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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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.