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Indianapolis Family Law Blog

Get ready for an active social life after divorce

The end of a marriage can signal more than just not having someone there to greet you when you get home. It begins a change in the social life that you've had in your marriage. This can be a challenge to work through, but there isn't any reason why you can't enjoy an active social life now.

One of the most important things that you need to remember is that you now represent only yourself and not your marriage. You aren't representing divorced people or anyone other that you. Here are some tips to help you get back out into the world:

Tax dependent status and divorce

Indiana parents who get divorced often end up with more to consider than they may have initially thought about. For many people, concerns center around when and how often they will get to see their children. Even in today's society, fathers especially need to focus on this in order to ensure that they do not get the short end of the stick here. In addition to this amount of time spent with their children contributing to positive parent-child relationships, it may also have financial ramifications for dads.

As explained by Student Loan Hero, only one parent is allowed to claim a child as a dependent on a tax return each year. Generally speaking, this is done by the parent who has either sole custody or with whom the child resides the majority of the year. This majority can be decided literally by one day. Fathers who logically would like to take advantage of this tax benefit may want to pursue agreements with their children's other spouses about sharing this credit.

Alienation of affection explained

Most in Indianapolis likely enter into their marriages thinking that they will last forever. In many cases, without the intervention of a third party, they may very well have. However, one spouse entering into a romantic relationship with another person is often a difficult blow for a marriage to overcome. One whose marriage ends due to such a relationship may harbor a heavy resentment towards whomever stole his or her spouse away. Such feelings may even prompt him or her to seek legal action

Is that possible? A legal concept exists known as alienation of affection. This occurs when one instigates romantic advances towards a person with the intention of diverting affection away from another who may have certain rights or claims to it (such as a spouse) and towards him or herself. It basically puts the blame for ending a relationship onto the party who intruded into it. Many have cited alienation of affection as grounds for initiating action against a former spouse's new partner. 

How can you establish paternity?

For fathers in Indiana, it's important to establish paternity. You won't have any legal say in the child's life without this, and divorcing parents will find it difficult to determine how to divide child custody time. There are four different methods that you can use to determine paternity with, including ways to establish paternity after a child has been born.

WikiHow states that there are many different legal courses of action for a father seeking to establish paternity. The easiest way is, of course, to be present at the birth of the child and to sign the child's birth certificate. If you do this, then you automatically have a say in custody and visitation rights in the event of a divorce. Your name can also be declared on the birth certificate if you aren't present at the time of your child's birth.

How can bankruptcy before divorce help me?

If you are like many married people in Indiana who have experienced significant monetary woes, you may have also learned how much stress this reality can put on your marriage. It is a known fact that financial challenges have contributed to the end of many marriages over the years. If your money problems are severe enough, you might even be thinking about filing for bankruptcy. Before you try to rush through your divorce so you can file bankruptcy, you should think about the reverse.

As explained by The Balance, filing bankruptcy jointly with your spouse before filing for divorce might actually be better for you in the long run. Eliminating the potential that you could end up saddled with liability for marital debt after your divorce may go a long way toward helping you get the full fresh start you need at this time in your life.

3 ways to stand out as an exceptional father

A father's role in his children's lives can't be understated. They learn from him and rely on him for support. Despite a divorce, your children know who you are and how you act around them, and they know that they want you with them.

As a father, you want to be there for your children, but you worry that the courts won't give you the custody rights you deserve. It's possible to make a good impression in court that helps your case. Here are three tips for standing out as an exceptional father.

Parenting with your ex during the holidays

If you are a divorced dad in Indiana, the approaching holiday season may be one of your least favorite of the year. Even as society begins to change its views, fathers can still end up feeling like they get the short end of the stick when it comes to spending time with their children. This is never good, lest of all during treasured family events and traditions.

Whether this is your first holiday season after your divorce or not, Psychology Today suggests that you take a step back and adopt a proactive plan that gets you involved as much as possible with your kids at this time of year. This will involve communicating directly with your former spouse. Approaching this conversation as you would one with a co-worker might help to keep emotions at bay. Ask to make a plan for when the kids will be with each of you and identify special things that the kids can do with each of you.

Courts put child first in relocation plans after divorce

Relocating after a divorce in Indiana means another big change for the child who splits time between his parents' separate homes. But sometimes it cannot be avoided. For parents and children facing this issue, HuffPost offers several points for consideration.

  • If either parent disagrees with the relocation, they may turn to family court for resolution.
  • The child is of primary concern in family court, not the parents. A proposal to relocate must show why it is a beneficial move to both child and parent.
  • Family, friends and even the court may question a parent's motives for relocating and make accusations of acting out of spite or revenge. Parents should weigh their motives for moving because everyone else will too.
  • Many times, a parent wants to move closer to family members who can provide a support system, or they may have a job offer with better pay elsewhere. Both parents must weigh the benefits against the impact on the child.

Indiana courts have established a comprehensive set of parenting guidelines to direct divorcing parents in a variety of issues they and their children face. Parenting time is covered, including overnight visits and holiday schedules. Courts define other expectations as well including communication, health care and educational needs.

The rise of single father households

Single motherhood is a topic with which many Americans are all too familiar -- while often not the simplest of situations, countless mothers are successful in raising one or more children entirely on their own. Single fathers, on the other hand, have been a largely ignored aspect of divorce and separation in Indiana in the past. Shifts in attitudes towards single-father homes could increasingly change the way society looks at single fathers and the stress they face when raising children alone.

It comes as no surprise that raising children solo can be incredibly challenging. An article in TIME magazine highlighted the biggest factors of stress, and, using a nationwide survey from the Harvard School of Public Health that polled 2,505 adults, showed that single parents face significant burdens in the home. With 35 percent of those surveyed admitting to this stress, it is evident that single parents often spin more plates than parents living together and raising children. The survey showed an equal percentage of parents with teenagers experiencing stress, making clear that those raising children singlehandedly face multiple stress factors.

Parental rights in complex situations

Determining parental rights in any case can be complex, but what if those involved are guilty of sexual assault?  A topic under scrutiny in today's world is that of parental rights of rapists -- seven states in the country have no laws keeping rapists from seeing their children. Yet what is the outlook on this controversial law, and will Indiana see major changes in the future?  

CNN weighed in on the complicated issue of parental rights for those guilty of rape in an article last November, acknowledging that the laws surrounding the topic are slow and difficult. For instance, Maryland has been working on a law that allows for victims to terminate their attackers' rights, but the law's progress has taken years. Other states that have intervened on these situations have only done so in the past year or two; many of these states require that a person is convicted of rape before any action against parental rights can take place. And as with most laws, the details of this requirement vary from state to state. Some states refuse to apply these parental rights laws if the rape took place when the victim was married to the attacker. CNN adds that, in some areas, time is of the essence: Indiana law holds that a victim must petition to have her attacker's parental rights terminated less than three months after the child's birth. The only exception for this regulation is if the victim is under the age of 18. 

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