Family Law

Experienced and Trusted Family Law Attorney

Attorney Chris Stidham and Stidham Legal realizes that legal matters involving your family can lead to feelings of doubt, pressure, and anxiety. Your Indiana family law attorney at Stidham Legal will strive to carry this burden for you.

Indiana families are confronted with the legal system in many situations. No matter what you’re dealing with, we can help. Stidham Legal is an experienced Indiana family law attorney who has worked with people throughout Northwest Indiana to obtain positive outcomes in the following situations:


Legally ending a marriage in Indiana can be a complicated and emotionally troubling. A skilled divorce attorney with Stidham Legal can help you with the intricacies of legal separation, a divorce filing, property division, child custody and support, and prenuptial agreements.

Legal Separation

Legal Separation in Indiana gives couples an opportunity for a “time out” before proceeding with a divorce. Legal Separation is a court process where either party can ask the judge to issue temporary orders on matters like child custody, support and marital debts. Let Stidham Legal be your advocate in the Legal Separation process to ensure your rights are protected.

Child Custody

It is understandable that feelings can run very high regarding legal matters involving child custody and your rights as a parent. Let a quality Northwest Indiana attorney help you achieve the most favorable result possible in the best interest of your child.

Child Support

Drawing on our Northwest Indiana child support attorney’s experience, we will work with you to ensure child support is properly calculated based on your individual circumstances. We’ll help you understand this process, parental obligations, and how support levels are determined.

Agreed Divorce

Stidham Legal, Northwest Indiana attorney, knows that not all divorces are disputed. Serving as a 3rd party neutral, we can help draft the appropriate legal documents to capture your agreements and ensure they are properly enforceable in court.


Let a Northwest Indiana attorney advise you on parental rights and obligations under Indiana guardianship laws. Establishing guardianship is an important step in aiding family members who need legal guidance. However, the process can be complicated and often involves a hearing. Let us help you expedite the process so you can move on with more pressing matters.

Child Name Change

Stidham Legal, your Northwest Indiana Attorney, will help make the complicated name change process easier for you. To change your child’s name for a variety of reasons, Indiana requires application with the court. This process involves a plethora of documents and a hearing. Stidham Legal is knowledgeable about the court system and will expedite the name change process.

Important Issues in Indiana Family Law Cases

Do I need a lawyer if I’m getting a divorce?

An Indiana lawyer is highly recommended if you have children or assets that you want divided between you and your spouse. A lawyer serves as an advocate for you throughout the legal process, ensuring that you don’t lose your rights as a parent and that your assets aren’t taken away.

How long does an Indiana divorce take?

The length of the Indiana divorce process varies case by case, but typically depends on whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. An uncontested divorce, one where both parties agree about the terms of the divorce, can be submitted to the court for approval in as little as 60 days. A contested divorce, one where you and your ex-spouse don’t agree on all areas of the settlement, can take 9-12 months or longer.

Do I have to go to court for my divorce?

If your Indiana divorce is uncontested, you probably will not go to court. The court typically approves the agreement submitted by Stidham Legal within a few days without a hearing. However, for a contested divorce, you will likely appear in court for one or more hearings. For either type, uncontested or contested, Stidham Legal, your Northern Indiana attorney, can guide you through stressful proceedings.

How does a court determine who gets child custody?

If you and your ex-spouse cannot agree on child custody and visitation rights, the decision will be made in court by a judge. Indiana child custody laws requires the child’s “best interests” to be the most important factor in this decision. The court will take into consideration who has served as the child’s “primary caretaker” (i.e. which parent has been primarily responsible for meal planning and preparation, healthcare, etc.). Other factors also come into play such as the child’s age, the relationship with either parent, prior negative acts of the parents, and the living environment.

What does no-fault divorce mean?

Indiana law provides for no-fault divorce meaning the reasons causing a divorce are not considered by the court for purposes of allowing the parties to get divorced. Basically, if at least one spouse wants a divorce then the couple will be divorced.

What is “legal custody” versus “physical custody”?

In Indiana, legal custody refers to the authority to make major decisions regarding a child’s health, education, safety, and welfare. Physical custody means that a child lives with the custodial parent the majority of the time. The non-custodial parent typically has parenting time by schedule.

What are the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines?

Indiana divorce attorneys and courts use the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines, published by the Indiana Supreme Court, as a guide to establishing parenting time schedules for non-custodial parents. The typical “every other weekend plus a midweek visit” is found in the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines. While the Guidelines are frequently used to establish parenting time, Stidham Legal, your Northwest Indiana child custody attorney, can help you adopt the parenting time schedule that works best for you and your children.

How is child support determined?

Indiana child support attorneys use the Indiana Child Support Guidelines to help clients calculate the correct child support for their situation. We help clients ensure they pay or receive the appropriate amount of support. Indiana child support factors include the amount of time spent with each parent, childcare costs, health insurance costs, and the parties’ incomes.