Divorce

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the coverture fraction, but one judge questioned why Indiana continues to use the doctrine which has its origin in an “outdated and misogynist view” of the rights and roles of men and women.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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COA splits over railroad benefits in divorce case

August 24, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred in ordering a man’s future railroad retirement benefits subject to a division of marital assets in a divorce case, a divided panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Agreement means what it says, COA rules

August 14, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
While the Indiana Court of Appeals conceded the severance agreement was “not a model of precision,” it disagreed with a trial court’s conclusion that the agreement contained a mistake.
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Trial court erred in denying dad custody vs. contemptuous mom

August 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals bluntly reversed denial of a father’s petition for primary custody of his children, finding their mother undermined him and deprived him of court-ordered visitation.
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COA clears way for broader use of postnuptial agreements

July 29, 2015
Michael Kohlhaas, Jim Reed
A February decision by the Indiana Court of Appeals makes postnuptial agreements a more attractive option for married couples who, considering divorce, decide instead to reconcile.
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For better or worse, the Internet impacts relationships

July 29, 2015
Margaret Ryznar
In just a quarter of a century, the Internet has had a huge impact at the beginning and end of people’s relationships, challenging family law to keep up.
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Lawyer who threatened rape fires back in discipline reply

July 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Fort Wayne lawyer who was charged after threatening to rape his opponent in a divorce case admits he was wrong to do that, but he says he shouldn’t be punished by the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission because the threat wasn’t literal and he was protecting his client.
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$5M bond set for man accused of plot to kill lawyer

July 14, 2015
 Associated Press
A $5 million bond has been set for a man accused of plotting with his mother to kill a Hamilton County divorce attorney seeking money from the mother's boyfriend.
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Former St. Joseph County couple may divorce in Hamilton County

June 16, 2015
Dave Stafford
A couple married 45 years who lived in St. Joseph County until the husband moved several months ago may divorce in Hamilton County, where he moved, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Court erred in concluding it lacked jurisdiction over military husband

May 7, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals sent a divorce case back to the trial court Thursday because the trial court erred in concluding that it lacked jurisdiction over the husband on division of property and spousal maintenance issues.
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Court: NYC woman can serve divorce papers via Facebook

April 6, 2015
 Associated Press
Social media continues to make headway into the legal system. A judge has given a New York City woman permission to file for divorce from her elusive husband via a Facebook message.
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COA: Husband’s motion to set aside divorce decree time-barred

March 19, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because the type of fraud a man alleged his ex-wife committed is considered “ordinary,” it was subject to the one-year time limit of Indiana Trial Rule 60(B)(3), the Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The judges affirmed the refusal of the trial court to set aside a 2008 dissolution decree.
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Justices dismiss Ball State from mother’s action seeking college expenses from ex-husband

March 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Ball State University should not have been added as a supplemental defendant in a woman’s petition to modify child support and seek postsecondary expenses from her ex-husband for her daughter, the Indiana Supreme Court held Wednesday.
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Ex-husband needed to take action to modify judgment, COA rules

March 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man challenging the proposed value of his pension’s surviving spouse benefit in a dissolution proceeding had to file his own Ind. Trial Rule 60(B) motion and not rely on the same motion filed by his ex-wife, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Wife wins appeal of division of marital estate

February 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a wife in a divorce proceeding that the trial court erred in how it calculated and divided the marital estate. The lower court incorrectly attributed the value of Florida real estate to the wife’s share of the marital pot as well as failed to credit her for paying the parties’ tax debt.
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COA interprets Uniform Premarital Act for first time

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A premarital agreement entered into by a pregnant teenage girl and her future husband who was twice her age was unconscionable when the agreement was executed in 1995, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday in an issue of first impression.
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COA: Postnuptial agreement is enforceable

February 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
It is not a requirement that one party in a marriage must initiate divorce proceedings in order for the parties to later enter into a valid and enforceable reconciliation agreement, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Some counties funnel domestic relations cases to specific courts, others split load

February 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indianapolis legal community was divided in the early 1990s over a plan to concentrate domestic relations cases into specific courts. The proposal became a reality, but the reality became too burdensome.
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  1. Can I get this form on line,if not where can I obtain one. I am eligible.

  2. What a fine example of the best of the Hoosier tradition! How sad that the AP has to include partisan snark in the obit for this great American patriot and adventurer.

  3. Why are all these lawyers yakking to the media about pending matters? Trial by media? What the devil happened to not making extrajudicial statements? The system is falling apart.

  4. It is a sad story indeed as this couple has been only in survival mode, NOT found guilty with Ponzi, shaken down for 5 years and pursued by prosecution that has been ignited by a civil suit with very deep pockets wrenched in their bitterness...It has been said that many of us are breaking an average of 300 federal laws a day without even knowing it. Structuring laws, & civilForfeiture laws are among the scariest that need to be restructured or repealed . These laws were initially created for drug Lords and laundering money and now reach over that line. Here you have a couple that took out their own money, not drug money, not laundering. Yes...Many upset that they lost money...but how much did they make before it all fell apart? No one ask that question? A civil suit against Williams was awarded because he has no more money to fight...they pushed for a break in order...they took all his belongings...even underwear, shoes and clothes? who does that? What allows that? Maybe if you had the picture of him purchasing a jacket at the Goodwill just to go to court the next day...his enemy may be satisfied? But not likely...bitterness is a master. For happy ending lovers, you will be happy to know they have a faith that has changed their world and a solid love that many of us can only dream about. They will spend their time in federal jail for taking their money from their account, but at the end of the day they have loyal friends, a true love and a hope of a new life in time...and none of that can be bought or taken That is the real story.

  5. Could be his email did something especially heinous, really over the top like questioning Ind S.Ct. officials or accusing JLAP of being the political correctness police.

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