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Mother may petition for college expenses for emancipated children

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Two amendments made by the Indiana General Assembly to the termination of child support and emancipation statute allow for a mother’s college support petition for two emancipated children to stand.

Alexander Toradze and Susan Toradze were divorced in May 2002. The divorce decree included an order for child support for the two minor children but did not contain any language regarding payments toward any college education expenses. In October 2012, the children’s mother filed a petition to modify child support to help cover college costs.

The children’s father filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction to decide Susan Toradze’s request based on Indiana Code 31.16-6-6.

In Alexander David Toradze v. Susan Blake Toradze, 71A05-1212-DR-623, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirms the trial court’s denial of Alexander Toradze’s motion to dismiss. The COA concluded the lower court acquired jurisdiction because of amendments regarding child support made to the state statute. The judges pointed to the Legislature’s two amendments to the state statute regarding the termination of children support and emancipation.

The Indiana General Assembly enacted an amendment, effective July 1, 2012, which lowered the age for stopping child support to 19. A year later, the Legislature approved another amendment, retroactively effective July 1, 2012, which enabled a parent, guardian or child to petition for education needs when a child support order was issued before July 1, 2012.

Since the children were both emancipated on July 1, 2012, – the child support order had been issued in 2002 – the Court of Appeals found Susan Toradze can file a petition to modify.

“When Mother filed her petition for educational expenses, both children had not yet reached twenty-one years of age, Judge Patricia Riley wrote. “Because the trial court had established a duty to support the children in a court order issued prior to July 1, 2012 and the children were younger than twenty-one years of age, Mother was entitled to file her petition for post-educational expenses based on I.C. 31-16-6-6(a) & (c).”

Judge Elaine Brown wrote a separate opinion, concurring in result but disagreeing with the “majority’s conclusion that the trial court acquired subject matter jurisdiction to decide Mother’s request….”

Brown concluded the trial court had personal and subject matter jurisdiction and that Ind. Code 31-16-6-6 provided statutory basis for providing Mother the requested relief.



 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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