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Judges affirm change in custody

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld the modification of a custody order giving the father primary custody of his son, finding the trial court didn’t abuse its discretion in deciding that the boy’s physical and mental/academic maturation constituted a substantial change warranting the change in custody.

In In Re the Paternity of C.S.: M.R. (Mother) v. R.S. (Father), No. 53A01-1108-JP-381, mother M.R. appealed the change in modification that gave father R.S. primary custody of their son, C.S. The parents were never married, but when they split up, they entered into an agreed entry, approved by the trial court, to share joint legal and equal physical custody of the boy. M.R., who is in the Active Army Reserves, took a job at Fort Knox. C.S. would split time with his mother there and his father in Bloomington. Both agreed that C.S. was ready to begin kindergarten, but M.R. wanted the boy to split his time between both locations so that he would be enrolled in two schools.

R.S. requested primary physical custody, which the trial court granted. The judge found the father’s more flexible schedule and the fact C.S. has lived in Bloomington his whole life in support of his decision. The judge also concluded that beginning kindergarten in 2011 – instead of waiting another a year as M.R. later argued – was in C.S.’ best interests.

The COA affirmed the trial court’s finding that C.S.’ academic needs and abilities have substantially changed and he has reached an age that warrants a change in physical custody. That change is clearly in C.S.’ best interests, wrote Judge Carr Darden.

The judges also found the trial court didn’t misinterpret Indiana Code 31-17-2-21.3, which outlines factors surrounding custody and active duty service. M.R.’s service doesn’t show the impermanency contemplated in the statute, wrote the judge, as she cannot be deployed to a combat zone.

The trial court didn’t err in relying on an updated custody evaluation.

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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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