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Mother Charged With Abandoning Adopted Child in Lafayette

According to Crime Watch 8 Indianapolis, a woman in Lafayette, Indiana was charged with abandoning her adopted child. The report indicates that Kristine and Michael Barnett allegedly left their daughter in an apartment on North 11th Street before they relocated to Canada. Both Kristine and Michael are facing charges which include two counts of neglect of a dependent. 

Kristine is seeking the ability to leave the state and move to Bradenton, Florida where she has indicated she has a permanent residence as well as a job. At this time, she is required to stay in Indiana and she is unable to leave the state without the approval of the judge. Through a court filing, she said she will return to Indiana for all scheduled court hearings. Currently, Kristine is residing with her mother in New Palestine, Indiana.

The Barnetts adopted a Ukrainian girl with a form of dwarfism in 2010. The couple felt like they were scammed and a friend of the Barnetts said the child caused them a “traumatic adoption experience.” Prosecutors claim that Kristine and Michael had legally changed the girl’s age from 8 to 22 through an emergency petition approved by a Marion County judge. After the age change, the couple left for Canada, leaving behind their adopted daughter in their North 11th Street apartment in Lafayette. 

An initial hearing was held in Tippecanoe County during the month of September and both Michael and Kristine pleaded not guilty to the charges. The couple will be facing a jury trial on January 28.

Termination of Parenting Time

It is important to keep children safe, and when there exists a situation that is threatening for a child, parenting time can be terminated. Abandonment, both physical and mental child abuse, unsafe living conditions, psychological limitations of a parent, or even criminal activity can all result in a parent losing the ability to be with his or her children. Courts will look at all factors in a family’s situation to determine the best outcome for the child. Ideally, children are believed to benefit from having time with both parents. There are actions that can help support this outcome before completely revoking parenting time. An example would be supervised visits. 

The courts will look at the specific issues of the parents as well as what the level of danger is for the children. If the situation is severe enough, termination is considered. When you are in a toxic and hazardous situation with your ex-spouse where the welfare of your children is at risk, you need legal representation by a qualified Indiana family law attorney. Christopher L. Arrington, P.C. has extensive experience helping individuals protect the best interests of their children. I will examine your situation and advise you on how to move forward with the most appropriate actions to take for the safety of your family. 

Finding a Family Law Attorney in Indiana

Christopher L. Arrington, P.C. cares about the wellbeing of children and the health and safety of families in Indiana. As a resourceful and efficient Danville child custody lawyer, he will guide you through every step of the process to determine safe child parenting time. Call our Danville family law firm at 317-745-4494 today and we can discuss your situation during a free consultation.

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