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
One rather complex issue is what evidence a parent has to put on at trial to receive more parenting time. Is this burden different from a physical custody modification since the net result can be deemed a change in how much time a child spends with the non-custodial parent, including more overnights, up to equal time? As advocates with a focus on education, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys routinely go over these subtle distinctions with clients. We hope this blog post elucidates your view on these slight-to-major differences. Perhaps you cannot meet the burden to obtain a custody modification, but the ...
April 3, 2012CD
In Part I of this blog post, we sorted out some of the dimensions of legal custody. In Part II, the topic shifts to the corollary, physical custody. In the not-to-distant past, at a time where father’s rights to time with the child had not grown to the level of recognition (although under the gender neutral, best interests standard) they are today, the custodial parent (more often mothers) had primary physical custody and a father received “visitation.” Today, that is not the case, and Indiana’s trial courts are frequently hearing arguments advanced for joint physical custody, although the law is not ...
January 5, 2012CD
A custody, parenting time and relocation evaluation may be requested and ordered by a domestic court where any of these contested matters are at hand: child physical custody (its initial determination or modification); legal custody, parenting time, and/or relocation. Such evaluations are a vital tool (of many) to consider in any given custody issue. At Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. we often find the place to start with a client we represent in such matters is with a fundamental explanation of terms. This ensures attorney and client are “singing from the same sheet of music.” Thus, where you the reader face a similar ...
June 7, 2011CD
At Ciyou & Dixon, P.C., we see the sharpest divides between mothers and fathers over the trend toward joint physical custody. It is true that some fathers want precisely equal time in physical custody because the number of overnights is indexed to child support. And a small percentage of mothers do not believe that fathers are capable of ever being competent caregivers; even if a father could be, some mothers believe it is their God-given right to physical custody because they gave birth to the children. We do not think these extremes properly focus the issue, at least from a legal perspective. Human ...
April 5, 2011CD
Most parents who are not divorce lawyers often sense when physical custody should be modified. Little bits of information they receive from the kids, teachers, friends tell them this. A parent can help his or her lawyer prepare a modification case and save legal fees by helping answer some key questions to the following checklist. Try to answers these questions in advance of consulting with your attorney: How are the children doing in school? What has changed with the parent(s) and children since the last custody order? Do the parents have new significant others or spouses? Is a parent moving or has moved? Are the children ...
March 18, 2011CD