ILNews

Court rules on child support, parenting time modifications

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled on a case involving parenting time and child support issues between a mother and father.

In Lorraine (Carpenter) Miller v. Karl Carpenter, No. 29A02-1107-DR-663, the court affirmed and reversed in part a decision by Hamilton Superior Judge Daniel Pfleging and Magistrate William Greenaway.

The case involves Lorraine Miller and Karl Carpenter, a couple who divorced in 2008 and agreed that the mother would have sole legal custody and primary physical custody of the two children, ages 10 and 8. The father had visitation on alternate weekends and overnight on Wednesdays. The parents agreed to follow the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines for holidays and special occasions. In calculating child support, they agreed the father would receive credit for 98 overnights, less than the actual 127 nights spent with the children.

Two years after the agreement, father petitioned for joint legal custody, an increase in parenting time and a decrease in child support. The trial court granted the father’s relief and the child support decrease was based on an increase in the mother’s income, a decrease in her child care costs and an increase in parenting time credit.

But on appeal, the panel reversed the grant of joint legal custody to the father because the evidence does not support a conclusion that a substantial change in circumstances had occurred to justify a modification of legal custody. The appellate judges upheld the trial court’s modification of parenting time because it’s in the child’s best interest.

On child support, the appellate judges determined the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding the evidence of imputed income was too speculative. Because more than a year had passed since the establishment of the original support order and father’s obligation deviated from the guidelines by more than 20 percent, the appeals panel found the trial court didn’t err in reducing the amount of his obligation.

 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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