In many cases, a neutral third party may be requested in contested custody cases to conduct a custody evaluation and make a recommendation to the court. The recommendation from the evaluator’s standpoint (after interviewing the children and parents, perhaps visiting the parent’s respective homes, and looking at documents, such as police reports) is a custody and parenting time arrangement that is in the children’s best interests. The problem this creates for one parent is that, normally, they will view the recommendation as a loss. This blog addresses ways to address a negative custody report (which is what the evaluator prepares ...
Tag: physical custody
October 9, 2020CD
We quite frequently receive questions and complaints from clients regarding the other parent’s misconduct towards them or interference with their parenting time. These complaints tend to be followed with the question “can I modify physical custody?” Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule that can provide a ready answer to the question. Each custody case is unique, requiring an independent legal analysis. However, in this blog, we provide a quick overview of custody modification and when a parent’s misconduct or interference may rise to the level to modify custody. It is important to note that in Indiana, child custody modification ...
October 9, 2020CD
There are several studies and statistical data compilations indicating a growing number of children in the United States are being raised by third parties. These third parties range from grandparents to relatives or sometimes just a friend of a custodial parent. This person may become a “de facto custodian” and seek physical custody. To do so, he or she must establish evidence they have had the infant or toddler and been their primary caregiver and means of financial support for at least six (6) months in cases where the child is less than three years of age.1 This blog addresses ...
September 28, 2020CD
Parental alienation is just what it claims to be.1 It is a parent (usually the custodial parent if the parties are divorced or the child is born out of wedlock) who engages in a systematic campaign to denigrate the other parent and make the child(ren) of the parties afraid of the other parent. Unfortunately, with children of a young age, they may be more than just conditioned to be afraid of the alienated parent, but they may come to have false memories of some bad act or event caused by the alienated parent. How this plays into a contested custody ...
September 4, 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
In many cases, parents want an immediate court date to modify custody due to what they believe is an “emergency” matter. This may range from denying parenting time on a significant holiday and the children not being able to attend an important family event to a new relationship one parent develops with a person who the other parent believes is a bad influence on the children and/or puts them in harm’s way. Clearly, Indiana Courts have the authority to conduct emergency custody modification hearings (and do) to look out for a child’s best interests. However, in most cases, these types ...
August 21, 2020CD
There are numus ways to have your child’s voice heard in court to aid a judge with making a custody determination or a modification decision. In most cases, an attorney or licensed clinical social worker can interview the family and children in order to make a sound recommendation to the court about what he/she believes is in the children’s best interests. This is because they are neutral to either side. However, in a small minority of cases involving high-conflict custody proceedings, the facts are convoluted and may reflect deeper underlying substance abuse issues masking mental health conditions. In these cases, ...
August 6, 2020CD
In all child custody litigation—the original determination by a court or in passing on a modification petition—the trial court always looks at what is in the child’s best interests. In making its initial determination to award physical custody, there is no preference for either parent. With a modification, a substantial change in circumstances must be established and be in the child’s best interests. In this blog, we cover how courts consider the wishes of a child fourteen (14) years of age or older. With regard to age, a child’s advanced age is important to two (2) significant types of litigation: custody ...
July 22, 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
Child custody litigation is a gut-wrenching experience for all parents. Both want the same amount of time they had before the divorce or post-divorce they may be seeking a modification to gain additional time, but there is only a finite amount of time for custody and parenting time. That said when a parent loses a custody battle their first thought often is to appeal. Sometimes this is possible and sometimes it is not. Further, there are a number of different reasons to appeal. When and why you should appeal a loss in custody litigation is the focus of this blog ...
July 7, 2020CD