ILNews

Judges affirm $6,600 in child support arrearage

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The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed that a father owed only $6,600 in back child support and not $74,000 as the child’s mother claimed.

L.S., the daughter of Belinda Douglas and Neil Spicer, was born in February 1994. Spicer was listed on L.S.’s birth certificate, but a paternity action initiated in late 2004 was dismissed in October 2005 after both parties failed to appear at a status hearing.

Before dismissing the action, the trial court in February 2005 entered a provisional order for Neil to pay Douglas $200 per week in child support. Spicer never paid the court-ordered child support, but did provide financial care for his daughter, including providing health insurance.

Douglas filed to reopen the case in 2012, in which the trial court ordered Spicer to pay $6,600 in arrearage for the 33 weeks between Feb. 23, 2005, and Oct. 12, 2005, when the court dismissed the case.

Douglas argued that Spicer actually owes her $74,000 in arrearage, but the Court of Appeals affirmed the court-ordered amount. The judges found the same principle in I.C. 31-15-4-14 applies in this case. That statute provides that a provisional order in a dissolution action terminates when the final decree is entered or the petition for dissolution is dismissed.  Since the February 2005 child support order was a provisional order for “temporary support” pending a hearing on child support, the trial court properly found Spicer’s obligation to pay child support ended in October 2005.

The judges also rejected Douglas’ claim that Spicer did not satisfy his common law duty to support his daughter in Belinda Douglas v. Neil Spicer and L.S., 32A01-1309-JP-403.

 

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  1. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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