The family dynamic is something that is always changing, and there is certainly no “standard” or “normal” family. Many may picture a mom, a dad, and a couple of children when thinking of what was called a “nuclear family.” However, the truth is, families, often, do not resemble a nuclear family. Families may consist of same-sex couples, single parents, step-parents, half-siblings, adopted children, aunts, uncles, third-party custodians, or a myriad of other possibilities. On this note, it has become increasingly common for grandparents to play an active role in raising a child while the child’s parents are at work or ...
March 28, 2019CD
Unfortunately, when a couple divorces, all members of the family must adjust to a new dynamic. Despite provisions for parenting time and visitation rights in various statutes, a divorce may disrupt the relationship between children and parents and limit the time they get to spend together. However, with the incidence of divorce being high, and with step-parents playing an ever-increasing role in children’s lives, a step-parent may wonder what rights they may have after they separate from a biological parent of a child. This blog explores some recent Indiana cases on this subject. An important concept: the difference between custody, parenting ...
March 14, 2019CD
The holidays are quickly approaching--and it not only means more than decorations and school pageants. For divorced or unmarried parents, it also means inevitable changes to parenting time schedules that can make the holidays less joyful if not addressed ahead of time. Under any parenting time plan, the holidays can be difficult to coordinate, but below are a few pointers to know to help make your holidays happier. 1. Know which guidelines your family is under. The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines (IPTGs)1 are often used as a parenting time or holiday time guide. Be sure to review your Decree or Order to ...
November 8, 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
Every judge in every county and attorneys observe certain cases where the parents cannot agree on anything and are constantly in court post-divorce as it relates to children. The miracle of courts is it allows a dispute to be resolved when every other institution and solution fails. But it exacts a price on the parents, judges and lawyer—and ultimately the children. Litigation rarely is in the children’s best interests if there is another solution. Some serious and prolonged litigation is rooted in miscommunication and perceptions of parents that can be avoided or minimized at that time or in the future by ...
March 30, 2016Adam Hayes
Daily news stories and life experiences demonstrate to us all that third parties, such as neighbors, friends, and grandparents are helping more and more to raise children. Sometimes disputes like divorce causes such third parties to be removed from a care-giving role that they want to continue and perhaps the children need for security and stability. This blog post explores this topic. Third parties always have one big legal hurdle to overcome, although many have done so in Indiana and other states. This is a parent’s fundamental right to raise his or her children with a minimal of state interference. The ...
October 15, 2015Adam Hayes
With parenting time and visitation matters, technology has played a key role in aiding smoother parenting time transitions and contact. A basic example is on-line posting by courts of the Indiana Supreme Court’s parenting time guidelines. Every day, however, new forms of technology tools become available that facilitate parenting time/visitation. Depending on your situation, this blog introduces three such tools that may fit you need and/or prepare you for contempt/modification by helping capture evidence. Is one right for your situation? The first is thefamilywizard.com that provides a variety of tools for parents to use to focus on parenting time/visitation agreements without ...
June 23, 2015Adam Hayes
Every parent involved in parenting time and custody exchanges with their child(ren) and the other parent have had tense moments or disputes leading up to the exchange. Some parents feel pressure so great you can “cut it with a pair of scissors.” As each parent’s life has changed after divorce or paternity proceedings, logistics and time itself may make any deviation burdensome on the parents and breed hostility. Nevertheless, in ordinary exchanges or those that follow disputes, there a three tried and true ways to avoid acrimony—which psychologist tell us is always sensed by the child, eroding his or sense of ...
March 19, 2015CD
Often, during divorce or paternity matters, physical custody (who the child lives with) is either divided jointly or one parent is granted custody and the other parent is granted parenting time1. But what about parties who are not parents? Can they get visitation with the child? There are three main categories of parties who can petition the Court for visitation: parents, stepparents, and grandparents2. However, just because one of these persons wishes to have visitation, there are still hurdles to overcome. For example, Grandparent Visitation is governed in Indiana by statute3 and a Grandparent seeking visitation with a child must show ...
December 31, 2013CD
Society, and what comprises a family, has changed since the Leave it to Beaver days. Many more families are comprised by any mixture of parents, step parents, same sex couples, extended family members (aunts/uncles/grandparents), and even non married opposite sex couples cohabitating. The change in societal norms, and the construction of a family unit, has inherently caused the legislature and the courts to adopt new rules and laws to enforce rights and duties of a parent to a child, or someone acting as a parent to a child. In the past, the only legal rights and duties between a parent and ...
November 26, 2013CD