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Parallel parenting provision divides COA

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In reversing a trial court’s modification of the custody agreement even though neither parent requested a change in custody, the Indiana Court of Appeals split over how much discretion a Parallel Parenting Time Order grants a court.

The Fulton Circuit Court gave joint physical and legal custody to Shelly Bailey and her ex-husband Lance Bailey after the pair had traded contempt petitions and Shelly Bailey petitioned to restrict Lance Bailey’s visitation.

On appeal, Shelly Bailey charged the trial court should not have modified physical custody because neither party made such a request.

The Court of Appeals agreed, finding although Shelly Bailey agreed that the trial court could enter a Parallel Parenting Time Order, that was not a concession that the lower court could modify the children’s physical custody. Neither parent filed a petition requesting a change in custody and neither party presented any arguments for changing custody arrangements.

“Most importantly for purposes of this case, nothing in the new Parallel Parenting provision demonstrates any intent that it should affect the amount of parenting time awarded, except for possible elimination of mid week parenting time, makeup parenting time, and opportunities for additional parenting time that appear elsewhere in the Parenting Time Guidelines,” Judge Michael Barnes wrote for the majority in Shelly Bailey v. Lance Bailey, 25A04-1309-DR-452.

In his dissent, Judge John Baker asserted the Parallel Parenting provision would affect the amount of parenting time by reducing the father’s visitation. He also pointed to the instructions accompanying the Parallel Parenting Time Orders that the best interests of the children are paramount and the court recognize one parent could create a high-conflict situation.
 
Baker contended the trial court was trying to satisfy the best interests of the children as well as prevent further destructive behavior.
 
 

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  1. I need an experienced attorney to handle a breach of contract matter. Kindly respond for more details. Graham Young

  2. I thought the slurs were the least grave aspects of her misconduct, since they had nothing to do with her being on the bench. Why then do I suspect they were the focus? I find this a troubling trend. At least she was allowed to keep her law license.

  3. Section 6 of Article I of the Indiana Constitution is pretty clear and unequivocal: "Section 6. No money shall be drawn from the treasury for the benefit of any religious or theological institution."

  4. Video pen? Nice work, "JW"! Let this be a lesson and a caution to all disgruntled ex-spouses (or soon-to-be ex-spouses) . . . you may think that altercation is going to get you some satisfaction . . . it will not.

  5. First comment on this thread is a fitting final comment on this thread, as that the MCBA never answered Duncan's fine question, and now even Eric Holder agrees that the MCBA was in material error as to the facts: "I don't get it" from Duncan December 1, 2014 5:10 PM "The Grand Jury met for 25 days and heard 70 hours of testimony according to this article and they made a decision that no crime occurred. On what basis does the MCBA conclude that their decision was "unjust"? What special knowledge or evidence does the MCBA have that the Grand Jury hearing this matter was unaware of? The system that we as lawyers are sworn to uphold made a decision that there was insufficient proof that officer committed a crime. How can any of us say we know better what was right than the jury that actually heard all of the the evidence in this case."

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