Family Law

Justices: Custody petition permitted during CHINS case

April 13, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court reversed a trial court, ruling an aunt and uncle could bring a custody action despite a child in need of services case that was pending for the child in Posey Circuit Court.
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Lesbian spouses challenge Indiana birth certificate law

April 11, 2016
 Associated Press
An attorney for eight married lesbian couples argued Friday that the state of Indiana is discriminating against them by not allowing both women to be listed on their children's birth certificates, echoing a dispute that has led to similar lawsuits in several other states.
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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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Indianapolis family law attorney Strain dies

February 19, 2016
IL Staff
An Indianapolis solo practitioner who was active leader in bar associations died Wednesday. Jana K. Strain was 51.
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Married lesbian couples seek birth certificate equality

January 13, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Lesbian couples in Indiana are learning the fight for state recognition did not stop with the legalization of same-sex marriage. The battle now has moved to parenthood.
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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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Ringlespaugh: Custody issues for parents of special-needs children

January 13, 2016
When deciding child custody in a situation involving a child with special needs, it is important for the courts, parents and attorneys to consider how these situations differ from families that do not have children with disabilities.
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Ryznar: Grandparent visitation 15 years after Troxel

January 13, 2016
Margaret Ryznar
Given continued high levels of divorce and out-of-wedlock births, the role of grandparents continues to be an important source of stability in some families. Thus, in 2015, grandparent visitation made several appearances on the Indiana court dockets.
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Justices block Alabama court order in lesbian adoption case

December 14, 2015
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court has sided with a lesbian mother who wants to see her adopted children, blocking an Alabama court's order that declared the adoption invalid.
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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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Same-sex couples ask for summary judgment in birth certificate complaint

December 7, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Eight lesbian couples who sued the state for not putting both parents' names on their children’s birth certificates have filed a motion for summary judgment, asking the federal court to prohibit the state from denying the presumption of parenthood to female spouses of women who are artificially inseminated.
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Man loses appeal to revoke spousal maintenance

November 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An ex-husband who sought “all-or-nothing” relief when he asked the court to terminate his ex-wife’s incapacity support instead of reducing it after she remarried lost his appeal before the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Terzo: Arbitration is viable alternative in family law disputes

October 7, 2015
It wasn’t until the 1990s that arbitration began to be seriously considered for family law cases. At that time there was no statute specifically directed to family law arbitration, and Indiana had no caselaw regarding family law arbitration. Our current statute, I.C. 34-57-5-1, et seq, was enacted in 2005. It answered many of the questions attorneys had.
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Indiana seeks more foster parents because of growing need

October 5, 2015
 Associated Press
The number of children in Indiana in foster care rose to 13,134 in June, up from 10,550 a year earlier, according to state records. The shortage of foster families is putting pressure on the pool of people who are licensed to foster and making it more difficult for caseworkers to find local placements.
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Diocese appeals $403K award to former Fort Wayne teacher

September 10, 2015
 Associated Press
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend has appealed a judgment of more than $403,000 to be paid to a former language arts teacher who was fired after seeking several in vitro fertilization treatments.
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Grandmother granted too much visitation time, COA rules

August 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
A paternal grandmother was properly granted visitation time with her granddaughter, but the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday the court abused its discretion by awarding too much visitation time.
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Justices reinstate grandparent visitation COA deemed excessive

July 31, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court Thursday reinstated a trial court’s grandparent visitation order that included monthly overnight visits and other visitation that the Court of Appeals ruled was excessive.
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Lawyers applaud proposed changes to child support guidelines

July 29, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The passage and implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act is underlying a proposal to rid Indiana’s child support guidelines of a loophole and complicated health insurance worksheet.
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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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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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CASA Day at Statehouse set for Monday

March 3, 2015
IL Staff
Hundreds of Indiana court-appointed special advocates will gather Monday for CASA Day at the Statehouse in Indianapolis. The event will be at noon in the north atrium.
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COA affirms cutting off mother’s communication with daughter

February 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The court record is replete with evidence supporting a juvenile court’s decision that a teenage girl would be better off if communication and visits with her mother were terminated, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday. The girl, in foster care, often had detrimental visits with her mother.
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Indiana same-sex couple files suit to get both names listed on birth certificate

February 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A married lesbian couple filed a complaint in federal court charging Indiana is violating their constitutional rights by not listing both their names on their child’s birth certificate.
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Appeals court strips grandmother’s visitation, cites grandchild’s adoption

February 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indiana Court of Appeals panel Friday stripped a maternal grandparent of visitation rights, finding she had no standing to seek visitation. The parents of the child had divorced, and the father remarried shortly after the mother’s death.
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Ruling extends standing in adoption cases to those with ‘lawful custody’

January 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
The sometimes-bitter litigation between a child’s adoptive parent and her grandparents who raised her from a young age yielded a decision from the state’s highest court that family law experts believe may represent a significant shift in adoption cases.
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