Learn More About Family Law

"Family law" is an umbrella phrase for a number of legal matters involving disputes between family members. Some of the more common disputes are:

DivorceChild support
Legal separationGuardianship
Child custodyChildren in need of services (CHINS)
Paternity (children born to unwed parents)Grandparent visitation

While family law is just like any other legal matter in that it is a lawsuit, it differs from most other kinds of law in a major way: It most often involves the most vulnerable persons during their most difficult times. The risk of long-term emotional, mental and financial negative consequences is far greater in family law than is generally the case in other legal actions.

So, in an effort to minimize these consequences, Indiana Courts often require persons involved in family disputes to educate themselves about these consequences and how to try to avoid them. Toward that end, parents, and sometimes other persons that are involved with the family, are often required to attend and complete certain programs endorsed by the courts. For example:

  • Child Advocate in Divorce (C.A.I.D.) (St. Joseph County)
  • TransParenting Parent Education Seminar (St. Joseph County & Elkhart County)
  • Families in Transition (Wells County)

And almost every family law court in the state now requires parents to complete an online co-parenting programs such as www.UpToParents.org.

Another clear indicator of how even the practice of family law can be much different than any other area of law: Many, if not all, Indiana courts now have what might be called "rules of conduct" (not to be confused with "rules of war") for lawyers practicing in the family law arena. These directives are designed to remind family law attorneys that their own conduct can contribute to a family's recovery or further damage.

Good examples of these rules can be found at:

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