Megan M. Lewis will be attending this Advice Clinic this Saturday! Come meet here one on one for some free legal advice.
The attorneys at Ruppert & Schaefer, P.C. in Indianapolis, Indiana, have more than 70 years combined experience — covering virtually every type of family law and divorce problem
All divorces are different. In some cases, spouses amicably agree on a way to split their assets and share child custody. In other cases, the spouses challenge each other at every corner until it becomes necessary to settle the divorce in court. Child custody is a particularly divisive issue; if you and your spouse can’t come to an agreement, a judge will make a decision based on a number of factors.
Types of Custody
When talking about custody, it is important to distinguish between legal and physical custody. Legal custody means the ability to make legal decisions about a child. Legal decisions generally include issues related to health, education, and religion. Most cases end with the parents having joint legal custody of the children. Physical custody means who physically has the child. In most cases there will be a primary physical custodian, which means that the child is with that parent for most of the time. However, sometimes parents will agree or the court will order joint physical custody. Joint physical custodians would have the child for equal amounts of time.
If one parent is granted primary physical custody, the noncustodial parent will be granted parenting time. Parenting time will often follow the schedule set out in the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines, which is one night a week and every other weekend. However, there can be many variations and deviations from the Guidelines. Possible factors in determining visits include the parents’ work schedules, travel distance between the parties, and other factors that impact the time and days available to spend with the child(ren).
When making a decision about child custody, a judge will examine a number of factors, including the parents’ wishes and, sometimes, the child’s wishes. A judge will also factor in each parent’s living situation and ability to provide for the child. It is the court’s duty to arrive at a decision that is in the child’s best interests
Hopefully, there will be no need for your divorce to go to court. The divorce attorneys at Ruppert & Schaefer, PC will help negotiate your divorce and represent you in court, if necessary. Call our Indianapolis office at (317) 660-8243 to ask us questions about our services.
When you’re suffering from marital strife and think you’re ready to move on, then filing for divorce seems like a natural step. However, should it really be the first one you take? There are many benefits to separating before you actually tell your divorce attorney to file the paperwork. Should you and your spouse have a trial separation? Consider these benefits.
Cooling Off Period
Divorces are frequently propelled by anger. In the heat of the situation, it is easy for your emotions to cloud your judgment. When you separate, you get some time to step away from the relationship and focus on your feelings. You may find that, with some time to re-examine the issues, you gain a different perspective on the problems in your relationship. By processing your feelings with a more level head, you can make more rational decisions about your marriage.
Preview of Post-Divorce Life
What will your life look like after your divorce? By separating, you can get a taste of what the future holds. For some people, living the single life may feel right. For others, it may not be exactly what they had hoped. This reality check can influence your decisions about your divorce.
Consider Financial Issues
One of the biggest parts of your divorce lawyer’s job is to help you navigate the complicated financial aspect of ending a marriage. During a separation, you may be able to work with your spouse to determine ground rules for splitting up your assets. It may also be easier to make clear-headed decisions about what assets really matter to you during a separation.
At Ruppert & Schaefer, PC in Indianapolis, our divorce lawyers can help you protect your rights at all stages of the divorce process, including trial separations. Discuss your divorce and legal separation options with us and let us help you map out a plan for a peaceful resolution to your marriage. Schedule a consultation with a divorce lawyer in Indianapolis by calling (317) 660-8243.
Paula J. Schaefer, one of the partners in our law firm, has had a decorated career. She focuses almost entirely on practicing family law and has been recognized by the Family Law Certification Board as a Certified Family Law Specialist. She has also been recognized as a Super Lawyer® in Indiana for the years 2007 – 2014. Before becoming an attorney, Paula spent seven years working as a paralegal and law clerk.
Paula obtained her undergraduate degree in Legal Administration from Ball State University. She completed law school at Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis. She was admitted to the Indiana bar in 1994 and is a member of the Indiana, Indianapolis and Hamilton County Bar Associations. In addition to her family law practice, Paula conducts the family law review section for the Indianapolis Bar Association bar review course twice a year for law school graduates preparing to sit for the bar exam. She is trained as a collaborative law professional and is able to handle family law matters using the collaborative method. Paula is also a trained and registered domestic relations mediator and mediates divorce and post-decree cases.
If you need help with family law litigation or mediation, call the practice of Ruppert & Schaefer, PC. Paula and the other divorce and family lawyers at Ruppert & Schaefer, P.C. can help you get on the right path for your case. Dial our Indianapolis law firm today at (317) 660-8243.