ILNews

Appeal affirms denial of emancipation; includes mother in support

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a Floyd Superior Court ruling denying emancipation of a 19-year-old, but sent the case back to the trial court for recalculation of her support payments to include her mother as well as her father.

Cassandra Ashabranner’s father, David Ashabranner, filed a motion for emancipation that would have ended his child support payments to her. She lived alone after her mother, Sandy Wilkins, moved out of the apartment the two had shared in Clarksville.

In David Ashabranner v. Sandy Wilkins, f/k/a Ashabranner, No. 22A01-1109-DR-411, the appeals court said that while both the daughter and mother were comforted by the mother’s relocation to provide her daughter a future property, “this move was not initiated by Cassandra, and therefore she is not emancipated,” according to the unanimous ruling written by Chief Judge Margret Robb.

“Father next argues that if we affirm the trial court order continuing his child support obligation, which we do, then Mother should also be ordered to pay child support. We agree,” Robb wrote. “We remand this case to the trial court for calculating the correct amount of Mother’s child support obligation and enter an order requiring Mother pay accordingly. To the extent that such calculation warrants modification of the amount of Father’s obligation, the trial court is ordered to make the appropriate adjustment.”

The daughter works as a waitress and is pursuing post-secondary education. “It is prudent to note here that the only reason the trial court should not consider Cassandra’s income at this point is because the issue before it is one of basic child support and not one of post-secondary education expenses,” according to the order. “If the trial court had before it a petition for post-secondary education expenses, Cassandra’s income would necessarily be fair game for the trial court’s consideration.”

The order concluded, “We applaud Cassandra for her courage and determination to seek an education and provide for herself financially, and we refuse to hold her efforts and resolve to do so against her. The trial court shall not consider her income in determining the amount of financial support she receives from her parents.”

 

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  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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