Posted by: credenda | June 8, 2010

Indianapolis Attorney

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  • 225 N. Delaware Street

  • Indianapolis, IN 46204

  • (317) 604-1276


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  • (877) 365-1776

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With over 20 years of legal service to families, small business, individuals, and nonprofit organizations, Andrew Thompson brings experience and a professional approach that achieves the results you need. Whether the matter involves the courtroom, a contract, consulting services or any any other form of legal service, your needs and objectives are our highest priority.

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Posted by: credenda | December 19, 2008

Agreements Regarding Custody and Parenting Time

By Andrew J Thompson, J.D.

Don’t get caught in this kind of trap: David Riegel was a successful contractor and good father.  On divorcing, he and his ex-wife agreed they would decide week to week on the time the children spent with each parent.  She had primary custody.  He never saw his kids after that – at all.
Now many jurisdictions and court will not enter a final judgment of divorce without a written agreement.  Regardless, having one and including the right terms, will be very important to you and your children.  Here’s why:

1. It will eliminate any unwanted surprises. What is put in writing is enforceable.

2. If the other parent breaks the agreement, you will have proof of the terms.  This will help you if you need to petition the court for custody, visitation, or support arrangements to be modified.

3. As a reference tool to make sure you and your spouse are sticking to the original plan. You will be surprised how quickly one or both parents may want to deviate from the original plan. Sometimes this happens intentionally, other times unintentionally – but is very common.

4. Incorporate it as part of your Separation Agreement or final Settlement . This way the court will also have a record and a copy of the ‘Parenting Agreement’ as well. This tends to encourage both parents to live up to his or her parenting time obligations.

Sample parenting plans have been adopted in several states. These may be amended and attached to your divorce decree or introduced to the Friend of the Court to enforce  parenting time. Additional modifications should be made to provide penalties for non-compliance.

If you need assistance with a parenting plan or other matter regarding your divorce or custody, please visit my website and then contact me today for further assistance.

Posted by: credenda | December 8, 2008

Injustice in Child Support System Runs Rampant

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Paper: Man forced to support someone else’s child

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Philadelphia man was forced to pay more than $12,000 in child support for another man’s daughter and spent two years in jail for falling behind on payments.

Dauphin County prosecutor Edward M. Marsico Jr. told The Patriot-News of Harrisburg that he is examining the case of Walter Andre Sharpe Jr., who has been unable to recover the money even after establishing that he isn’t the girl’s father.

Walter Sharpe, who was already supporting four children from a previous marriage, ignored the letter, and a judge ruled he was the father after neither man showed up. The county family welfare agency then began garnishing Walter Sharpe’s wages from his job at a trash-hauling company.

He served four six-month jail terms for not keeping up with support payments between 2001 and 2005, then lost his job. Petitions he filed for DNA testing were opposed by the court’s domestic relations officials and denied by the judge.

Posted by: credenda | September 22, 2008

Petition Drive: Make it Count for Kids

I have now added the petition that can also be signed at:

It may be added elsewhere later.

One goal of this blog is to generate discussion of these issues, trying to figure out and understand how best to address some of these intractable problems. Over time, I will comment on various aspects of the problem of the separation of children from their fathers and welcome you comments and participation, even if your view of the issues differs from my own.

So please join the discussion and, if you agree, go to now and add your signature.

Posted by: credenda | September 21, 2008

Helping Kids Keep Their Dads after a Divorce

Petition powered by

If you read this and other blogs typically for information and not necessarily for political action – great. But if you’re here, you read this blog, this is serious stuff!

While we have a broken economy, threats to our security, and political turmoil surrounding us – the basic morals, ethics and hope for the next generation is left tattered just like the families that are tossed into the divorce system we’ve created.

Consider the following, more that half of all marriages end in divorce. For couples with children, almost half end in divorce before the children are grown. A child born today is as likely to live without his or her father in the same home as with his or her father.

In the vast majority of these cases (about 85%), Dad didn’t choose this route, Mom did.

In some cases, estimates range anywhere from 1-20% of those cases, she had to because of violence, alcoholism, drug addictions, etc. But in the vast majority of these situations, Dad is out of the home against his will, and is basically just a good Dad – a Dad his kids need!

Nonetheless, fewer than 20% of divorced fathers have their children in their home even half the time. For the majority, their kids are with them less than a quarter of the time. Many are able to see their children no more than a few times a year. More than a few never get to see them at all.

This hurts if you’re a Dad. It hurts if you’re a kid too. Sadly, this is rarely recognized. Kids go through a lot of pain in a divorce. I know, I’ve been there. My parents divorced when I was nine.

Sometimes it’s recognized that kids hurt when they go back and forth between homes, and it’s true. I felt it myself. At least one of my own kids has made it clear that she feels that now. But does that mean that the Dad, who didn’t choose to have things that way, should be punished for it? Does it mean the children should be punished in a way they can’t even appreciate at 9,10 or 11 years old – by missing out on their father’s attention?

Does it mean they need to wear the scars that come with knowing their Dad is missing from their lives – even if they feel like they prefer being with their Moms?

Dads are important. They give their kids something they can’t get from their moms, their teachers, their grandparents, society, “the village”. Kids need their Dads.

The petition linked above and reprinted below is directed toward helping accomplish just that. There is no perfect system. But there sure is a much better system than what we have now.

Kids’ Dads need a real chance to survive and be able to be Dads in the complex social and economic morass they face today!!

Please consider this carefully – and if you would – click on this link Petition powered by, and add your name to this petition, and encourage others to do the same.

Thank you for taking the time to give this your attention!


Children need both of their parents. Fathers should not be pushed out of children’s lives after a divorce. The equal protection of the law for both parents is the best protection for children.

1. Custody and “parenting time” laws should balance and maximize the time children can have with each parent, presuming equal time with each parent.

2. Child Support laws should be reformed to ensure that fathers (and noncustodial mothers) are allowed to remain solvent. Support should at least temporarily adjust and abate for involuntary business failure, unemployment, disability, and military service. Support of children should be balanced between both parents and there should be accountability for the use of funds for the children.

3. Protection from domestic violence under the law is good. However, these laws should not be allowed to be used for the purpose of gaining an advantage in a custody battle. A person who makes claims of domestic violence that are proven untrue should not be allowed to profit with child support or other gains after making a false claim of such a serious nature.