Yes, in some cases. Nationally as well as in Indiana, grandparents are increasingly raising their adult children’s children. Sometimes this is just being great and helpful grandparents. In some cases, such as a parent going back to school or distant work relocation, parents must do so to better their lives, but in others, they do so for legally impermissible reasons, such as addiction issues; these parents simply leave their children with grandparents to raise. For all practical purposes, the grandparents take over the role of caregiver and provide all the support, shelter, and care and nurture of the grandchildren. In ...
January 8, 2019CD
Under the Divorce Act, the Legislature has expressly encouraged divorcing parties to reach agreements to divide their property. Most of the time, a divorce court will accept most any property (real property, like land and the marital home, and personal property, like furniture and pots and pans) agreement. In fact, the parties are free to enter a property division that the court could not order or would abuse its discretion in doing so.1 However, there are three critical mistakes that some parties make in settling their property that may be impossible or expensive to fix in the future; these are ...
September 27, 2018CD
Indiana trial court judges and attorneys encourage the parties to reach agreements in divorce and paternity cases. There is even a specific statute in the Divorce Act expressly encouraging custody agreements.1 However, Indiana trial court judges have a legal duty to watch over children of the marriage and ensure their best interests are met. For this reason, there are a few types of agreements the parties cannot settle for or even request the trial court to order in a contested trial. This blog addresses these four types of child-related terms the parties cannot agree to and why that is the ...
September 13, 2018CD
In civil litigation, the trial and any appeals are one-and-done. This means that except for extraordinary circumstances, such as later trying to re-open the case,1 a civil case later brought on the same issues or matter cannot be re-litigated under legal doctrines known as res judicata and/or collateral estoppel.2 This blog post addresses child custody and related matters, such as support, that can always be re-litigated and why an appeal of an unfavorable judgment may be still vital. As noted, custody and child support can be modified at any time upon showing certain facts and meeting a higher modification standard. A ...
June 22, 2017CD
Family law, like every other profession, has its own language; a language that can be misunderstood, or may stand for many things depending on the context in which it is used. This blog covers the five key definitions that are used correctly, incorrectly, or a combination of both, in child custody proceedings. The better you understand these terms, the more informed litigant you will be. The first term is an umbrella term generally referred to as “child custody.” Child custody refers to who is going have the children or make decisions for them, under what situations, and contains within it all ...
April 26, 2017Adam Hayes
All issues involving child custody and child support have significant social, political, economic and psychological dynamics operating within the legal system and controlling laws. Two key policies that support the law is to maintain the child with a style of living as if the parents were married and meet the child’s best interests. In the very broad area, this blog post explores three trends that are slowly changing domestic law across the country: joint custody, child support ending at age 18, and third parties obtaining custody. At present, the parent who is not awarded physical custody is given parenting time (overnights) ...
July 7, 2016Adam Hayes
A common misconception between parents of young children during divorce is that “child support” stops when the child(ren) turn 18. This is not the case necessarily in Indiana, which is the subject of this blog. First, it is important to note that Indiana is one of the few states that has a statute in the Divorce and Paternity Act providing that a parent may be ordered to pay educational expenses once a child has reached the age of majority (i.e., eighteen).1 Most states have repealed the laws requiring divorced parents to pay and provide for college expenses. The minority of states ...
June 22, 2016Adam Hayes
What They Are and Why They Matter to You Everyone that has been divorced, ended a relationship, or has had any contact with a divorcing person knows divorces are difficult to impossible for several reasons. At the most basic level, a divorce reflects love and hate and conflict and uncertainty for the future. This blog post explores the most common dynamics in divorce so you can identify it and be aware of such in your divorce or that of a friend, family member or for general educational purposes. The key dynamic controls how the case will unfold: emotional, financial and/or legal. In most ...
April 20, 2016Adam Hayes
The Divorce Act and cases that control Indiana divorce law are driven by policies that favor the parties reaching agreements. Particularly where children are involved, agreements avoid the “warfare” that sometimes ensues with contested custody cases. However, all such agreements must be in the children’s best interests. Ultimately, Indiana’s trial court judges stand in loco parentis (act as a parental figure) and review agreements to ensure all such agreements between the parties over their children are, in fact, in their best interests. In most cases, this is the case. Recent Indiana decisions have re-confirmed there are two matters parents cannot agree to. ...
March 22, 2016Adam Hayes
In this series of blog posts, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys explore the legal terms that often arise in divorce cases. To make this series meaningful, and tie it between similar and sometimes very different legal concepts, the letters of the alphabet are used to identify and explain key words and terms. There are seven common words to the divorce process that begin with “A.” The first is “appeal.” A divorce decree and other “final” orders issued by a trial court may be appealed to the Indiana Court of Appeals. With an appeal, three judges review the appealed order, considering the ...
October 27, 2015Adam Hayes