Schembs Law
Your Case Could Go To Trial. Shouldn't You Have A Trial Lawyer?
Call 317-643-6266 Today

Indianapolis Family Law Blog

Asking the courts to ensure you can visit with your grandkids

The bond between grandparent and grandchild is a beautiful and special thing. It is often as deep and meaningful as the bond between parents and children, but the generational separation often lends itself to special attachments. Seeing one another frequently can help build that bond.

As a grandparent, you likely spend a lot of time, effort and money on the well-being of your grandchildren. Unfortunately, no matter how much you love your grandchildren, circumstances can arise that impact your ability to spend time with them. Issues such as your child losing custody due to state intervention or a divorce could mean that you suddenly don't have access to your grandchildren.

Some spouses may make false accusations of abuse

Domestic violence is a serious problem that affects countless families in Indiana and elsewhere. However, at the law office of Robert Schembs, we know that not all who are accused of domestic violence are abusive. In fact, some people make false accusations against innocent spouses. As you might expect, this can be devastating to the person being accused, and it also undermines and minimizes cases of real abuse.

Why would someone make a false accusation of abuse, you might wonder? According to Verywell Mind, there are many reasons. The following are common motives for making a false domestic violence claim:

  • A spouse is angry and wants to get revenge on the other one after an argument or slight.
  • The accusing spouse is hoping to gain full custody of the children and restrict the parenting rights of the other one.
  • One spouse misinterprets the other one’s yelling or touching during an argument and thinks it is domestic violence.

401k division during divorce

Those who are the primary income earners in their homes likely go into divorce proceedings in Indianapolis understanding that they are going to have to relinquish full ownership of their marital assets. Few initially understand, however, that a 401k retirement account sponsored through their employers is included in such assets. As such accounts are funded from their income, the contributions made to them when people are married are considered marital property. Yet given the tax implications inherit with retirement accounts, one might wonder a 401k is divided up between parties during a divorce. 

The 401k Help Center offers up the suggestion of not included it as a marital asset at all. One might do this by negotiating with their spouse to set aside their claim for a portion of another valued marital asset in exchange for that spouse relinquishing their claim to their portion of a 401k's contributions. Doing so would allow one to retain full ownership of their account. 

Post-divorce dating and your kids

For many people in Indiana who have gotten divorced, there comes a time when they begin to consider getting back into the dating scene. This may happen via a conscious effort, such as signing up with an online dating site, or by happenstance, if a person unexpectedly meets someone they become romantically interested in. Either way, for people with kids still at home, this situation raises many questions about what, when and how to initiate any potential new mate to one's children.

Very Well Family recommends that divorced daters should keep in mind the fact that not everyone they meet must be introduced to their kids. The decision to do this should not be taken lightly and parents should take on the responsibility of vetting new partners before even discussing them with their sons or daughters.

Act quickly to establish your children's paternity

Fathers in Indiana have parental rights in regard to their biological children. This is true regardless of whether or not you are married to your children's mother. However, we at Robert Schembs know that the law makes different assumptions as to the paternity of children born out of wedlock than of those born within it. If you and the mother of your children have never married, you must take legal steps to establish paternity of your children in order to protect your parental rights in the event of a split between you and your significant other. It is best to do this as soon as possible after the child's birth to avoid future difficulties in family court. 

According to Consumer Affairs, it is usually not necessary for you to submit to a DNA test and prove your biological link to your children in order to establish paternity. Only in cases in which the paternity of the child is in doubt does the court require such drastic measures. If you and your significant other both acknowledge that you are the father of the child, all you have to do is sign a legal document attesting to the fact. 

Understand the impact of a gray divorce

People don't often discuss the realities of gray divorces, which are divorces that take place between spouses over the age of 50. In many cases, people involved in these divorces are parents, grandparents or even great grandparents. The end of this relationship can impact the entire family, not just their household.

Divorce affects families in different ways. If you're grandparents and your grandchildren see you divorce, it is possible that it will shake them. Your own children will likely still mourn the loss of your family unit, even though they're grown and no longer need the same support as they would as minors.

Historic divorce trends in America

Most people in Indiana probably know at least one couple or one person that has gotten divorced. No longer an uncommon or even a taboo experience, divorce is still something that most people would say they would rather avoid. It is also something that many people hold misconceptions about. One of those misconceptions is about how many divorces happen in America today

When looking at any set of statistics, it is important to put some context around the data. When it comes to divorces, some reports focus on the number of divorces and some focus on the percent of the population that has been divorced. These are two very different things and they tell very different stories, especially when one considers the population increase that has occurred over generations.

Unique challenges for grandparents raising grandkids

Today's society has experienced many advances but also many challenges and Indiana families everywhere may be influenced by these. One of the trends that can be seen is the rise in the number of grandparents stepping in to raise their grandchildren. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are an estimated 2.6 million grandparents who are doing just this, more than twice the number in 1970.

The Atlantic explains that the reasons for grandparents to assume responsibility for their grandchildren vary from the death of parents to mental health or substance abuse issues and more. There are many benefits to children when they are raised by grandparents as they have the chance for the love and stability that a child needs. There are also some unique challenges for grandparents including the fact that they must balance their own health issues that arise due to age along with a potentially tough financial situation as they may be living on limited retirement resources. 

Dispelling common myths about alimony

Many in Indianapolis may have a number of misconceptions about alimony (or, as Indiana state law calls it, "spousal maintenance"), chief among them being the ideas that alimony is automatically awarded in any divorce case, and that it is always awarded to the wife. This misunderstanding may come from the notion that alimony is in some way meant to be punitive towards the spouse who makes the most money, or the one whose actions contributed to the end of a marriage. In reality, alimony is simply meant to be a temporary means of financial support

Courts typically only award the financially disadvantaged spouse in a divorce case maintenance to help support themselves while they seek to secure gainful employment. Section 31-15-7-2 of Indiana's state code says that situations where physical, psychological or mental issues prevent one spouse from working, or where one parent is forced to forego a career in order to care for a physically or mentally challenged child are examples of when maintenance can be considered. State family courts will also take into consideration the struggles one spouse may encounter in finding reliable employment (due to either a lack of skills or having postponed career training to see to the family's domestic responsibilities). In either case, the awarding of alimony is not automatic, nor is the obligation to pay it typically made indefinite. 

Estate planning needs during a divorce

When getting divorced, many Indiana residents get so focused on the mechanics of the divorce process and the obvious everyday life changes that must be tended to that they can easily overlook some of the other things that require their attention. According to Fidelity Investments, a divorce is one of the many life changes that necessitates an update to a person's estate plan. 

There are few people who would actually want their former spouse to have control over their estate or to be the primary beneficiary of their estate after they die. Even the divorce of an adult child might warrant a change to an estate plan to ensure that a former son-in-law or daughter-in-law does not inherit something intended for the person's adult child.

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
| Email Us For A Response

One Step At A Time

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Robert Schembs
141 E. Washington Street
Suite 225
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Phone: 317-643-6266
Fax: 317-536-0651
Map & Directions