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Indianapolis Family Law Blog

Can you help your grandchildren despite your child's divorce

When divorce is brought up, your immediate thoughts may turn to the separating couple and their children and all of the challenges they face in their changing future. However, divorce can have a genuine effect on you as a grandparent, as well as the relationship you are able to maintain with each of your grandchildren in Indiana. 

Because your child is getting divorced, it may be difficult to ignore the temptation to take his or her side and to believe everything negative that is said about his or her former spouse. However, behaving in this manner will only hurt the relationship you can have with your grandchildren. 

What is malicious parent syndrome and how can you recognize it?

Divorcing your spouse in Indiana is a stressful process, especially if you have children. If your ex-spouse engages in behavior intended to harm your relationship with your children and/or your reputation in the community, it can quickly become a nightmare scenario in which you are the victim of malicious parent syndrome. 

According to FindLaw, despite the name, medical and psychiatric professionals do not currently recognize malicious parent syndrome as a mental disorder. The term came about when a psychologist noticed and sought to describe a destructive pattern of behavior during divorce court cases in which one parent purposefully behaves vengefully toward the other during the proceedings, sometimes going so far as to engage in illegal activity, in the absence of a psychological disorder that could explain the behavior. 

Can grandparents gain custody of their grandchildren?

As grandparents in Indiana, there are numerous reasons as to why you might want legal custody of your grandchild. Perhaps the child's parents are incapable of caring for them. Maybe one or both parents are in jail. Here are some of the requirements that you must meet if you're seeking to gain custody.

The first thing to note is that it's actually quite hard for grandparents to gain custody of a child if one or both of their parents are still alive. FindLaw takes a look at the custody requirements, which can be seen as stringent.

Sometimes, Indiana grandparents must step up and adopt grandkids

In many ways, modern families often seem more complicated than traditional nuclear families. Couples don't feel compelled to marry just because they want to have children or buy a house anymore. With both parents working, grandparents, aunts and uncles, or even older cousins may play a larger role in the lives of small children.

Grandparents who provide housing or child care for their grandchildren often develop a strong bond with those children. Even those who could only see their grandchildren infrequently likely still have a deep-seated love for those little ones.

The importance of dads in kids' well-being

Society today seems to be growing in its understanding of the importance of fathers in their children's lives. No longer are moms seen as the only important parent for kids. Yet, there are still some gaps when it comes to understanding exactly how and why dads may make such a difference in their children's lives. 

Healthline reported that a study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that the involvement of a dad contributed to greater exploration and independence for children. They also gave children a strong sense of security and comfort.

What if I don’t agree with how my ex spends child support?

Life can be challenging for divorced parents, whether they are the custodial parent or the one who sees the kids on the weekends. As the parent who pays child support, you understand that your ex-spouse has difficulty making ends meet, but money can be tight for you as well. A big chunk of your paycheck goes toward supporting your children. Like other Indiana parents who pay child support, you may be concerned with how the money is being spent.

As FindLaw explains, child support is meant for your children’s physical and emotional well-being. This does not, however, mean you can ask your ex for receipts to prove your child support went to something worthwhile, or that you can tell him or her how the spend the money. After you pay child support, the receiving parent has the right to spend the money as he or she sees fit. Child support can be spent on basic needs, such as food, clothing and shelter, for your children’s education and extracurricular activities or for counseling, medication and doctor’s appointments. It is also considered appropriate for child support to be spent on things you might deem unnecessary, such as restaurant meals and gifts – provided your children’s physical needs are met.

Generational discrepancy in divorce rates

For years now, many people in Indiana have heard reports bemoaning the ongoing rise in the nation's divorce rate. Many have pointed to this trend as some sort of evidence of a breakdown in traditional societal values. Others have considered it a reflection of the changing times. New research has recently come to light that may indicate this previous increase in the divorce rate may be changing, at least for some people in specific generations.

As reported by USA Today, a sociologist at the University of Maryland has prepared information that will be shared in a presentation at a Population Association of America meeting next year. The researcher has found that for people 45 years of age and older, the divorce rate is continuing to rise. This is related to the trend many call gray divorce. When looking at people under 45, however, the opposite is seen.

Why should I establish paternity?

If you have a child and were not married to his or her mother, then you should consider establishing paternity. Legally making a claim of being the father of a child in Indiana affords you specific rights to the child and also gives the child specific rights. Without established paternity, it can make it harder for you to be involved with your child and to ensure his or her needs are taken care of.

According to the Indiana Department of Child Services, establishing paternity gives you the legally right to be involved in your child's life. You can request custody or visitation rights. You have the ability to help care for the child and make decisions about his or her life. You also have the ability to get information about your child's schooling.

Does divorce threaten your small business's future?

Divorce is rarely simple or convenient, but for small business owners the process may wreak havoc on their professional lives as well. Small businesses usually qualify as property that a couple must divide during divorce, which may make it difficult or impossible to keep the business intact and the marriage.

If you own a small business and face divorce, you must consider your options very carefully. You may still have some opportunities to protect your business from property division, if you make it a priority to keep the business safe, but only if you act quickly. No matter where you are in the divorce process, a strong legal strategy is essential to protecting your rights and defending your priorities as you end one chapter of life and head into the next.

Custody dispute continues to prove costly

Many in Indianapolis may often ask how is it that divorce cases can become so expensive. This question no doubt arises from the assumption that when a couple chooses to divorce, they often want to everything needed to end their associations with each other. Yet oftentimes it may not be that easy. Disputes over child custody and support can go on for years, during which time those involved in them can accrue massive legal bills. Even divorce settlements and custody agreements are finalized, divorced couples may still have to continue to work together and support each other in fulfilling their custody and support arrangements. 

A closer look at the case of reality television star Bristol Palin and her former fiancee. The pair share a son together, over whom they engaged in a lengthy custody battle which forced the fiancee to pay (by his own omission) over $100,000 in legal fees. Yet even after paying such a large amount, it is still alleged that he owes even more. An attorney who helped him during the custody dispute is now claiming (in a lawsuit) that the owes over $12,000 for services the attorney provided. 

Client Testimonials

  • 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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