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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. Based on several recent Indy Star articles, I would agree that being a case worker would be really hard. You would see the worst of humanity on a daily basis; and when things go wrong guess who gets blamed??!! Not biological parent!! Best of luck to those who entered that line of work.

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  4. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  5. Attorney? Really? Or is it former attorney? Status with the Ind St Ct? Status with federal court, with SCOTUS? This is a legal newspaper, or should I look elsewhere?

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