Family Law

COA: Surrogate can not petition to disestablish maternity

July 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A married woman who acted as a surrogate for another couple cannot petition to disestablish her maternity because it would cause the child to be “declared a child without a mother,” the Indiana Court of Appeals determined on interlocutory appeal.
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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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Ex-wife not required to pay attorney fees under FDCPA

May 29, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A woman does not have to pay the attorney fees for her ex-husband after she sought more than $135,000 in owed child support after he failed to pay for 16 years, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. The trial court ordered her to pay the fees under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
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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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COA: Mother should have challenged income evidence at trial

May 24, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A mother who claimed that the record doesn’t support her actual or current income after her ex-husband was granted sole custody of her children should have brought up her concerns at trial, not on appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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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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COA affirms mom’s termination of rights despite ‘clean screen’ given to judge

May 7, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis mother with a history of drug abuse and domestic violence failed to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse the termination of her parental rights, even though she introduced herself to the presiding judge after oral arguments and had a student deliver to the judge evidence of a clean drug screen taken a day earlier.
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Child support case presents issue of first impression

April 26, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was presented with an issue for the first time: whether a child support order should be reduced for the time a child is living on campus when a court has found that the child has repudiated the non-custodial parent, and on that basis refused to enter an educational support order.
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COA reverses vacation of grandparent visitation

March 27, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Even though a grandmother lacked standing to pursue a grandparent visitation order when it was granted, the trial court erred in later vacating the order, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. The grandchildren’s guardians’ objections to the grandmother’s lack of standing were waived when they failed to appeal the original order.
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COA affirms changing boy’s last name

March 21, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The mother of a 5-year-old boy was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the Marion Circuit Court erred in granting his father’s petition to change the boy’s surname to his last name.
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Justices take child support case

March 19, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to just one case last week, a not-for-publication decision out of the Indiana Court of Appeals dealing with a parent’s financial obligations to his children.
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Court affirms reduction of support ordered in another state

March 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
A court order reducing a father’s child support obligation from that set by a Pennsylvania court was affirmed Monday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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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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Amendment to law allows father to terminate child support

February 28, 2013
An amendment to Indiana Code last year lowering the age child support may be terminated to 19 trumped a previous dissolution decree that said a father must pay support for his son until he turns 21, the Indiana Court of Appeals has decided.
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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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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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Justices adopt changes to parenting time guidelines

January 10, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has issued a 33-page order that spells out the changes to the state’s parenting time rule and guidelines. The amendments take effect March 1, 2013.
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In test of 2012 emancipation law, COA affirms denial of college expenses

January 2, 2013
Dave Stafford
A statutory change in the age of emancipation for child support, except for educational support, does not preclude courts from modifying educational support obligations when parents demonstrate changes in their financial circumstances, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Prenuptial agreements change with time but remain tricky

January 2, 2013
Dave Stafford
Prenuptial agreements are not written to be fair. Nor should they be, according to some Indiana attorneys who draft them.
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Attorneys coping with more domestic violence cases

January 2, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Domestic violence has been increasing in recent years along with what family law attorneys are observing as more anger and more meanness.
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Indiana GAL/CASA program gets national grant

December 12, 2012
IL Staff
Indiana’s State Office of the GAL/CASA has been awarded a $40,000 grant from the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association. The money will be used to support local programs that provide volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children in Indiana.
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David, Rush appointed as liaisons for juvenile program

December 10, 2012
IL Staff
Chief Justice Brent Dickson has appointed Justices Steven David and Loretta H. Rush to serve as the Indiana Supreme Court’s liaison representatives to the Court Improvement Program executive committee.
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Justices: COA overreached on reversing trial court custody ruling

November 13, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Court of Appeals got it wrong when it reversed a trial court custody modification in favor of a child’s father, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in one of the first opinions joined by Justice Loretta Rush.
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Statute granting DCS immunity applies to nearly all of family’s claims

October 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A case involving the Department of Child Services before the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday provided the court with two issues of first impression – the interpretation of a statute relating to the agency, and the liberty interests that may reside with extended family members involved in the lawsuit.
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Judicial Conference moves parenting time guidelines forward, minus parenting coordination

September 19, 2012
IL Staff
The board of directors of the Indiana Judicial Conference approved proposed changes to the state’s parenting time guidelines Sept. 14 and sent them to the Supreme Court for review. However, the guidelines were sent on without any suggestions on parenting coordination.
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  1. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  2. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  3. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  4. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

  5. Agreed on 4th Amendment call - that was just bad policing that resulted in dismissal for repeat offender. What kind of parent names their boy "Kriston"?

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