Perhaps everyone who reads this blog will agree that routine and “sameness” are considered aspects of our daily life. The old adage, “change is hard”, best captures this concept. The same is true for children of divorce and paternity cases. The initial determination of which parent should have custody is “gender neutral” and gives no parent a preference for preliminary custody in the trial court’s initial determination. However, after the case is decided, where custody may change, the children usually establish a custodial routine on who they stay with and when. Any changes or disruptions to the schedule are significant for the ...
Tag: substantial change
July 11, 2018CD
While children are resilient and “bounce back”, modifying physical custody from one parent to another parent is a major life factor that may impact the child’s fundamental sense of safety, security, and stability. For this reason, there are two common factual situations where custody modification does not make a strong legal case. The first is where the non-custodial parent’s life has improved, but this has had little impact on how the kids are doing in the custodial parent’s care. Remember, the legal focus for modification is on the children’s best interest. So, for instance, a parent who has achieved long-term sobriety ...
May 22, 2018CD
A significant number appeals taken to the Indiana Court of Appeals stem from paternity and divorce cases. In most cases, the appeal involves some form of disagreement regarding child custody orders issued by the trial court. This blog explores the three most common types of appeals, what you need to know to make an informed choice to appeal, and what kinds of issues are stronger for a “win” on appeal.1 The first type of appeal is the original custody determination. In paternity cases, this is generally litigation brought shortly after the birth of the child. In divorce cases, this what occurs ...
April 18, 2018CD
A number of our blogs over time have discussed the “how to” of a good faith relocation. Unfortunately, sometimes a parent gets blinded by the desire to move and loses sight of the fact this may not be in the children’s best interests; and he or she may provide very little or no notice and relocate. This blog addresses the potential remedies to stop or challenge a custodial parent’s relocation with the child by the non-custodial parent. When the custodial parent provides timely notice of relocation, the non-custodial parent can object in one of two recognized ways. The first is to ...
September 14, 2016Adam Hayes
Because every divorce case with children is a little to a lot different from every other case, Indiana’s voters, appellate court’s and General Assembly give domestic trial court judges wide latitude (called “discretion”) to make child custody decisions. Indiana’s judges often agonize over the unfortunate situations they see, hear and must decide. To help judges, there are four key legal presumptions or assumptions trial court judges follow that are important for you to know if you are involved, or will be involved, in a child custody dispute. The first—and by far the most important presumption or legal policy: every child custody ...
January 14, 2016Adam Hayes
In 2006, the General Assembly adopted a comprehensive set of statutes to be followed in the event either party in a divorce or post-divorce proceeding moved. This requires either parent (custodial or the one who has parenting time) to notify the other they are moving and allows objection to the move. The obvious focus is to allow a court to determine how this impacts the children’s best interests. This new statutory scheme ultimately raised a number of legal questions that were addressed by Indiana’s courts. The first is whether and how a relocation by a parent impacts child custody modification. The ...
September 23, 2015Adam Hayes
In family law matters and matters involving custody modification, the underlying basis is what is in the best interests of the children. However, what about the direct wishes of a child? How are those determined and used in initial custody matters and modification of custody? Custody can be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances and the modification is in the best interests of the child1. The factors to be considered to determine if there has been a substantial change in circumstances include many parts, including the age and sex of the child, the child’s adjustment to home, school, ...
October 16, 2014CD
Once an initial custody determination is made and parenting time is determined, it is not etched in stone. However, a modification of custody requires more than simply stating “this is not working out”. The party seeking to modify child custody must show that there has been a substantial change in the factors for determining custody, and a modification is in the best interests of the child1. Some major events can give rise to a petition to modify custody due to the serious nature of the event. For example, if the custodial parent seeks to move 20 hours away, this may be ...
September 2, 2014CD
There are two (2) types of custody placements-initial and modification. Initial custody is determined at an early hearing-for example, a hearing to establish paternity or a final dissolution hearing in a divorce. Any change or amendment to custody after that initial custody determination is known as a custody modification. Initial custody and custody modification are based on several factors, and is based upon the best interests standard (i.e. what is in the best interest of the children). Other factors to be considered include the age of the child, the wishes of the parent(s), interaction with other family members, and adjustment to ...
June 26, 2014CD
In part, 1 we discussed how to have a kid friendly divorce, and discussed the importance of at least attempting to get along with your soon-to-be former spouse in front of the children; how to talk to the children about divorce; how to talk about (or how not to talk about) your spouse in front of the children; and remembering not to discuss the various court proceedings with the children. This keeps the children from being children. Now that the divorce is final, property has been divided, child support set, and child custody and parenting time determined, how do two parents ...
February 21, 2013CD