Divorce

Court affirms division of marital estate in divorce

June 13, 2017
Dave Stafford
A trial court’s division of a marital estate that was challenged by both the husband and wife was affirmed Tuesday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA reverses dissolution decree imputing potential income to mother

April 26, 2017
Olivia Covington
A divided Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the terms of a marriage dissolution decree, finding the trial court erred in imputing potential income to the mother based on the fact that she should now be able to work full-time because her children are older.
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Parents lose constitutional challenge of post-secondary school expenses

March 22, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
Bound by precedent, the Indiana Court of Appeals declined to find the statute allowing courts to impose post-secondary educational expenses on divorced parents is unconstitutional. The parents had argued the statute needs another look.
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Judges uphold dismissal of motion to set aside dissolution decree

March 10, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has rejected a LaPorte County man’s appeal of the dismissal of his motion to set aside a dissolution decree, finding he did not follow the proper procedure to have his motion heard.
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COA orders man to transfer investment accounts to ex-wife

March 9, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered an Allen County man to transfer total ownership of three investment accounts to his ex-wife after finding that an original court order from 2011 required him to do so.
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COA: Only property owned prior to final separation can be included in marital pot

January 19, 2017
Olivia Covington
Only property that is owned or acquired before the date a dissolution petition is filed in a divorce proceeding can be included in the marital pot, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Thursday in an opinion that overturned a lower court’s decision to include stock options vested after the date of a couple’s final separation in the marital pot.
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COA affirms rulings in division of military pension

January 13, 2017
Dave Stafford
A man who sought to void trial court orders that granted his ex-wife a portion of his military pension lost his interlocutory appeal Friday.
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Couple who claim bank's actions led to their divorce lose appeal

January 11, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana attorney and her ex-husband couldn’t convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that a bank violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act with regards to an errant insurance payment and that alleged error led to their divorce and caused $300,000 in damages.
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Order for parents to pay grad school costs reversed

December 14, 2016
Dave Stafford
Parents who were ordered in a divorce decree to pay their child's costs of graduate school won’t have to after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the trial court abused its discretion in so ordering.
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COA awards custody to father, orders assets redivided

October 28, 2016
Olivia Covington
After a couple’s contentious battle in court over custody of their children and possession of their home, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Friday their marital estate had not been correctly divided. However, the appellate court affirmed the decision to award custody of the children to their father.
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COA dismisses divorce appeal for untimeliness

October 19, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has dismissed an appeal of an order dissolving a LaPorte County couple’s marriage after finding that the appeal was not filed within the correct timeframe.
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Court of Appeals upholds denial of request to set aside 1997 divorce decree

September 9, 2016
Olivia Covington
The denial of a woman’s request to set aside her divorce decree nearly 20 years after the end of her marriage because of fraud on the part of her ex-husband has been upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Justices: Divorced parents don't have to pay graduate school costs for their children

June 1, 2016
Scott Roberts
In a unanimous decision, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled divorced parents cannot be obligated to pay the graduate or professional school expenses of their adult children in a case where a mother and father were forced to share a child’s dental school expenses after she completed her undergraduate degree.
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In a divorce, who gets to keep the family dog?

May 2, 2016
 Bloomberg News
Rudy is a 9-year-old German shorthaired pointer with a regal personality and loving owners who are divorced. The humans in his life agreed to a shared-custody arrangement: Every two weeks, Rudy goes back and forth between their two homes in western Massachusetts.
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COA: Woman’s motion in divorce case can stand

April 6, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a woman seek to modify a divorce agreement after she found her husband hid more than $1 million in undisclosed assets five years later.
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Man gets to keep part of farming property

March 17, 2016
Scott Roberts
A man will get to keep part of his farming property after the Indiana Court of Appeals found appointing a commissioner for the property was an impermissible modification of his and his ex-wife’s divorce agreement.
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Wife to receive more in divorce settlement

March 11, 2016
Scott Roberts
A wife will get around $116,000 more in a divorce settlement after the Indiana Court of Appeals found the trial court erred in applying the coverture fraction formula to the husband’s retirement accounts.
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COA: Survivor benefit plan is a marital asset

January 27, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Ruling on an issue barely touched upon in a previous decision, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined that a survivor benefit plan of a military pension should have been included in the marital pot when calculating asset distribution in a divorce.
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Judge wants state to discard ‘archaic’ coverture fraction

January 20, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the division of a husband’s pension through the use of the coverture fraction, but one judge questioned why Indiana continues to use the doctrine which has its origin in an “outdated and misogynist view” of the rights and roles of men and women.
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Collaborative divorce use lagging in Indiana

January 13, 2016
Dave Stafford
Lea Shelemey learned about collaborative divorce a dozen years ago when she heard what lawyers were doing in her native Alberta, Canada. She’s been sold ever since, but she wishes more lawyers were trained in the process and more clients were willing to take the option
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Appeals court concerned about fee-shifting provisions in domestic relations cases

December 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s decision to not award a mother attorney fees despite the inclusion of a fee-shifting provision in her divorce settlement. In doing so, the appeals court pointed out how these provisions may go against public policy.
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Daughter’s emancipation leads to reduction in child support

December 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court should have reduced a father’s child support obligation to his three children because his daughter’s emancipation constitutes a substantial and continuing change, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday. The trial court denied the father’s motion because the amount of child support offered differed by less than 20 percent of the amount dictated by the Indiana Child Support Guidelines.
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Court erred in not considering subsequent property settlement agreements

October 7, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a ruling in favor of a woman on her claim that her ex-husband owed her more than $2.4 million based on a 1997 property settlement agreement. The judges found the trial court should have considered subsequent property settlement agreements the two entered into without the court’s approval.
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Dissenting judge: Majority ‘needlessly prolongs’ divorce case

September 22, 2015
Dave Stafford
A divorce case remanded to the trial court for proceedings needlessly prolonged the litigation, a dissenting Court of Appeals judge wrote Tuesday.
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COA affirms child support, debt division orders

September 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Monday rejected an adoptive father’s argument that he was ordered through a dissolution order to pay too much in child support, including a retroactive amount creating an arrearage. 
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  1. Joseph Buser, Montgomery County Chief Prosecutor, has been involved in both representing the State of Indiana as Prosecutor while filing as Representing Attorney on behalf of himself and the State of Indiana in Civil Proceedings for seized cash and merchandise using a Verified Complaint For Forfeiture of Motor Vehicle, Us Currency And Reimbursement Of Costs, as is evident in Montgomery County Circuit Court Case Number 54C01-1401-MI-000018, CCS below, seen before Judge Harry Siamas, and filed on 01/13/2014. Sheriff Mark Castille is also named. All three defendants named by summons have prior convictions under Mr. Buser, which as the Indiana Supreme Court, in the opinion of The Matter of Mark R. McKinney, No. 18S00-0905-DI-220, stated that McKinney created a conflict of interest by simultaneously prosecuting drug offender cases while pocketing assets seized from defendants in those cases. All moneys that come from forfeitures MUST go to the COMMON SCHOOL FUND.

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  4. Oh, and you fail to mention that you deprived the father of far FAR more time than he ever did you, even requiring officers to escort the children back into his care. Please, can you see that you had a huge part in "starting the war?" Patricia, i can't understand how painfully heartbreak ithis ordeal must have been for you. I read the appellate case and was surprised to see both sides of the story because your actions were harmful to your child; more so than the fathers. The evidence wasn't re weighed. It was properly reviewed for abuse of discretion as the trial court didn't consider whether a change of circumstance occurred or follow and define the statutes that led to their decision. Allowing a child to call a boyfriend "daddy" and the father by his first name is unacceptable. The first time custody was reversed to father was for very good reason. Self reflection in how you ultimately lost primary custody is the only way you will be able heal and move forward. Forgiveness of yourself comes after recognition and I truly hope you can get past the hurt and pain to allow your child the stability and care you recognized yourself that the father provides.

  5. Patricia, i can't understand how painfully heartbreak ithis ordeal must have been for you. I read the appellate case and was surprised to see both sides of the story because your actions were harmful to your child; more so than the fathers. The evidence wasn't re weighed. It was properly reviewed for abuse of discretion as the trial court didn't consider whether a change of circumstance occurred or follow and define the statutes that led to their decision. Allowing a child to call a boyfriend "daddy" and the father by his first name is unacceptable. The first time custody was reversed to father was for very good reason. Self reflection in how you ultimately lost primary custody is the only way you will be able heal and move forward. Forgiveness of yourself comes after recognition and I truly hope you can get past the hurt and pain to allow your child the stability and care you recognized yourself that the father provides.

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