ILNews

Automatic modification violates custody statute, COA rules

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A trial court’s order automatically awarding custody of a minor child to the father was reversed by the Indiana Court of Appeals on the grounds the lower court’s decision violated the state’s custody modification statute.

The Tippecanoe Circuit Court issued a provisional order that primary physical custody would be awarded to the father of the minor child, C.A., if the mother did not relocate to Indiana by March 31, 2013.

Mother and father met and had C.A. while in high school. The couple never married but successfully co-parented the child until the mother moved to South Carolina to complete a college degree. Father continued visiting C.A. and paying monthly child support.

The mother finished her degree and opted to remain in South Carolina. Finding that permanent relocation to South Carolina was not in C.A.’s best interest, the trial court ordered that if the mother did not move back to Indiana by March 31, 2013, the father would be awarded primary physical custody on April 1, 2013.

In In re the paternity of C.J.A.: G.C. (mother) v. T.A. (father), 79A02-1302-JP-137, the Court of Appeals reversed the order. The court ruled that the language ordering the change in custody be automatically modified was inconsistent with the requirements of the state’s custody modification statute, Indiana Code 31-14-13-6.

However, Judge Elaine Brown dissented, arguing the trial court’s order was not a final judgment and had not disposed of all claims. Therefore, the Court of Appeals did not have jurisdiction over this appeal and should have dismissed.

 

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  1. A sad end to a prolific gadfly. Indiana has suffered a great loss in the journalistic realm.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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