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Indianapolis Family Law Blog

Gaining sole custody as a father

Statistically, having sole custody as a father is not very common. In general, courts across the United States are pushing more toward joint custody arrangements when it is possible. This is because children tend to benefit from having a strong bond with both of their parents. However, there are situations when this is not possible or not healthy for the child.

The courts always seek to rule in the best interests of the child. This means that the courts will rule in the father's favor if they believe that their sole custody would be most beneficial to the child's well-being and happiness. Assuming that the mother of the child wants custody, the father will need to show that the mother is an unfit parent. This can be difficult to do, however. The following are some things to consider when petitioning for sole custody in Indiana.

Patience is imperative for grandparents seeking visitation

When a couple decides to divorce in Indiana, a majority of the attention turns to their children and who will be primarily responsible for caring for them. Often, this involves detailed negotiations regarding the best interests of the children, their individual needs and the living situations of each of their parents. However, whatever happens to the grandparents if their child becomes estranged from their spouse and their grandchildren become alienated? 

Grandparents may experience a significant disappointment when they begin to recognize that seeing and spending time with their grandchildren is becoming more difficult and could potentially be rare in the future. According to the State of Indiana, grandparents do have the right to request visitation from their grandchildren. However, they should be well aware that just because they ask does not guarantee that their request will be honored. Often, courts will weigh multiple factors in determining whether or not continued contact with the children's grandparents is something that will benefit them. 

Helping you navigate the new alimony tax rules

If you have not reviewed your prenup or post-nuptial agreement yet to see if it fits with the new tax rules about spousal support, maybe it is time for a review. Alimony payments are no longer deductible from income tax, and that could be a significant issue for you in a divorce.

At Schembs Law, our goal is to guide our clients through the Indiana equitable divorce structure while preserving their rights and the requirements as much as possible. This requires us to keep abreast of changes in federal law as well as state regulations and precedents.

Helping a middler schooler through a divorc

Most people in Indiana would agree that there is no easy part of a divorce. However, for people with kids, most agree that the hardest part is telling their kids and helping their children navigate the changes in their lives. Depending on the children's ages, parents will need to adjust how they talk with or work with their kids to best manage their emotions during a divorce.

As explained by Our Everyday Life, one thing that a child in the middle school years and the tween years may be susceptible to is taking on responsibility for their mother's or father's happiness. Some kids end up trying to tackle the happiness of both parents, only adding to their own burden. This might happen if a child notices one or both parents being obviously unhappy or not functioning well through the divorce.

More states give equal parenting time

Historically, divorcing dads in Indiana and across the country have struggled to get their fair share of time with their kids. Like any societal shifts, changes do not happen as fast as many people would like. It is always important for any man getting divorced to be aware of what their rights are and what options they have for getting as much time with their kids as they can possibly get. 

As explained by the State of Indiana, the laws in Indiana surrounding child custody have shifted to provide a focus on allowing both parents to have meaningful, frequent and ongoing contact with their children. There may be guidelines but there are no strict percentages as to who will have what amount of time. Instead, the laws are written to provide some flexibility to account for different family and children's needs, including changes that are natural based on children's changing needs and maturity levels.

Consider these factors before adopting steppchildren

When Indiana residents marry a person who has children, he or she may want to adopt the kids. Adoption is a big step for a blended family and there are many factors people need to consider before they take this step. 

There are many reasons a stepparent may want to adopt his or her stepchildren. Family Education says that some people may want to take this step because it will give the family a solid legal standing. If the children's mother or father dies, a stepparent may not always be able to take care of financial and health matters for the kids if he or she is not a legal parent. Additionally, adoption may sometimes help people keep the peace if they both bring children into the marriage. Sometimes adoption can help the kids understand that their new stepparent is committed to the relationship.

How child support can affect fatherhood

Child support is usually the responsibility of a non-custodial parent who is earning an income. The child support system is designed with fairness for all parties in mind while putting the well-being of the child in question at the forefront.

Many fathers who are preparing to pay child support are concerned about how child support payments affect other aspects of fatherhood. There can be many misconceptions about the consequences of not paying child support and about the rights of fathers in Indiana. This post will address some of these common questions.

What is an open adoption?

You may be an expectant mother in Indiana who knows that you are unable, because of finances or some other reason, to properly care for a new baby. However, you may be reluctant to put your child up for adoption because you want to have a place in his or her life and fear the loss of all contact. If this your situation, an open adoption may be the best solution for you, your child and the adoptive parents. 

According to FindLaw, an open adoption allows you to maintain contact with your child and foster a relationship with the adoptive family. Even though an open adoption requires you to terminate your parental rights just like any other type of adoption would, the legal papers afford you rights to periodic visits with your child. In Indiana, you have the option of working with an adoption agency to select an adoptive family and make the arrangements, or if you have already made plans with prospective parents, you can arrange the adoption independently of an agency.

Making the most of parenting time

While the term "broken home" is simply meant to indicate a family in which the parents are divorced, the phrase nonetheless has an extremely negative connotation. The fact that studies show that children tend to thrive in households where both parents are present is seemingly irrefutable (indeed, information shared by the online life science publication STAT shows that children who are allotted equal access of 35 percent of their time with each parent perform better academically, socially and psychologically). However, that does not mean that children from divorced homes cannot succeed in the important areas of life. 

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that as of 2013, over 26 percent of children and teens in the U.S. lived in households that meet the definition of a broken home. Yet the fact that a quarter of America's youth is not running rampant in the streets due to a lack of parental influence shows that divorced parents can still find success in raising their kids. The key to doing so is optimizing their parenting time. 

Why children fare best when they know their fathers

As an Indiana father, you may be doing everything in your power to ensure you get to spend quality time with your child, and research shows that your efforts may benefit your child substantially down the line. At Schembs Law, we understand that the role a father plays in his child’s life is a critical one. We also recognize that children who have established relationships with their fathers tend to fare better in a broad number of areas than those whose fathers do not maintain an active presence in their lives.

According to Parenting, a father’s influence and willingness to play an active role in the life of his child can have a substantial impact on the child’s emotions, growth and overall well-being. More specifically, kids who have relationships with their fathers tend to have healthier social lives, and they also tend to perform better academically.

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  • My husband and I have a 12 year old grandson whose academics and social needs were being neglected. We turned to Schembs Law & Associates to help preserve our grandsons rights. With Schembs & Associates leadership and guidance… Grandparent Rights
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