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    Child Custody Terms: Joint Legal and Physical Custody

    Last updated 11 days ago

    Your divorce lawyer can help you understand the various ways in which child custody will be established. There are two prongs to a custody determination: legal custody and physical custody.  The first prong is legal custody.  Sole legal custody means that  one parent has the responsibility of making decisions for the child. Joint legal custody means that  decisions regarding health, education and religion are made together by the parents.

    The second prong is physical custody.  Physical custody establishes where the child will live, either with one parent primarily, or with both parents in some form of shared physical custody. With joint physical custody, both parents have access to the child on a somewhat equal basis. For example, the child might live with one parent for one week and with the other on alternating weeks. Generally, this type of child custody arrangement is best for parents who live close to each other and can handle frequent interactions with each other without animosity.

    The family lawyers of Ruppert & Schaefer, PC can walk you through the fundamentals of child custody agreements. For assistance with child custody negotiation, call (317) 660-8243.

    How to Adapt to Life After Divorce

    Last updated 19 days ago

    The divorce process can be stressful even if you’re working with a skillful divorce lawyer. Adapting to life after dissolution of marriage brings about another round of challenges. Not only will you need to adapt to a new set of circumstances, but if you have children, you’ll need to support their emotional needs as well as your own. Since it can be challenging to navigate significant life changes on your own, your divorce attorney will likely recommend that you build a strong support network.

    Reach Out for Support
    You and your ex-spouse probably have friends in common. Many individuals find that after a divorce, their old friends drift toward one ex-spouse or the other. If you aren’t getting the support you need from your friends, you might consider joining a support group for divorcees or single parents. Your new friends in the support group will understand what you’re dealing with. Since they’ve dealt with the same challenges, they can offer you advice and a non-judgmental ear.

    Explore Your Self-Identity
    It’s common for a person to identify him-or herself in the context of the marriage. After your divorce, you’ll need to establish new roles for yourself and explore ways of growing within your self-identity. Many divorcees decide to take up new hobbies or interests. For example, you might wish to join a local fitness group or enroll in continuing education courses.

    Provide Stability for the Kids
    While you’re nurturing your own emotional health, be mindful of how your kids are adapting to life after divorce. It’s all right to let your kids know that you’re feeling sad about the situation too; however, avoid burdening them with intense personal feelings or letting them perceive your negative feelings toward your ex-spouse. Instead, provide stability for your kids by establishing new household routines.

    At Ruppert & Schaefer, PC, our family lawyers strive to help each client move on from the process of divorce and work toward a brighter future. Those in the Indianapolis area and beyond can enlist the help of a divorce attorney at our law firm by calling (888) 702-1523 We also invite you to explore the resources available on our website.

    Tips for Managing a Checking Account During Divorce

    Last updated 26 days ago

    Before you make any changes to your finances during a divorce, such as closing a joint checking account, consult your divorce lawyer. Your divorce attorney can advise you on how you can protect your assets. If you share joint accounts with your spouse, such as a checking account, you will need to keep accurate, up-to-date financial records.

    You can learn how to keep financial records for your joint checking account by watching this video. This family lawyer explains the importance of documenting each expense and deposit, and making notes to identify the source of each deposit.

    The divorce lawyers of Ruppert & Schaefer, PC can help you protect your assets during a divorce. Call our law firm at (317) 660-8243 with any questions you may have.

    Protecting Your Rights Following Divorce

    Last updated 19 days ago

    Though the divorce process is often difficult, some spouses have an even tougher time after their divorce is finalized. After years of sharing your life with someone, you may have trouble determining how to proceed by yourself. Life after divorce can become even more challenging as circumstances change. For help protecting your rights after your divorce is finalized, consider having an Indianapolis divorce lawyer help you draft a post-divorce modification.

    As your life changes, some details of your divorce agreement may lose their relevance. For example, you may suffer a disability or job change that affects your ability to pay child support. Alternately, your child may choose to go to college. If post-secondary education expenses weren’t addressed in the decree or settlement agreement, you and your former spouse may need to take another look at your court order. Regardless of the changes in your life, your child’s life, or your former spouse’s life, a divorce attorney can help ensure that the terms of your divorce remain fair for everyone.

    Ruppert & Schaefer, P.C. has plenty of experience negotiating post-divorce modifications in Indiana. If you have any questions about divorce law, don’t hesitate to call our Indianapolis law firm at (888) 702-1523.

    Child Custody Mistakes to Avoid

    Last updated 19 days ago

    Divorce is often difficult for everyone involved—particularly young children. Within a short period of time, children must cope with not having one of their parents around as much as they may be used to, and may even become the center of a child custody battle. During the divorce process, you and your spouse must  keep your child’s best interests in mind when considering a custody agreement. Here are a few mistakes you should avoid.

    Not Settling on a Custody Order
    Some spouses settle on a no-fault divorce and simply neglect to include a custody agreement. While this may seem like a good idea in the short run, it can lead to numerous problems in the future. For example, the non-custodial parent might demand custody at a later date, embroiling everyone in a difficult legal battle.   

    Lying About Your Circumstances
    Judges consider a number of factors when determining how to award custody, including each parent’s income, living arrangements, and even lifestyle habits. If you lie about your circumstances in an effort to receive custody, it is likely that your untruthfulness will backfire and you will not be awarded custody.  

    Denying Parenting Time Rights
    Generally speaking, the non-custodial parent has the right to spend time with his or her child. If you deny your ex-spouse’s visitation rights, you will only make matters worse. That said, sometimes a parent develops habits and addictions that are dangerous to a child.  If this happens, you can ask the court to limit parenting time with that parent or that any time spent with that parent be supervised.

    Neglecting to Hire an Attorney
    Child custody is often a very complicated matter, and can be difficult for two angry ex-spouses to resolve themselves. A divorce attorney can carefully examine your case and help you settle on a custody and visitation agreement that works for you and your child.

    A divorce lawyer from Ruppert & Schaefer, P.C. can help you avoid common child custody mistakes and get through the divorce process. Our attorneys have earned numerous awards and designations throughout their careers, and Mike Ruppert and Paula Schaefer have been included  on the Indiana Super Lawyers list. Call our Indianapolis office at (888) 702-1523 to schedule an appointment.

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