The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines are presumed to apply to every custody case (paternity or divorce). These Guidelines presume one parent will have primary physical custody and the other will have overnight parenting time. Typically, for a child above three (3) years of age, this is one night during the week, every other weekend, alternating holidays, and half of the summer. However, the national trend toward joint parenting time or joint custody has resulted in court routinely extending the mid-week night to overnight if the parties agree or the evidence shows it is in the child’s best interests. However, there ...
Tag: trial court judge
December 5, 2018CD
The divorce decision was handed down and it is now final. The property has been divided. The costs have been allocated, and attorney’s fees may have been awarded. If you have children, then custody, parenting time, and child support also have finally been decided. What are your rights if you disagree with the decision? You are not happy with the result. Maybe you feel the property division was unfair, or maybe you did not get joint custody. Whether you disagree with one provision or several, you have a right to appeal your divorce decree to the Indiana Court of Appeals. When ...
August 29, 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
In child custody proceedings, Indiana trial court judges award or modify custody by considering all1 of the evidence in order to determine a custody arrangement in the child’s best interests. There are several statutory considerations for the court to weigh, including the physical and mental health of the parents, as well as any other facts or circumstances that may factor into a child’s best interests as it relates to custody.2 For years, “soft” drug use, such as smoking marijuana, has been considered in awarding or modifying custody in Indiana.3 Further, serious drug addiction/abuse issues sometimes came before trial courts and ...
March 22, 2018CD
Indiana’s elected judges are tasked with the important job of weighing the evidence of the parties’ positions when presented with a custody modification case or contempt of court for a wide range of circumstances, such parenting time interference. In a recent key dissent (from granting transfer [i.e., taking the case by its discretion]), the Indiana Supreme Court1 signaled that when the facts can support but one conclusion—a parent has intentionally interfered with parenting time--such continual interference itself can establish a substantial change to lead to a modification of custody. This case is important for three key reasons. First, a parent who ...
February 21, 2017Adam Hayes
tThe Indiana Dissolution Act encourages parties to reach agreements; and in fact, parties to a divorce can agree to a division of assets that a trial court judge could not order under the law that guides judges. This is because of the constitutional right to contract, strongly enforced by Indiana trial courts, the Court of Appeals, and Indiana Supreme Court. This means that having buyer’s remorse and later wanting to go to a contested divorce trial or further negotiate is not possible. The settlement agreement, assuming approved by the court, is a binding contract. However, there are times when a settlement is ...
September 15, 2016Adam Hayes
Divorce is the best of times and the worst of times for most people (parties, friends, and family) all at the same time. It is difficult to manage the day-to-day events and divorce process itself and work or do the events of daily life with the future unknown. In some respects, it is also positive for many people because it signals a life change. Over the course of years, we have observed five critical mistakes parties make that negatively impact their life during and after the divorce. Try to avoid them. Perhaps talk with your attorney about these matters. The time ...
November 17, 2015Adam Hayes
There is a general societal view that a bad act by a child is due to lack of life experience and immaturity. Therefore, such should not be a crime and the juvenile treated as a delinquent and limited to state-intervention until he or she is an adult. Nevertheless, because there is some overlap between implications of juvenile delinquency and adult crimes, it is important a juvenile and parents understand these to make key choices to limit its life implications. First, a child charged with a juvenile act is entitled to be represented by counsel. This has been the law for some ...
July 28, 2015Adam Hayes
Historically, parents continued to be parents long after their children become adults, marry, and sometimes have their own families. Many of the parents loan their children money from time-to-time or to purchase their first home. When the marriage turns bad and a divorce is filed, the parents often want their loan(s) repaid. Due to the inherent trust between parents and children and joy surrounding a marriage, anecdotal evidence of divorce lawyers reflects parents and children often do a poor job of documenting such loans. This makes it difficult to impossible for judges to determine if the sums were a gift or ...
July 21, 2015Adam Hayes
The “argument” section of an appellant’s brief is the life-blood of every appeal. This blog explores some of the key aspects of sound argument drafting. Taking the complex facts of life and applying the law is a daily challenge for lawyers. However, this task becomes more difficult when it involves an appeal and controlling standard of review. The standard of review may limit what facts and laws can be argued as set forth in the Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure. This limits how the higher court reviews any potential errors made by a trial court. The first part of the argument is ...
July 15, 2015Adam Hayes