The General Assembly, trial courts, and Indiana appellate courts all are active in protecting children caught in a divorce or paternity cases and in modification proceedings afterwards. The policy, which is a basic tenet of psychology, is aimed at the disruptive effect of moving children back and forth between divorced parents and to discourage the parents from using child custody proceedings for revenge or because something in their live has changed. To modify physical custody (i.e., where the child spends the majority of his or her nights), a parent must show a substantial change in circumstances and modification meets the children’s ...
May 28, 2015Adam Hayes
Divorce attorneys all want to help every client or potential client meet their legal objective, which may range from a certain distribution of assets to specifics of custody. However, unlike most areas of law every seasoned family law attorney or judge will tell you emotion fuels divorce and a litigant often is in the best of time (freedom) and the worst of times (lower economic standard with two households) at the same time. Most litigants want to waive the white or checkered flag and have the divorce behind them. However, a small percentage of cases are “white” hot, meaning the case—maybe your ...
May 14, 2015Adam Hayes
Anger. Heartbreak. Loss. All are words that may be associated with an affair and its impact on a relationship. Divorce lawyers and judges hear such all of the time. Sometimes this is coupled with the desire for revenge by disclosing or using such a correspondent’s name in any legal proceeding Under a relatively unknown Indiana statute, it is unlawful for any person, either as a litigant or attorney, to file or cause to be filed, a pleading or motion in a manner as to identify the participant in an affair. This prohibition applies to a divorce, maintenance, annulment, or custody case. In ...
May 7, 2015Adam Hayes
A question litigants often have when they receive an unfavorable trial court order is whether they can appeal or challenge it. Within a trial court, a Motion to Reconsider or Motion to Correct Errors may remedy the situation. However, if that is not the case depending on a number of factual and legal variables, you may want to consider an appeal. Appeals may be taken to the Indiana Court of Appeals or Indiana Supreme Court.1 This blog explores the three major types of appeals. The first two are taken to the Indiana Court of Appeals. This is Indiana's intermediate (middle) court ...
March 31, 2015Adam Hayes
Over time certain major problems in our society achieve social awareness and the corresponding drive to pass criminal and/or civil laws to address the problem. Drinking and driving was a significant problem with much social concern just a few years ago. Now groups like MADD, have brought this matter to the attention and awareness of lawmakers and laws and penalties are much stricter. The general significance of violence, and in particular domestic violence, has created a vast legal toolbox of remedies for lawyers, police, and judges to utilize to keep an individual from threatening or injuring others in or society at ...
March 26, 2015Adam Hayes
In all types of court cases, a litigant (party to the lawsuit or criminal case) may be found in contempt of court. They are two types of contempt of court under Indiana law. The first is direct contempt of court, where a party’s action in the courtroom disrupts the court. This is known as direct contempt of court and may subject the litigant to criminal action or incarceration. This not the typical type of contempt that arises in a case. Indirect contempt is what most Readers may have questions about. This type of contempt involves failure to follow a court’s orders. ...
February 5, 2015CD
The term “Legal Custody” is frequently misunderstood; it means which parent (or both) will make the major life decisions for the children, such as on matters of health, education, welfare, and religion.1 Divorcing parents one of whom has strong Catholic beliefs and the other a devout Christian are sometimes apt to put the children in a tug-of-war as to their beliefs. For such reasons, trial courts have the ability and duty to look out for the best interests of the children and may award legal custody in several ways. Where parents get along on these types of legal issues, the trial ...
February 3, 2015CD
About a decade ago, mediation began to take hold in Indiana. It was so successful, the Indiana Supreme Court allowed trial courts to order parties to mediate their divorce case before setting a final contested divorce hearing on a congested court docket. Most trial courts were receptive to it.1 Attorneys also grew to like the process over the former model of a trial, because the parties could reach an agreement of their own accord versus having a court take control and decide. If you face mediation in your case, there are several things you can do to make the most of ...
January 27, 2015CD
Appellate practice is much different than trial practice. There are many differences between trial courts and how to present cases in the trial court, and appeals. First, trial courts are the first court (unless you have an administrative issue, which goes to the administrative agency first) to hear a case. There are many rules and practices to presenting evidence and arguing law in the trial court, but generally, any relevant evidence, not otherwise inadmissible under the rules, is allowed to be presented to the court. In trial courts witnesses testify as to their impressions regarding the facts of the case, and ...
August 12, 2014CD
Divorce can be a complicated and stressful process for the parties involved, and it can be even more stressful when there are children of the marriage. Children sense the stress at any age no matter how civil and committed the parents are about keeping the kids out of it. Unfortunately, many divorces involving children become high conflict as the parties fight over custody and parenting time. Sometimes Indiana trial court judges and the higher courts call parenting a “battle ground”. Remember, again, as stressful as this time is for the adults (Mom and Dad) the children, no matter how young or ...
February 7, 2013CD