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COA finds trial court acted within its discretion when calculating father’s actual income

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A father’s messy financial statements do not prevent a trial court from doing its own calculations and increasing his weekly child support payments, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.

The appeals court rejected the father’s arguments in In Re: The Paternity of Jo.J., J.W.J. v. D.C., 29A05-1209-JP-447, and affirmed the judgment of the trial court.

On May 25, 2012, the trial court held a hearing on the mother’s request for a temporary child support order to be issued pending a final decision on her appeal of the original order which reduced the father’s support obligation.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial court asked the mother and father to submit their financial statements. On June 21, 2012, the court issued a formal written order and filed a separate order changing the father’s weekly support obligation to $252.52 per week.

The father appealed. He argued the trial court lacked jurisdiction to issue a temporary support order while the mother’s appeals was still pending. Moreover, he asserted, even if the lower court could temporarily modify child support during the appeal, the specific support amount ordered was not supported by the evidence.

The appeals court found while the mother’s request for modification was premature, the trial court did not issue a final written order temporarily modifying child support until one day after the Indiana Supreme Court denied transfer.

Thus, since these orders recalculating father’s income and support obligation were not issued until after the denial of transfer, the trial court did not err in modifying the father’s child support payments prospectively.

In regard to the $252.52 weekly payments, the COA speculated the trial court arrived at that figure based on the mother’s statement that she needed at least $250 a week to meet her bills.

Pointing to Elbert v. Elbert, 579 N.E. 2d 102, 112 (Ind. Ct. App. 1991), the COA noted trial courts must consider the children’s needs and the parent’s general economic condition when determining the amount of child support.

Consequently, the COA ruled that the trial court did not err when it arrived at a figure that would allow the mother to continue living in her home and providing for the child.

 

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  1. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  4. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  5. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

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