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
A question most every experienced divorce lawyer has been asked is “Can I obtain joint physical custody?” Joint physical custody literally means the children spend equal (or near equal) time with each parent. There are some standard ways this may be accomplished such as parents having the children on a 3-2-2-3 schedule or 5-2-2-5 (days). In some cases, the parents may even go week-on, week-off. This blog explores the current law on (joint) physical custody, how it may be reached and ordered at trial, and problems that may arise with joint physical custody. Ultimately, a court may order joint physical ...
September 4, 2019CD
Everyone who begins a divorce watches television or has a friend who has certain beliefs in the divorce system that often shape how they talk about the process, view it and sometimes advise their friends. In this blog, we address three myths that are commonplace in Indiana. Avoid these and make the most of your divorce and expectations. Sixty-day divorce. Under the Divorce Act, the court can divorce parties in 60 days. However, divorce is a complex financial transaction and where there are children involved, one that their best interests must be addressed. Where there is a marriage of any duration, ...
August 23, 2019CD
Indiana trial court judges are tasked with the duty to make sure that at the time of divorce (or paternity) adjudication the children’s best interests are met. If the parents have an agreement on custody and it is not contested, they may infer that agreement of the parties is in the children’s best interests. However, where physical and/or legal custody is contested, there are four key ways a trial court judge determines what is in a child’s best interests. Most of the time litigants with their lawyers have the ability to choose or have input on the way the evidence ...
August 19, 2019CD
Most litigants to go court expecting to “win” their case. However, most domestic (divorce or paternity) cases are not one side really winning or losing because so many issues are being decided, such as physical custody, legal custody, child support, and in divorce cases, property division. So it is unlikely any particular litigant “wins” every issue. Most litigants accept the trial court decision. However, there is a right to appeal. This is where the concept of special findings comes up. The trial court can hear the evidence and then decide the case by a general judgment, or it can—if requested ...
August 14, 2019CD
Divorce can be a complex emotional, financial and business transaction for most spouses. It is one they often do not know much about other than what they have heard from friends or observed on television. This usually has little to do with reality in an Indiana divorce. Over time, we have observed that in initial consults, prospective clients could have obtained more from the process and been on a better path to move forward if they had gathered or composed four types of documents. These are the foundational documents for any divorce and are the subject of this blog post. ...
August 13, 2019CD
Long gone are the days that mothers have a leg up on fathers because of the Tender Years’ Presumption. This presumption was that infants and perhaps toddlers were better served in their mother’s custody. Now fathers obtain physical and legal custody or are successful in the modification of custody with some frequency. Basically, it all comes down to the evidence the Court receives to determine what is in the child’s best interest. This blog covers the top six things fathers can do to maintain custody or prevail in custody modification by keeping or developing the evidence necessary for the Court ...
July 17, 2019CD
Divorce is shrouded in fear and urban legend. However, for most couples in a broken relationship, it is the pathway to move on in a new and more positive direction when the divorce is ultimately granted by the Court. While divorce is a complex legal and financial transaction—and also an emotional one—sometimes involving professionals from psychologists to tax experts, it all boils down to three basic concepts you must understand to properly begin a divorce or help a friend through the process: jurisdiction, property division, and child custody. The fundamentals of each of these components of a divorce are the ...
July 9, 2019CD
Navigating the divorce process raises a lot of questions for parents. It’s common to have concerns about your physical and legal custody, especially when both parties don’t automatically agree on a plan. That’s when it might be time to call on a child custody lawyer. Whether you’re seeking primary or joint custody, you need to show the court how you provide for and spend quality time with your children—and that what you want for custody is in their best interests. Getting the right legal team on your side is key. This blog discusses the top five questions to ask child ...
June 20, 2019CD
In today’s world, fathers are more active in their children’s lives than ever. In households where both parents work, some fathers are their children’s primary caregivers. However, in the unfortunate situation where a divorce occurs, many fathers feel “doomed” and have the belief that mothers always get “custody”. This blog explores what “custody” means and provides key tips for fathers who seek custody in a divorce. The point to start with is an understanding of both “physical” and “legal” custody under Indiana law. Physical custody is given to the parent who is identified as the primary care-giver and when this is ...
June 6, 2019CD