The idea of cohabitation between partners has become more commonplace in the United States in the past several years. In some respects, an increase in cohabitation among romantic partners grew due to laws prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying. After same-sex marriage was validated across the United States, many couples elected to take advantage of their ability to marry under the law. However, this change does not mean that cohabitation among partners is now no longer prevalent in Indiana and across the US. It is! Couples may cohabit for a variety of reasons – younger individuals are choosing to cohabit before marriage ...
February 25, 2019CD
What is Third-Party Custody and How You Can Obtain Custody of Children You Are Raising?1 A commonly shared belief in our society is that children are often best off in the care and custody of their biological parents. The Supreme Court has stated that one of the oldest fundamental rights in the United States is a parent’s right to the “care, custody, and control of their children.”2 While this right is fundamental, like most everything in life, it is not absolute. The reality today is millions of children are being raised by grandparents, friends, neighbors, and strangers. This creates situations in ...
December 4, 2018CD
Indiana recognizes a parental discipline privilege, which gives a parent legal authority to apply reasonable force upon their child as the parent reasonably believes necessary for proper control, training, or education. While a controversial subject in the legal and psychological areas nationally, Indiana parents have what is known in criminal law as the “parental discipline privilege”. In blunt terms, parents have the legal right to spank their children. However, this is not an absolute right, and Indiana trial and appellate courts have tackled the issue of parental discipline in several cases; they have yet to come up with a clear ...
October 10, 2018CD
“We need to discuss a prenuptial!” Or so the conversation begins for some couples who want to marry. A prenuptial, or prenup for short, is a contract parties make between themselves before marrying to address what happens with assets and liabilities in the event of death or divorce. This right is provided in Indiana statutory divorce law and gives the parties substantial flexibility and certainty when the relationship ends on death or divorce. The right to contract in all aspects of life is a powerful right guaranteed in the United States and Indiana constitutions, as it should be, so the ...
August 13, 2018CD
The answer is, “It depends”. Under the laws covering children born to unwed parents, a father may legally acknowledge he is the child’s biological father. This is done by the parents entering into (filling out and signing) a Hospital Paternity Affidavit at the hospital soon after the child’s birth. This ensures the father participates in naming the child and his name appears on the child’s birth certificate. This blog covers what custody rights a father has upon entry of the Hospital Paternity Affidavit and what a putative (potential) father should consider if he is unsure whether he is indeed the father ...
August 9, 2018CD
In love, war, divorce and most other major aspects of life and daily living, someone or some side has an actual or perceived advantage. Most fathers in child custody dispute cases recognize that a large part of our society has a general belief that mothers should have custody of their children and believe this is reflected in custody laws—mothers have an advantage because women carry and bear the children of the world. However, many changes are occurring. Now there is gay marriage and adoption and more children are being raised by third parties like grandparents. So, the question becomes, where ...
August 1, 2018CD
Today, millions of children are being raised by grandparents, friends, neighbors, and sometimes, total strangers. This trend is growing each year. In this situation, these individuals acting as “parents” have no legal rights to the children they are raising, despite the fact they are providing for all aspects of their physical and emotional well-being. Practically speaking, this reality can create a multitude of problems for the caretakers, from enrolling the children in school to obtaining health care. All the while, the children are bonding with this caregiver like a biological parent. However, sometimes a parent just shows up years later ...
June 18, 2018CD
We all make New Year’s wishes, right? For thousands of Hoosiers, their wish is to have a clean criminal record without an old misdemeanor or felony conviction holding them back from job opportunities or having a firearm and license to carry. In the last several years, the Legislature has added several laws to allow you new ways to “remove” old convictions. This blog explores these and the legal remedies now available to you. The oldest legal tool for addressing a past criminal conviction is post-conviction relief. This has been around for a long time, and in the right circumstance, may be used ...
December 12, 2017CD
In today’s digital world with global work and play, people from different cultures, backgrounds, and ages marry. In many cases, there are significant differences in net worth, age, and business ownership. For this reason, some couples choose to enter into pre-marital agreements under Indiana’s Uniform Pre-Marital Act. A prenuptial is a document or series of documents, that specifies what a divorce court is to do in divorcing the parties in a divorce filing when separating their assets and liabilities. This blog addresses legal issues you should understand if you contemplate entering into a pre-marital agreement. The first and most important concept to ...
December 8, 2017CD
Clearly, natural and adoptive parents have a fundamental right to raise their children.1 However, given these constraints, the Indiana Courts have four important tools by statues and one by caselaw to utilize to assist third parties to obtain “custody” of children where their well-being depends on it. The reality in the United States is that millions and millions of children are primarily raised by people other than their parents, mostly by grandparents and relatives. Millions more are raised for periods of their childhood by third parties such as neighbors. To balance the fundamental rights with a child’s mental and emotional ties ...
March 10, 2017Adam Hayes