Custody

Judges uphold custody award of non-biological child to stepfather

April 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed an award granting a man primary physical custody of his child with his ex-wife, as well as her daughter from a previous relationship.
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Judges disagree whether mother’s relocation is in good faith

April 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A panel on the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday couldn’t agree whether a northern Indiana mother’s decision to relocate with her two children was made in good faith. The majority upheld her request to relocate.
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Court affirms custody modification after mom’s move

March 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Vincennes father lost his appeal of a modification of custody order that granted sole physical custody to his child’s mother after she moved 180 miles away to start a new family with her fiancé.
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COA voids custody order in favor of father

March 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the grant of custody in favor of an Indiana father because the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act to make a custody determination.
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Father’s appeal dismissed as untimely

March 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Madison County father challenging the denial of his petition for change of custody did not timely file his appeal, so the Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed it.
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Court prevents mother from relocating to Hawaii with daughter

February 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a trial court Wednesday that it is not in the best interests of a child to move to Hawaii with her mother and stepfather.
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Automatic modification violates custody statute, COA rules

January 27, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A trial court’s order automatically awarding custody of a minor child to the father was reversed by the Indiana Court of Appeals on the grounds the lower court’s decision violated the state’s custody modification statute.
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Appeals court affirms out-of-state placement of child with father

December 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
A mother whose son was placed with his father in California after the Department of Child Services found her children to be children in need of services failed to convince a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals that the placement was erroneous or that the DCS didn’t make a reasonable effort to preserve the family.
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Judges affirm man must pay $5,000 in attorney fees to ex-wife

November 26, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
An Allen County man was unsuccessful in his attempts to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse the order he pay $5,000 in attorney fees to his ex-wife in litigation over their child’s contact with the ex-wife’s new husband.
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Text messages properly admitted in custody dispute

November 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday that evidence presented during a custody modification hearing laid a sufficient foundation for the admission of text messages between the mother and father. 
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Justices reverse custody modification but order status quo to continue, for now

November 5, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The laws in place to protect children caught in the middle of a custody battle were ignored by a St. Joseph Superior Court, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday, pointing to a change in custody despite a lack of a proper evidentiary hearing.
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Aye Chihuahua! Dog’s domain remains Indiana, appeals court rules

November 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
Sofie, the black-and-white Chihuahua-rat terrier mix, stays in Indiana, the Court of Appeals affirmed in a canine custody challenge.
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Participation in travel soccer league supports modifying custody

October 9, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a mother’s request to modify a custody order entered in 2007 when her children were in grade school, finding their participation in travel soccer leagues and the distance between the parents’ homes warrants a change.
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Appeals panel affirms sole custody for mother moving to China

August 15, 2013
Dave Stafford
A father lost his appeal Thursday of a trial court ruling granting sole custody to the mother of the divorced couple’s child, who will move with her to China for three years.
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Uncle has no statutory right to post-adoption visitation

July 30, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
An uncle’s post-adoption visitation rights were overturned on the grounds that he was not within any statutory category of individuals entitled to visitation rights.
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COA: Court must hold another hearing on custody

July 23, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court may refuse to approve a settlement agreement entered into by parents regarding custody of minor children, the Indiana Court of Appeals pointed out Tuesday, but in this case, the court erred by not granting the father’s motion for a continuance regarding his mental health evaluation.
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Justices slam agreement to no parenting time, no child support

June 26, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court had harsh words Tuesday for parents and attorneys who enter into agreements that stipulate giving up parenting time in lieu of paying child support. There must be extraordinary circumstances to justify denying parenting time.
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Appeals court affirms terminating mother’s parental rights

May 24, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A mother who was close to reunification with her three children, deemed children in need of services, until she battered her fiancé in front of them had the termination of her parental rights affirmed by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Court affirms giving father custody after mother denies parenting time

May 24, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A LaPorte County mother’s decision to cut off parenting time of her three children with their father supports the trial court’s order that the father have sole legal and physical custody of the children, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Lawyers’ divorce battle divides COA on joint custody ruling

April 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
A lengthy divorce proceeding involving two Fort Wayne attorneys that raised numerous issues on appeal was mostly affirmed Tuesday, but a dissenting judge cautioned that joint custody was not in the interest of the of the feuding parents’ daughter.
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Justices remand for more proceedings on grandparent visitation order

March 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
After finding a grandparent visitation order entered in Johnson County is voidable because of defects, the Indiana Supreme Court sent the case back to the trial court for new findings and conclusions without hearing new evidence.
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Bills on magistrates; custody and visitation pass House

February 21, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana House of Representatives passed House Bill 1041 Thursday morning 96-0. The bill addresses petitions to modify custody and visitation involving children who have been abused or neglected.
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Court reverses grant of custody to grandmother

January 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that the Porter Circuit judge’s ruling is not supported by clear and convincing evidence, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the court vacate its award of physical custody of A.S. to her grandmother and return her to the care of her mother.
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COA: rehearing petition another example of how DCS ‘dropped the ball’ in case

January 23, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted the rehearing petitions of the Department of Child Services and a family who had a child removed from their care and re-examined the family’s federal civil rights claims and claims under the Indiana Tort Claims Act. The judges also chided DCS’ counsel for submitting a new document in the petition for rehearing that was not part of the record on appeal.
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COA upholds mother’s relocation to Illinois

January 17, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court’s decision to allow a mother and her two children to move to Illinois after marrying her fiancé was not an abuse of discretion by the court because the father didn’t show how the move would have a negative effect on the children.
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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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