Family Law

DIVORCE (Dissolution of Marriage)

In Indiana, if you want a divorce you can get one.  Indiana is a “no fault” state.  Often times, the point most inquired about by people who are considering divorce or faced with divorce is the notion that everything is split “50/50”.  That is not always the case.

The circumstances and factors of your case are taken into consideration.  Every situation is different and you need me to advocate for you based upon the specific facts and circumstances of your situation.

If there are children and assets involved in a divorce, the most important thing that a person who is considering filing for divorce or that a person served with divorce papers should do is contact an attorney.   You need to be advised of all your rights before making any decision regarding children and assets.

ESTABLISHING PATERNITY AND CHILD SUPPORT

If your child was born out of wedlock, you need to establish paternity through the Courts in order to establish your parental rights.  Signing the birth certificate and a Paternity Affidavit is not enough to establish your parental rights.

If the Marion County prosecutor has assisted you in establishing paternity of your child, and there is no agreement regarding custody and visitation (parenting time) between you and the other parent, you need to seek to contact an attorney to represent you in the matter.  The Marion County Prosecutor cannot represent you in custody and parenting time cases.  I will discuss establishing paternity or a motion to set aside a paternity affidavit.

CHILD CUSTODY (LEGAL CUSTODY AND PHYSICAL CUSTODY)

The most frequently asked custody question is “What is the difference between legal custody and physical or residential custody?”   I will explain the difference and explain how the Indiana Courts decide which custody situation is in the best interest of your child.

Having two loving and attentive parents is in the best interest of every minor child.  The Courts understand this and, whenever possible, the Courts strive to make sure that each parent who desires to have a healthy, loving and supportive relationship with their child has that opportunity.  Historically, men have felt that custody is automatically granted to the mother of the child.  This is not always true.  The Courts consider many factors when determining which custody arrangement would be in the best interest of your minor child.  I will discuss child custody with you.

CHILD SUPPORT MODIFICATION

If your financial situation has changes since your child support order was entered, I can discuss requesting a re-calculation of your child support based upon a change in salary, birth of another child, a change in child care expenses, etc.

VISITATION (PARENTING TIME)

Absent abuse, neglect or abandonment of a child, a parent should be entitled to parenting time.  The Courts have moved away from the word “visitation” because it does not accurately depict what should take place during time shared between a minor child and a non-custodial parent (the parent the child does not live with).   If in instances where the Court may have concerns about the safety of a minor child during parenting time, the Court will consider supervised parenting time as opposed to totally denying parenting.  I will discuss supervised parenting time as well as parenting time according to the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines.

Call Tara Melton at 317-925-2122 or email me at tara@tarameltonlaw.com.