ILNews

Court of Appeals orders trial court to re-evaluate child support order

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The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the part of a custody order modifying child support, finding the trial court miscalculated the mother’s current income and made other errors.

Both Daniel and Tamara Sandlin appealed the modified custody order entered in September 2011. The order modified Daniel Sandlin’s weekday parenting time, described the parties’ financial circumstances, and modified child support.

Daniel Sandlin argued on appeal that the trial court improperly failed to conclude Tamara Sandlin voluntarily left her former job and thus failed to impute income to her; that the court miscalculated her current income; that the court failed to explicitly order that Daniel Sandlin cease paying his ex-wife a clothing allowance for their three children; and that the trial court incorrectly determined the number of overnights for which he should receive parenting time credit toward his child support obligations.

Tamara Sandlin agreed with her ex-husband’s assessment of and challenge to the determination of his parenting time credit and asked the Court of Appeals to make the correction without resorting to remand.

The appellate court ruled that the trial court correctly did not impute income to Tamara Sandlin. Her decision to quit her job and start her own business was not because she wanted to avoid significant child support obligations, but because of a change in job duties and pay at her previous employer, the opinion states.

But the court did fail to calculate her current income based on the evidence and failed to explicitly order that Daniel Sandlin cease paying his ex-wife a clothing allowance. Also, based on the parties’ apparent appellate agreement, Daniel Sandlin’s parenting time credit should be reduced from 181 overnights to 113 overnights.

 

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  1. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  2. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

  3. She must be a great lawyer

  4. Ind. Courts - "Illinois ranks 49th for how court system serves disadvantaged" What about Indiana? A story today from Dave Collins of the AP, here published in the Benton Illinois Evening News, begins: Illinois' court system had the third-worst score in the nation among state judiciaries in serving poor, disabled and other disadvantaged members of the public, according to new rankings. Illinois' "Justice Index" score of 34.5 out of 100, determined by the nonprofit National Center for Access to Justice, is based on how states serve people with disabilities and limited English proficiency, how much free legal help is available and how states help increasing numbers of people representing themselves in court, among other issues. Connecticut led all states with a score of 73.4 and was followed by Hawaii, Minnesota, New York and Delaware, respectively. Local courts in Washington, D.C., had the highest overall score at 80.9. At the bottom was Oklahoma at 23.7, followed by Kentucky, Illinois, South Dakota and Indiana. ILB: That puts Indiana at 46th worse. More from the story: Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Colorado, Tennessee and Maine had perfect 100 scores in serving people with disabilities, while Indiana, Georgia, Wyoming, Missouri and Idaho had the lowest scores. Those rankings were based on issues such as whether interpretation services are offered free to the deaf and hearing-impaired and whether there are laws or rules allowing service animals in courthouses. The index also reviewed how many civil legal aid lawyers were available to provide free legal help. Washington, D.C., had nearly nine civil legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty, the highest rate in the country. Texas had the lowest rate, 0.43 legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty. http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2014/11/ind_courts_illi_1.html

  5. A very thorough opinion by the federal court. The Rooker-Feldman analysis, in particular, helps clear up muddy water as to the entanglement issue. Looks like the Seventh Circuit is willing to let its district courts cruise much closer to the Indiana Supreme Court's shorelines than most thought likely, at least when the ADA on the docket. Some could argue that this case and Praekel, taken together, paint a rather unflattering picture of how the lower courts are being advised as to their duties under the ADA. A read of the DOJ amicus in Praekel seems to demonstrate a less-than-congenial view toward the higher echelons in the bureaucracy.

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