As a general rule, in matters where child custody and child support are at issue, the Court will grant parents joint or sole custody and Order an obligation for child support to be paid. Often, the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines (IPTG)1 are used as a baseline for determining parenting time for the non-custodial parent. For older children, IPTG parenting time for non-custodial parents is a midweek time and every other weekend. However, as the IPTGs state, they are only a guide/model, and parents should work together to determine the best parenting time division in the best interests of their Children. This ...
July 16, 2013CD
During the course of domestic proceedings, paternity may be at issue. There are, of course, original paternity actions, but paternity may also be at issue for related cases. For example, a third party seeking to modify custody or get a guardianship of a child will need to explore if paternity has been established before filing. So, who can file a paternity action? A mother or expectant mother, a man alleging that he is the child’s biological father or the expectant father of an unborn child, a mother and man alleging he is her child’s biological father, filing jointly, an expectant mother and a man alleging he ...
June 27, 2013CD
In domestic cases, there may be a number of experts that are called upon to testify during a hearing. For example, a doctor may testify about a child’s medical condition, a CPA may testify about the value of a business, or a clinical psychologist may testify about a custody evaluation performed. However, there are limitations to who is an expert and what witnesses can testify about. For example, under Indiana law, a licensed clinical social worker is prohibited from providing expert testimony1. Specifically, the Indiana statute allows that social workers can provide factual testimony (ex. the social worker met with the ...
June 20, 2013CD
The newly revised Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines (herein, “IPTGs”) address several issues relating to parenting time in Indiana, and provide clarification for a number of scenarios to help parents best utilize their parenting time schedules. The IPTGs are just that, a guide, and the parties can agree or be ordered to implement a different schedule or parenting time arrangement as necessary. However, in many cases, when an agreement cannot be reached, the IPTGs provide clarification. The IPTGs provide guidance for topics including holidays, school breaks, children of different ages, activities, and many, many more. One topic and question that comes up fairly ...
May 14, 2013CD
When custody and parenting time have been determined in a divorce or paternity action, a parenting time schedule is often put into place. Generally, a standard parenting time schedule when one parent has been granted primary or sole physical custody of a child over the age of three (3) is that the non-custodial parent will receive a midweek visitation (this may be overnight depending on the age of the child and the circumstances of the parents) and every other weekend from Friday evening to Sunday evening1. This schedule is a guideline, and can be adjusted according to what is best for ...
April 25, 2013CD
In the United States, each state has specific laws governing paternity and divorce matters, all of which encompass some formulation, regulation, or provision for the payment of child support. With our ever-mobile society, more and more families are moving from state to state and thus, some regulation is needed between the states to enforce child support orders from other states. The UCCJEA is the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.1 The UCCJEA has been adopted by 49 states, including Indiana.2 The UCCJEA vests "exclusive [and] continuing jurisdiction" for child custody litigation in the courts of the child's "home state," which is ...
January 8, 2013CD
Within divorce and custody proceedings, often neither parent feels that they have received enough parenting time with the child. Under the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines, generally, for a non-custodial parent (one without primary physical custody) of a school-age child who lives in close proximity to the custodial parent receives weekly parenting time, at a minimum, of one evening per week and every other weekend1. The situation becomes more complicated when a grandparent seeks time with the child. This situation occurs most often when a non-custodial parent does not exercise parenting time, or is unable to do so for various reasons, and ...
August 7, 2012CD
In Part I of this blog post, two of the “mistakes” that often occur by nothing more than human nature in a custody evaluation were discussed: (1) trying to answer psychological testing in a favorable way, and (2) coaching children to a degree before a custody evaluation. It is important to be aware of these because they can occur at the unconscious level–engaging in these behaviors without realizing it. By realizing these common mistakes or issues, a parent can make the most of his or her custody evaluation, and ultimately, to act in their child’s best interests. Below in Part II ...
July 26, 2012CD
The Bed Bugs Epidemic and What Parents Can Do About It In The Custody Context In the last several years, an old enemy to the American (and individuals and families across the world throughout history) family has re-emerged on epidemic proportions: the lowly bedbug. Any issue that impacts any large segment of our society will ultimately present itself in the domestic arena. So too with bedbugs. The issue Indiana domestic lawyers are now being called upon to address for their clients is what can be done if the other parent has bedbug infestation and does not remedy the problem. In other words ...
July 19, 2012CD
The American Judicial System is generally based on the premise that each party pays his or her own attorneys fees unless there is a statute or contract that otherwise rules-in fact, this practice is known as the American Rule. However, there can be instances in lower courts where one party is able to recover attorney fees from the other. For example, in family law, if one parent has denied the other parenting time for no proper reason, it is possible for the denied parent to request and possibly receive attorney fees. The thought process behind this practice is that had it not ...
May 10, 2012CD