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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. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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