Throughout the last several years, the concept of parenting coordination has been catching on in Indiana. Effectively, Parenting Coordinators (known as “PCs” in high conflict matters) help parties resolve disputes in real time so children do not miss events or time with the other parent. The only other viable option before parenting coordination was a contempt petition or other legal filing in court, which was heard after the fact. As of January 1, 2017, the Indiana Supreme Court officially recognized Parenting Coordination; it approved rules regarding appointment and terms of service. These build on the knowledge and benefits that Parenting Coordinators ...
September 22, 2017CD
Across the United States, including in Indiana, social trends and financial pressures are driving lawmakers and courts to reconsider key areas of law that are being tested and challenged each day. Since family and criminal law constitute the majority of cases, you must understand these to be an informed citizen and have awareness as it impacts your life and legal suits and those of your friends and family. This blog says in one place at one time the “unsaid” of what is known to and a daily struggle for law enforcement officers, prosecutors, lawmakers’ judges, and attorneys. First, natural (and adoptive) ...
June 29, 2017CD
Over time, the nature and complexities of divorce have changed. In the 60s and 70s, for instance, before uniform acts were adopted by the states on custody jurisdiction, a parent wanting to obtain child custody simply went on “vacation” with the children to another state, filed divorce, and had custody decided in a more favorable place to their legal objectives. Laws, lawyers, judges, and legislatures have done a great deal to level the playing field for litigants. However, there are certain “no-nos” even today that almost always backfire and give the other party a tactical advantage in the litigation or a ...
April 18, 2017Adam Hayes
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
By statute, a divorce must be filed and a sixty-day period pass before the parties can be divorced. This blog explores this legal concept and others that often create confusion for litigants and is necessary to live with the stress of a divorce proceeding. Staring with the waiting period, it is truly rare that a divorce decree issues on day 60. This is because divorce is much like unraveling two battling business partners—there are numerous issues that take time and research to explore, such as whether one party has good enough and enough credit to refinance the marital home (if there ...
January 12, 2017Adam Hayes
The holidays are special times for most families, including those parents who have not married or have divorced: Special school events. Holiday parties. Family gatherings. All of this occurs with a lot of corresponding planning, from purchasing gifts to cooking meals. For parents who are not married, coordinating schedules can he a major source of conflict. This blog puts forth five important tips divorce attorneys use to help their clients avoid most conflict during the holidays: Know the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines: The Indiana Supreme Court has adopted the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines to set forth basics of holiday parenting time; ...
December 21, 2016Adam Hayes
tThe Indiana Dissolution Act encourages parties to reach agreements; and in fact, parties to a divorce can agree to a division of assets that a trial court judge could not order under the law that guides judges. This is because of the constitutional right to contract, strongly enforced by Indiana trial courts, the Court of Appeals, and Indiana Supreme Court. This means that having buyer’s remorse and later wanting to go to a contested divorce trial or further negotiate is not possible. The settlement agreement, assuming approved by the court, is a binding contract. However, there are times when a settlement is ...
September 15, 2016Adam Hayes
Divorce cases often cover the entire spectrum of law, ranging from complex financial transactions to lengthy custody trials. For this reason, Indiana’s divorce law is very comprehensive to give attorneys, litigants, and judges the ability to “untangle” a relationship that has been years in the making in incremental steps. As such, the parties can agree to terms even a divorce court could not order, so long as it does not agree to waive child support or have terms that are not in the children’s best interests. For this reasons, a divorce may be finalized in several ways. First, in cases of professionals ...
June 16, 2016Adam Hayes
Mediation is the rule or expectation before any civil trial. In fact, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled trial courts can order mediation prior to a trial, such a permissible pre-requisite trial. This is not an unconstitutional denial of access to courts because trial courts can always hear things on an emergency and waive this requirement that is a local rule in most counties. Statistically, most mediations resolve even complex civil cases, including highly contested divorce cases. To make the most of any mediation, there are several keys points to remember and embrace before and mostly during mediation. These are explored ...
April 21, 2016Adam Hayes
What They Are and Why They Matter to You Everyone that has been divorced, ended a relationship, or has had any contact with a divorcing person knows divorces are difficult to impossible for several reasons. At the most basic level, a divorce reflects love and hate and conflict and uncertainty for the future. This blog post explores the most common dynamics in divorce so you can identify it and be aware of such in your divorce or that of a friend, family member or for general educational purposes. The key dynamic controls how the case will unfold: emotional, financial and/or legal. In most ...
April 20, 2016Adam Hayes