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Indianapolis Family Law Blog

Changed circumstances may lead to child support modifications

When the court sets up your child support obligations during a divorce, they look at all of your current financial information. This generally just means how much you earn, how much you owe, what other obligations you have and things of this nature.

However, your child support payments could last for a decade or more. Is your financial situation going to look the same in five or 10 years? Are the payments going to be affordable?

When co-parenting, don't compete with each other

Divorced parents often feel an inclination to compete with one another. You want your child to love you more than your ex. Or, at least, you want them to prefer you. When it's time in the custody schedule for your child to leave your ex's house and come to your house, you want them to be excited. On top of that, you want them to be disappointed to leave.

This feeling may be natural, but it is not wise for parents to compete and attempt to be the "best" or the favorite. You have to put your child's best interests first, and competing with your ex often does the opposite.

Reasons people do not leave an abusive relationship

People often stay in abusive relationships for far too long. When you just read the statistics or look at one of these relationships from the outside, it can be very hard to understand. Why wouldn't they leave? Why do they stay with someone who commits domestic violence?

It's very complicated. Remember that leaving is not nearly as easy as it sounds, and people stay for all sorts of reasons. A few of them include the following:

  • They do not think that it is abuse. They have never been in a healthy relationship. They think that this is just what every relationship is like, so they do not know they need to leave in the first place.
  • They are worried about what the abuser will do if they opt to leave. They figure that dealing with mild abuse is better than saying that the relationship is over and then facing more violence.
  • They are in love with the person who is abusing them. They keep telling themselves that it will not always be this way and that they can fix the relationship.
  • They are dependent on that person. For instance, maybe the abuser is also the family's main breadwinner.
  • They feel embarrassed about what is going on, and so they try to hide it. They do not want their friends, family members and co-workers to know that they have anything other than an ideal relationship.

Can grandparents get custody of their grandchildren?

In divorce cases, grandparents may worry about their own rights to see their grandchildren after the split. That divorce makes family life far more complicated, but they love the children and still want to stay involved with them.

In terms of seeking custody of the children themselves, grandparents can do so, but it is rather uncommon for them to actually get custody. They may in cases where the parents have passed away or gone to jail, but a divorce case probably just means the official relationship is ending. To take custody away from the parents, the grandparents often have an obligation to demonstrate that the parents are completely unfit for that role.

Child support may not end at adulthood

Parents who are ordered to pay child support generally assume that it will last until the child becomes an adult. This is often true, but there is one key exception to keep in mind: Children with a disability.

Remember, a child who is disabled or who has special needs may not be able to live on their own, no matter how old they are. Just turning 18 or 19 does not mean they no longer need their parents. That obligation continues for the rest of the child's life.

Divorce agreements do not apply to creditors

Your divorce agreement is between you and your ex. You are bound by any court orders. However, do not assume that what you decide as you end your marriage lays out a mandate for all other parties involved.

Notably, creditors are not bound by these agreements. They still go by the initial agreements that you signed when you borrowed the money in the first place. This is why many experts suggest that divorcing couples quickly shut down any joint accounts and start new ones in their own names.

Should you and your ex vacation together?

When you were married, family vacations meant you, your spouse and your kids. After the divorce, you still want to take vacations, but it's a one-parent-only situation. That's the most natural setup, as even parents who get along after divorce often do not want to spend that much time together.

However, you need to understand that the kids may still ask for a vacation with both Mom and Dad. One woman said her son often felt disappointed by vacations with her and not her ex, the boy's father. He wanted him to come along just like he had before. They had activities they liked to do together, like playing basketball, that the boy knew wouldn't happen if Dad stayed home.

As your wealth increases, do you need a postnup?

You considered getting a prenuptial agreement, or a prenup, when you and your spouse were preparing to marry. Ultimately, you decided that you did not need one because you did not feel like you had enough wealth to make it worthwhile.

Over the years, though, things have changed drastically. You started your own company, and it grew at a swift rate. You have bought new homes, cars and much more. You invested a lot in various accounts. You put a lot of your earnings back into the business. The company just keeps expanding. In short, you have more wealth now than you ever imagined when you first got married.

Same-sex marriage continues to grow more common

The Supreme Court ruling making same-sex marriage legal in 2015, known as the Obergefell decision, naturally led to a massive increase in marriages in the years to come. This was a ground-breaking ruling and changed the landscape of marriage in the United States.

Studies have shown that it continues to become more and more common every year. The largest increase happened right after the court ruling, implying that many couples were more than ready to get married and were just waiting to be allowed to do so. While that rate may have slowed down, it's still true that these marriages continue to show up in greater numbers.

Does your child's teacher need to know about the divorce?

As you move toward divorce with your spouse, you decide to tell family members and friends. But then you start wondering about your child's teacher at school. Should you tell them? Or is that oversharing? Do they need to know?

What you decide is up to you; you certainly do not have to tell the teacher if you do not want to. This is private information.