Family Law

Judges uphold denying visitation to ex-partner

December 7, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today that lawmakers didn’t intend to allow parents to establish joint custody with third parties under Indiana Code Section 31-17-2-3 by simply filing a joint petition with a trial court. Doing so would allow parents and third parties to circumvent the requirements of the Adoption Act.
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Diversity issues affect family lawRestricted Content

November 10, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
While family law cases can be complicated – especially if children are involved and a case has ended up in front of a judge after the parties couldn’t come to an agreement on their own through mediation – the issues only get more complicated when fundamental differences exist between the parties.
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New national act would address adult guardianship matters

November 10, 2010
Michael Hoskins
New law changes are on the horizon in order to create more uniform guardianship laws throughout the country and reduce conflicts between states.
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Update: Professor who taught at Indy Law since 1977 dies

October 27, 2010
IL Staff
Professor emeritus Henry C. Karlson, who taught criminal law at Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis for more than 30 years, died Monday of cancer.
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Juvenile's records not protected by counselor/client privilege

October 20, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Howard Superior Court erred in finding that the counselor/client privilege prevented the admission of a son’s counseling records during a custody modification hearing, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Pending dissolution settlement not enforceable upon a party's death

October 12, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
A property-settlement document is not an enforceable contract if one of the parties dies before the dissolution action is finalized, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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COA rules on military benefits to former spouses

October 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Ruling on the issue for the first time, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held that a military spouse may not, by a post-decree waiver of retirement pay in favor of disability benefits or combat-related special compensation, unilaterally and voluntarily reduce the benefits awarded to the former spouse in a dissolution decree.
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Guardians program fulfills needRestricted Content

September 1, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
To help address the need for guardians for patients of a northwest Indiana hospital, Lake County Judge Diane Kavadias-Schneider – with others in the court and with permission from Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard – worked on a guardianship program that involved temporary volunteer guardians.
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Adult guardianship programs continue to operate with little fundingRestricted Content

September 1, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Courts around Indiana have started their own guardianship programs based on the Lake County model program in Allen, Elkhart, Lawrence, St. Joseph, Tippecanoe, and Vanderburgh counties.
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Appellate courts address estate tax, trust division regarding adoptions

September 1, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
As adoptions have become more common and more accepted for expanding the family tree, courts have had to address some legal matters clarifying those familial ties.
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Justices criticize attorney's decision making on publicationRestricted Content

September 1, 2010
Michael Hoskins
State statutes about adoption and grandparent visitation may be important for Indiana trial courts when considering custody issues, but courts have long held that foundational due process rights still apply and can’t be sacrificed.
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High court privately reprimands attorney

August 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has privately reprimanded an attorney for improperly revealing information about a former client when socializing with friends.
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COA concerned about some details in termination case

August 26, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
In affirming the involuntary termination of a mother’s parental rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals noted some troubling details involving the case.
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Attorney waits for plea agreement decision

August 23, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Anderson attorney Samuel Hasler is still waiting to see if his plea agreement regarding child pornography charges will be accepted.
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Prominent family law attorney dies

July 12, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A well-known and longtime family law attorney in Indianapolis died July 7 at the age of 80.
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Court affirms felony nonsupport of a dependent conviction

July 6, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
A man claiming he proved he was unable to pay child support because of his numerous incarcerations did not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals. In its ruling today, the court relied on Becker v. Becker to affirm the man’s conviction of Class C felony nonsupport of a dependent child.
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COA balances free speech vs. minor's privacy rights

June 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was faced with competing constitutional rights today: a mother’s right to free political speech versus her daughter’s right to privacy as to whether her father allegedly sexually abused her.
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Judges: no private cause allowed for not reporting abuse, neglect

June 10, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Standing behind a decision made by appellate judges about 20 years ago, the Indiana Court of Appeals has again declined to interpret state statute in a way that allows for a private right of action for failing to report child abuse or neglect.
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Justices asked to revisit Indian family law

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
At least one Indiana Court of Appeals judge believes the state’s highest court should revisit how it applies a three-decade old statute to tribal Indian family adoption issues inside Indiana.
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Family law attorney to receive national award

June 2, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
For doing pro bono work and for promoting pro bono work among others in the legal community, an Indianapolis attorney has learned she will receive a national award at the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco in August.
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Judge, others honored around Law DayRestricted Content

April 28, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
The Evansville Bar Association recognized a judge and others in the legal profession during two annual events that take place near Law Day.
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Courts study changing surrogacy lawRestricted Content

April 28, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Surrogacy law in Indiana is at a crossroads because of scientific and technological advances that give people more options to start a family.
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Economy adjusts child supportRestricted Content

April 28, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
It used to be fairly easy to prove someone wouldn't pay child support because they didn't want to. But it hasn't gone unnoticed that there are more people who want to pay child support but simply can't.
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Committee seeks comment on parenting time

April 20, 2010
IL Staff
The Judicial Conference of Indiana's Domestic Relations Committee is accepting comments on the state's parenting time guidelines as it reviews them. The committee is encouraging comments from judicial officers, attorneys, parents, professionals who work with children, and members of the public.
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Family courts for pro se parentsRestricted Content

March 3, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
While family courts have been around in Indiana for the last decade, the counties that have them continue to make changes to improve access to justice to all litigants who are in the system.
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  1. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  2. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  3. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  4. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  5. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

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