The general outline of a timetable for these matters is as follows:
- The Petitions are filed (statutory time period of sixty (60) days begins to run from the date of filing).
- A hearing on temporary orders is usually set within thirty (30) to forty-five (45) days and your matter is either litigated or concluded by agreement which is then reduced to writing (generally we try to have a written agreement within ten (10) to fourteen (14) days of filing).
- Discovery begins—a complete financial history is compiled through the production of documents, interrogatories, depositions and/or the utilization of appraisers, accountants or other professionals.
- If child custody is in dispute, then evaluations and testing of the parties is commenced, either voluntarily or by Court order. Also home studies are generally done by the county department of child services. The length of counseling evaluation cannot be determined by anyone but the professional who renders that service.
- A request is made to the Court for a final hearing date. (If the matter is contested, then availability of a date is strictly determined by the amount of time needed versus the Court’s trial calendar.)
- We will always attempt to negotiate your matter to conclusion by agreed settlement. If a final settlement can be negotiated, then it may be presented to the Court anytime after sixty (60) days from date of filing.
Adoption is rewarding for both the clients and attorneys alike. We will work with you to prepare the proper paperwork and make sure the adoption is in the best interests of both you and the child.
There is much preparation to be done prior to filing an adoption. After filing the necessary Court pleadings, a home study will be conducted by the local welfare department or child placement agency, a detailed medical history of the child and the natural parents will be provided to the Court and consents, if required, from the natural parents of the child will need to be obtained and filed.
Once the Judge finds that the adopting parents’ Petition to Adopt is in the proper form and the adoption is in the best interests of the child or children, the Judge will enter a Decree of Adoption.
Step-parent adoptions are quite common. In some situations a step-parent has taken the place of a deceased or absent parent, and under Indiana law, may legally adopt a child or children after meeting specific statutory criteria. We can discuss these criteria to determine if a step-parent adoption is a viable option in your case.
Legal Guardianships protect those who can’t protect themselves. A guardian may be appointed by the Court in order to protect the best interests of a person, an estate or person and estate. Minors, elderly persons, persons with disabilities and others who are not able to make competent decisions about themselves are some examples of those who need a guardian. We have assisted many clients in this area; contact us to learn more.