Divorce

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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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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  1. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  2. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  3. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  4. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  5. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

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