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Indianapolis Family Law Blog

Does child support decrease when a child goes to college?

Child support obligations often end when the child turns 18 and becomes emancipated, meaning the child can support themselves. Since your ex is no longer supporting them, you no longer have to pay support either.

However, in some cases, a child who attends college is not considered self-supporting. College takes the place of work, but it does not come with an income or a living wage. The child may still live with your ex until he or she earns a degree and then becomes emancipated.

Can I modify my child custody or child support arrangements?

Your child custody and child support arrangements are not set in stone. In fact, if you, your child or your spouse has experienced a significant change in circumstances, an Indiana family law court may agree to modify your court orders to reflect your current situation and needs.

It's not uncommon for parents to request a modification relating to:

  • Child custody arrangements
  • Visitation schedules
  • Child support payments

3 questions and answers about same-sex adoption

As same-sex marriage becomes more widely recognized, many couples in the United States are interested in adopting in order to expand their families. The adoption process can be difficult for any couple, so it is very important for all those who are interested to understand as much as possible about that process. To that end, here are three common questions and answers.

1. How many same-sex couples adopt children?

The working parent may have a disadvantage in divorce

You value your career and you feel happy to be a working parent. While you love your kids, you still want to stay in the workforce and try to find some balance.

While that may work during your marriage, if you and your spouse decide to get divorced, it could put you at a disadvantage.

7 ways parents interfere with custody rights

In a perfect world, parents always abide by the child custody orders laid out by the court. Even when they do not get along, they know that it is the best thing to do for the children.

In reality, though, parents sometimes attempt to interfere with each other's custody orders. It is important to know that this occurs so that you will be able to react properly if it happens to you. Below are seven examples of custodial interference:

  1. Refusing to allow the other parent to take the child for visitation or to switch custody
  2. Refusing to agree on a definition for "reasonable" visitation, if the court order only says that access must be reasonable and does not specify what this means
  3. Cutting off visitation with excuses right before it is supposed to occur -- for instance, calling to say that the child came down with an illness or that they forgot about other plans
  4. Not taking the child to the location where the exchange is supposed to happen.
  5. Actively influencing the child to turn him or her against the other parent, thereby getting the child to refuse to switch homes or attend visitation.
  6. Ignoring all requests that the other parent makes to take the child to special events, like a father-daughter dance or a family reunion.
  7. Breaking the set schedule by always being late and hindering the other parent's ability to pick up or drop off the child.

Questions you must ask when ordered to pay child support

As you get closer to a divorce, you realize that you are going to be ordered to pay child support. You cannot see any way around it. While you do not mind paying because you want to help your children, you also realize that you need to learn as much as possible about child support obligations before they begin.

To help you get started, here are a few important questions to ask:

  • How long do you need to pay? Does the child support last until the child is 18? What if he or she has special needs? Then can it last longer? How much longer?
  • Does your child custody arrangement impact how much you have to pay? For instance, will you pay more if your co-parent gets sole custody and you just visit the kids, compared to what you would pay if custody was split 50/50?
  • Does the support requirement change if your former spouse gets remarried? Does the stepfather have any liability?
  • Do you have to pay child support even if you and the child's other parent never married?
  • What rules does Indiana use to determine how much you will need to pay? How much do factors like standard of living, income differences and the child's specific needs impact the case?
  • Can you ask for an alteration if something changes? If you lose your job, for instance, can you get the payments lowered?

5 tips for that post-divorce road trip with the kids

This is the first summer of your divorce. The kids are out of school, and you would love to take them on a road trip. You know it is bound to be different than when you were married, but you are excited to get away for a while and make some memories.

This can get complicated. Use these five tips to help:

  1. Plan in advance. Never put if off. Honestly, plan too far in advance. Talk to your ex and make sure the trip can happen before you start paying for anything.
  2. Consider your custody agreement. Does your scheduling have any flexibility? What are you obligated to tell your ex? Do you need his or her permission before taking the kids out of state?
  3. Create an exact schedule. You share custody of your children, so this is not time to act impulsively. Plan a schedule and stick to it. Make sure your ex knows when you plan to pick the kids up, where you're going and when you expect to return. Communication is critical.
  4. Consider all documentation needed if you cross any borders. Do the children need passports? Do you need written permission from your ex?
  5. Always put the children first. This should be your main goal with every decision you and your ex make. It applies to trips, as well. Consider what they want, how this impacts their lives and what decisions are best for them.

Subtle divorce warning signs

Divorce warning signs are not always as obvious as a public shouting match at a gathering with friends and family. You do not always come home to find your spouse in bed with someone else. These things do happen, but many relationships deteriorate far more slowly, working their way toward divorce as two people drift apart. Often, the warning signs are very subtle.

For instance, perhaps you and your spouse have similar schedules, and you always go to bed at the same time every night. When this stops happening, it can be a red flag. Why aren't you in sync anymore?

Judges and owners look at dogs differently in divorce

You think of your dog as the third member of your family, and the two of you have an especially close bond. You let the dog sleep in your bed every night, and he always sleeps on your side. You take the dog for two walks every day, you give him food and water, and you have plenty of memories of playing fetch at the park and lounging together on the hammock.

Your spouse, on the other hand, merely tolerates your dog. The two do not have much of a bond at all. If the dog gets to choose who to go by, it is you every time.

3 myths that make people think fathers shouldn't get custody

Fortunately, bias in child custody cases has been changing over the years. The traditional view was that mothers were better suited to care for children and fathers were better suited to provide financially for a family. That meant mothers tended to get custody rights while fathers were asked to pay child support.

The more modern view is that both parents can have -- and should have -- an equal role. Mothers can work and provide for the family. Fathers can care for the kids and spend time with them.