In most civil litigation, when you are sued, such as in a divorce, which is technically a complaint, you have to provide an answer to avoid a default judgment and losing.1 However, in divorce, there is no requirement to provide a cross-petition (or answer in a technical sense).2 Yet in a few instances, it may make sense to cross-petition. This blog addresses cross-petitions and their uses and some common myths surrounding cross-petitions. Factual mistakes: Perhaps the most common reason to file a cross-petition is that the divorce petition has factual mistakes that should be corrected to have accurate filings before the ...
Tag: sole legal custody
May 28, 2020CD
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
Most litigants speak of custody loosely today and take it to mean who has the children, with the other parent getting Indiana Parenting Time Guideline time with the children and paying child support. In other blogs, we have posted materials to differentiate physical custody from legal custody and parenting time. This blog focuses solely on legal custody as more and more parents have differing life views that come into sharp focus and dispute during marriage and paternity cases—and today marriage and having a child is not generally thought of in absolute terms, “till death do you part.” Or parents until our ...
June 27, 2017CD
In divorce and paternity cases, the term “custody” has a number of different meanings. If you are contemplating divorce or in the process, understanding this term is key. If you are divorced or paternity is established, you might think you understand the “custody” terms you agreed to in reaching an agreement or as ordered by the court; but if you and the other parent don’t have a meeting of the minds on the meaning of custody connected with your “custody” order, it will cause conflict or potential litigation. This blog explores four terms and meanings connected to “custody”: 1). physical ...
June 20, 2017CD
In paternity and divorce cases, parties sometimes do not fully understand “legal custody.” Legal custody has nothing to do with who a child stays with for parenting time or custody. Instead, it is which parent(s) has the authority to make decisions about the child’s health, education, and religions decisions.1 If it is in a child’s best interests, the court may award joint legal custody. This is generally appropriate and in the child’s best interests when the parents have a generally shared view of these matters, such as they are of the same faith, believe in public or private schools, or have ...
October 7, 2015Adam Hayes
Over the past few decades, there have been significant strides in the area of science, and specifically in family planning. Persons wishing to have children are presented with more and more options than the traditional routes of being married and having a biological child. But what do these advances in technology and science have to do with the law? A lot actually. For hundreds of years the law seeks to establish ground rules for parentage (who is the parent, and what are the parent’s rights and duties to his or her child), paternity (establish the father of a child born to ...
July 30, 2013CD
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
How to Decide What School Children Will Attend The Public vs. Private Debate Another school year is quickly approaching, if not already started for most children. With the ringing in of the 2012-2013 school year, conversations regarding children’s schooling and where children will attend school come to the forefront in domestic law cases. Where a child will attend school is a choice made by the parent(s) with legal custody. In many cases, divorced parents or parents who are involved in paternity actions share joint legal custody. Under joint legal custody, both parents have a say in matters of education, religion, and medical choices ...
August 2, 2012CD