events and divorce process itself and work or do the events of daily life with the future unknown. In some respects, it is also positive for many people because it signals a life change. Over the course of years, we have observed five critical mistakes parties make that negatively impact their life during and after the divorce. Try to avoid them. Perhaps talk with your attorney about these matters. The time ...
November 17, 2015Adam Hayes
With parenting time and visitation matters, technology has played a key role in aiding smoother parenting time transitions and contact. A basic example is on-line posting by courts of the Indiana Supreme Court’s parenting time guidelines. Every day, however, new forms of technology tools become available that facilitate parenting time/visitation. Depending on your situation, this blog introduces three such tools that may fit you need and/or prepare you for contempt/modification by helping capture evidence. Is one right for your situation? The first is thefamilywizard.com that provides a variety of tools for parents to use to focus on parenting time/visitation agreements without ...
June 23, 2015Adam Hayes
The very commonalities that brought two parents together in the first place often creates acrimony after divorce during parenting time exchanges, school events, and the like. In cases that are extreme, there are a variety of legal tools to consider that might resolve the issues, such as a contempt filing or parenting coordinator request. Sometimes, this even necessitates a modification of physical or legal custody or parenting time. Nevertheless, no lawyer or court can solve every issue between the parties. Over the years we have observed three practical tips or observations that you might try in your case before getting into ...
June 17, 2015Adam Hayes
Any seasoned divorce attorney has observed the line between love and hate, passion and rage, and similar contrasts are narrow, contradictory, or even overlapping at times. The very dynamics that drove one person to fall in love with the other and have children can be the source of annoyance or worse upon divorce during custody and parenting time. Custody and parenting time are always subject to the divorce court’s jurisdiction and making an initial custody decision or modification based on what is in the child’s best interests.1 As such, attorneys are frequently presented with questions on how to make a given ...
April 7, 2015Adam Hayes
Every parent involved in parenting time and custody exchanges with their child(ren) and the other parent have had tense moments or disputes leading up to the exchange. Some parents feel pressure so great you can “cut it with a pair of scissors.” As each parent’s life has changed after divorce or paternity proceedings, logistics and time itself may make any deviation burdensome on the parents and breed hostility. Nevertheless, in ordinary exchanges or those that follow disputes, there a three tried and true ways to avoid acrimony—which psychologist tell us is always sensed by the child, eroding his or sense of ...
March 19, 2015CD