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Indianapolis Family Law Blog

Don't let divorce take your focus off of the kids

The focus during a divorce has to remain on your children. As a parent, while you do want to know your own child custody rights, what you should really care about is creating a loving, supportive home life for the kids.

One thing to watch out for is the tunnel vision that makes it all too easy to think about yourself and not your kids.

7 questions to ask if you want to adopt

Thinking about adopting a child? Maybe this is your first child, the start of your family, or an addition to an already growing family.

No matter what, it is important to take your time and think clearly about what you want, why you want it and what steps you'll need to take. To help you get started, here are seven important questions to ask:

  1. Are you actually ready to take this step? Do not move forward with adoption until you're 100 percent prepared.
  2. What are your reasons and motivations? Why did you decide to adopt in the first place?
  3. Are you going to move on from other family-building plans? Maybe having a child naturally has not worked for you. Make sure you're emotionally ready to step beyond that when adopting.
  4. Do you want to do this quickly or will you wait for a child that perfectly fits your criteria?
  5. Speaking of your criteria, what are they? What type of child would you like to adopt? Consider things like age, ethnicity, national origin, gender and more.
  6. What type of support can you expect? If you're married, this starts with your spouse, but it may also include parents, siblings and close friends.
  7. Do you have the money to adopt and to provide for the child after he or she joins your family?

10 issues that can end your marriage

Divorce does not have to take you by surprise. In many cases, you can see the red flags from a mile away. You have been dealing with these issues in your marriage all along. They finally got to the point that they caused you to split up. That doesn't mean they're new.

Keeping in mind that all couples are different, here are 10 common issues that cause couples to call a divorce lawyer:

  1. They're dealing with a lot of financial stress.
  2. Physical intimacy is no longer part of the marriage.
  3. They have children, which adds stress to the relationship.
  4. They have to spend too much time apart.
  5. They have toxic relationships with their friends -- or one spouse has a relationship with a friend that is turning romantic.
  6. They do not divide the household jobs up evenly.
  7. They do not get along with each other's families. While jokes about disliking the in-laws are common, it can be a serious issue.
  8. They have bad habits that irritate the other person, and they refuse to change.
  9. Their personalities just do not mesh, no matter how much they thought they did when they were dating. Marriage makes it all too clear that they can't get along.
  10. They had expectations for the marriage that are not fulfilled. This does not even mean those expectations were realistic to start with, but a marriage that does not measure up may be one that they want to leave.

Tips for raising children on your own

When you and your ex got divorced, you got full custody of your kids. Your ex is simply not reliable enough. While they still get to come visit on the weekends, most often for supervised visitations, you are essentially raising your children on your own.

It feels overwhelming at times. To help you, here are some key tips:

  • Quality time is more important than gifts. Children may get excited about getting a present, but they really get more out of spending time with you. Give them your time and attention, fit them into your schedule and show them that you care.
  • Give their lives structure. Create some solid routines and stick to them. Remember, divorce makes it harder for them to feel like their life is predictable. You can give this back to them with routines, which help lower stress.
  • Praise them and show them how much you love them. You know that you didn't get divorced because of anything that the kids did, but they often struggle with feeling like it was their fault. You can counter these feelings by being very clear about how much you care.
  • Keep a positive mindset, even when things get difficult. Celebrate victories and challenges that you overcome together.
  • Look for other types of socialization and support. If you feel like you are all alone, this gets harder -- for both you and the kids. If you find a network of single parents and people in similar situations, it can help you out and open all sorts of doors.

Study finds that same-sex couples have lower divorce rates

Same-sex marriage has undergone a revolution in recent years, spreading across the United States and redefining what it means to be married in the modern era. Naturally, as this was happening, some people began asking what that would mean for the divorce rate.

Now we know. A recent report came out and showed that the divorce rate for opposite-sex couples is higher than the rate for same-sex couples. They tend to stay married more often.

If you don't have $5 million, prepare for a contentious divorce

As you file for divorce, you ask yourself whether it's going to be amicable or contentious. You just do not know how your spouse is going to react. Are you going to fight over your assets in court for months on end, or are you going to split things up quickly and go your separate ways?

One thing that plays a massive role is exactly how much money you have or at least what your assets are worth. Studies have discovered that having over $1 million but less than $5 million increases the odds that the divorce will become contentious, while higher totals -- over $5 million -- mean that an amicable split is more likely.

A better economy means more divorces

People often look at money as a cause for divorce, specifically when the couple does not have enough. Running into financial issues like not being able to pay the rent and living from one paycheck to the next puts a lot of stress on a marriage.

You can find plenty of examples of couples who ended their marriages because of financial stress. That is not to say that a better economy, with more money to go around, means that couples will settle in for a happy life together. In fact, studies have found that economic growth actually leads to an increase in the amount of divorces.

What your relocation notice must contain

Relocating can be difficult after divorce. You do not have as much freedom as you once did if there are children involved and you share custody with your ex. You now have to think about your ex's custody rights and ability to see the kids.

In a very real sense, moving out in Indiana -- or even to another city within the same state -- can make it impossible for your ex to visit the kids or have them live at his or her house. You need to ask the court for permission to make this type of move. To start the process, you have to send your ex and the court a notice that contains:

  • The reasons that you want to make the move, such as going back to school or getting a new job
  • The date on which you would like to relocate
  • Your updated contact information if you do end up moving
  • A proposal that outlines how you and your ex can still stay involved with the kids after the move

When your business assets affect your divorce

When corporate titans divorce their spouses, the fallout can be far-reaching and splayed out in the news media. One only has to look at the situation with Jeff Bezos -- founder of Amazon and the owner of The Washington Post -- and his wife, Mackenzie.

Recent tabloid revelations of Bezos' extramarital affair with a former co-host of Good Day L.A. preceded the couple's announcement that they were divorcing after 25 years of marriage and two children. Despite their civil, low-key approach, with as much as $137 billion at stake, their divorce will be a complex undertaking.

Why do married couples use post-nuptial agreements?

Prenuptial agreements, as the name implies, happen before you get married. In fact, that's one of the key points when you draft one: It has to happen long enough before the wedding that it doesn't look like either party signed it in a rush or under duress.

However, couples also use post-nuptial agreements. These are very similar in nature, but they're drafted by couples who are already married. Why would they want to do this?