Divorce

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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COA: Ex-husband entitled to legal fees for former wife's contempt

February 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
The ex-husband in an acrimonious domestic relations case is entitled to $9,000 in legal fees a trial court awarded to him as well as judgments in his favor on parenting time and child support, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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COA affirms father must pay $876 in child support to non-custodial parent

February 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
There was no error by a trial court when it ordered a father to pay his ex-wife, who is the non-custodial parent of their two children, nearly $900 a week in child support, the Court of Appeals affirmed Tuesday. The order and figure are supported by the Indiana Child Support Guidelines.
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Protective order against ex-husband reversed for lack of evidence

January 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court had insufficient evidence to extend a protective order a woman sought against her ex-husband, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in reversing the order.
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Court affirms valuation of hoof trimming business

January 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering an ex-husband to pay a portion of an expert’s fee for valuating his hoof trimming business upon the dissolution of his marriage, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Court orders termination of spousal maintenance following ex-wife’s remarriage

January 14, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who remarried and now has substantial income and assets as a result of that marriage is no longer entitled to spousal maintenance, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Woman committed UPL, forgery in divorce filing

December 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion County woman who forged a name and attorney number on a divorce filing had her criminal convictions upheld Friday by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The woman gave false attorney information because she didn’t want the litigant to have to watch a video about filing pro se.
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Appeals court remands divorce distribution for IRA recalculation

December 16, 2014
Dave Stafford
The value of an Individual Retirement Account was miscalculated by a trial court, but the Indiana Court of Appeals otherwise affirmed the distribution of a marital estate in a divorce case.
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Same-sex couple gets divorce in Indiana

November 10, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana residents Linda Bruner and Lori Roberts made history Nov. 10 by becoming the first same-sex couple in the state to legally divorce.
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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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