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
In each state, in Indiana and across the nation, there has been an acute focus over the last several years on Father’s rights to custody of their children. Law is slow to change and remnants of the “tender years presumption” continued pushing father’s rights groups harder. The tender years presumption is a older legal policy that children of a young or tender year should be in the care and custody of their mother in a divorce. There are five key aspects of father’s rights, namely a father obtaining custody of his children in a divorce or paternity case, set into the ...
October 1, 2015Adam Hayes
In divorce cases, it sometimes takes a long time for a case to be made ready for trial and a divorce decree entered. For instance, the value of a family business may be in question or the custody of the children. Often times, “discovery” is conducted, which may be a business valuation on a family business or a custody evaluation making recommendations to the trial court about what custody arrangement between the parents is in the children’s best interests. For this reason, the parties are in legal “no-persons land” where each are equally entitled to the custody of the children, use ...
April 21, 2015Adam Hayes
The current state of marriage in the United States continues to shift and morph, adapting to the current climate of marriage and divorce in the country. The trends away from the traditional notion of “family” has caused a shift in trends from the traditional custody determinations. In previous decades, mothers were often granted custody over fathers. This was claimed to be due to bonding or mothers’ ability to parent more effectively. However, there is a national shift away from this presumption. States, including Indiana, are moving more toward the notion of joint or equal custody or parenting time (or something closer to ...
July 3, 2014CD
With respect to divorce actions and paternity actions, a court must determine which parent or both should have both legal and physical custody of a child, or children. Physical custody involves where the child sleeps the majority of the time (which parent the child is living with primarily and physically with). Legal custody is generally defined as decision-making regarding the main issues of education, medical issues, and religion of the Child.1 The parents can agree to which parent (or both) have legal and/or physical custody, or if the parents cannot agree, a court will decide. Legal and physical custody can be ...
November 14, 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
During divorce, or paternity, the issue of child custody comes up. Which parent (or in some cases a third party known as a de facto custodian, which is discussed in other blog posts), should have custody of the child. But what does “custody” actually mean? Many people may not realize that there are actually two (2) types of custody, physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody involves where the child sleeps the majority of the time (which parent the child is living with primarily and physically with). Legal custody is generally defined as decision-making regarding the main issues of education, medical ...
June 4, 2013CD
As the family dynamic shifts from the nuclear family to a more extended and/or unconventional family unit, persons other than parents are often helping to raise children. For example, a grandparent might raise a child if the parent is unwilling or unable. Or, a step-parent may become a primary caregiver while one parent is not involved with the child. In some cases, adoption of the child may be a logical step by another party. Step-parent adoption is one of the more common types of adoption. This may occur when one parent has passed away, voluntarily terminated his/her rights, or had his/her ...
December 13, 2012CD
During divorce, paternity, or subsequent custody proceedings, the issues of physical and legal custody are often the singular legal objective. Previous blogs have discussed the general distinction between physical and legal custody. Namely, that physical custody involves where the child sleeps the majority of the time, and legal custody refers to decision-making for the child. Legal custody is generally defined as decision-making regarding the main issues of education, medical issues, and religion of the Child1. However, legal custody can also include decisions about extracurricular activities and other more ordinary decisions to the extent they fall under these categories. Because the legal custody ...
November 20, 2012CD