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Indianapolis Family Law Blog

Why does abuse happen in the home?

If you're being abused by your spouse or your partner, you do not need to spend time thinking about why it happens. You simply need to seek safety for yourself and, if applicable, for your children. That should be your only goal.

However, it is important to explore the reasoning behind abuse in an effort to understand why people are subjected to this type of behavior. No one deserves to live like that, but it happens all the time. Why do abusers do what they do?

Changed circumstances that alter child custody solutions

The child custody solution that you settle on when you get divorced may not be one that works for the rest of a child's time living with you and your ex. You must be open to the idea of change, especially when there are altered circumstances that make that change unavoidable.

After all, your custody order may stand for a long time, and it's unrealistic to expect your life to stay exactly the same for that entire time. Say you get divorced when you have a newborn. You and your ex will then share custody for roughly the next 18 years. A lot can happen in that time, including:

  • You get a new job, giving you a new schedule to work around.
  • You decide to move to be closer to your family, to take that new job or for some other reason.
  • Your child starts school and they have a new schedule and needs.
  • Your child gets a job and alters their own schedule.
  • Your ex gets into legal trouble or gets arrested.
  • Your ex violates the custody agreement that you already have and it's clear that change is necessary.
  • One of you has an adverse health event that makes it harder to care for the child.
  • Your child's preferences change and he or she tells you they want to spend more or less time with you or your ex.

What happens if you don't pay child support in Indiana?

Every parent has an obligation to take care of their child financially until they're of age to do so themselves. Indiana state law requires moms and dads to provide for their kids' needs until they're 19-years-old. It's at that age that a parent's obligation to make child support payments comes to an end. There are a few exceptions to these rules. County officials throughout the state employ a variety of measures to enforce Indiana judges' child support orders.

Child support enforcement agents may be able to intercept a non-custodial parent's lottery winnings, state or federal tax refunds or insurance settlements if they're behind in making their required payments.

How do same-sex divorces differ from heterosexual divorces?

Same-sex marriages are both similar and different from heterosexual unions. One of the significant differences between the two is when the marriage may have officially become legal. The date that government officials recognize may not be reflective of when a same-sex couples' relationship began. Another difference between these two types of marriages is how parental rights work. Many same-sex couples decide to mediate their divorces in light of their unique relationships.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that both gay and lesbian couples have the same right to marry as heterosexual couples as part of the 2015 landmark case Obergefell v. Hodges. It's after that date that all states became legally obligated to marry same-sex individuals. Beginning that year as well, every jurisdiction had to start acknowledging any marriages that had occurred in other states.

Important questions the court asks about child custody

If you end up in divorce court, with a judge determining how custody of your children should get divided between you and your ex, the judge is going to ask a number of questions to better evaluate the situation. The judicial preference is for shared custody between you and your ex, but they still have to decide if that is really best in your unique case.

Additionally, shared custody does not mean a 50/50 split in all cases. Even when the court knows that you will share parenting time with your ex, they still have to ask some questions to figure out exactly what that split will look like. A few examples of questions they may ask include:

  • Are there any claims of and/or evidence of abuse?
  • Does either one of the parents struggle with drug or alcohol addiction?
  • Is the home environment safe for a child?
  • Does the child have a preference or a request?
  • Have you or your ex been acting as the primary caretaker?
  • What does your physical health look like? What about your mental health?
  • How old is the child?
  • Is the extended family involved and what role do they play?
  • Where does the child go to school and how can the custody arrangement keep them in that school?

After divorce, children need support and routine

Parents often try to think about what their children need most after a divorce. Do they need less focus on rules and more fun time? Do they need more time with friends? Should they get them some of the things they have been clambering for, like the newest gaming system?

The idea behind these thoughts is simple: Divorce is hard. It's stressful. Parents just want to know what they can do to reduce that stress and make life go smoothly for their children.

You can often find hidden assets

Worried that your spouse has decided to hide assets so that you will not get what you deserve during the divorce? It does happen, despite being illegal. The good news is that you can often find these assets. Many of the schemes are quite transparent or count on people not looking closely enough.

For instance, some people will take out small amounts of money for years on end. Every time they go to the grocery store, they may get cash back. They can then set the money aside. A spouse who doesn't dig into the financial records may not realize the money is missing, but all of those transactions are on your electronic bank statements. You can trace that money or at least see that it is "missing."

Why would you modify a child custody arrangement?

The child custody arrangement that the court helps you set up when you get divorced is based on the facts of the case at that time. If those facts change, you may need to ask for an alteration later on.

For instance, maybe you got a job offer and you want to relocate. You can't keep the same schedule from your new location. You need to talk to the court and get permission to move and to change the agreement so that you do not violate your ex's rights.

Opinions on same-sex marriage flipped in just 15 years

In the last decade and a half, Americans have completely changed the way that they look at same-sex marriage. Their opinions on it totally flipped in the past 15 years.

Per the Pew Research Center, 60% of Americans were against same-sex marriage back in 2004, while just 31% said they were for it. By 2019, a similar study found that 31% were now against it, but a massive 61% supported it.

Are you and your spouse growing apart?

One common reason for a divorce is simply that two people grow apart over time. The relationship seems to fizzle out and die. Neither one of them can point to a certain event -- a missed anniversary, a string of questionable text messages to a co-worker -- that brought on the divorce, but they still know that's where they're headed.

There are a few ways that you can know if this is happening to you. Some signs include:

  • The physical intimacy leaves the relationship.
  • You would prefer to be on your own or with friends, rather than with your spouse -- even when you're just watching TV or getting dinner.
  • It seems like every conversation turns into at least a minor argument.
  • You stop doing anything new and fun together, instead falling into a rut of the same old activities.
  • You stop asking each other how you're doing or how the day went
  • Your spouse seems like someone who is not there to support you, but to criticize your decisions.
  • When things do go wrong, you just feel like you don't care. You're apathetic. You know your spouse is mad and that's fine with you.
  • Communication breaks down or stops. You don't know how to talk to each other. Eventually, you stop trying.
  • Trust also breaks down. You start wondering if your spouse is actually being honest. When they're out, you wonder who they're with.