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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. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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