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Participation in travel soccer league supports modifying custody

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The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a mother’s request to modify a custody order entered in 2007 when her children were in grade school, finding their participation in travel soccer leagues and the distance between the parents’ homes warrants a change.

The court also noted how the guardian ad litem on the case believed if the custody arrangement wasn’t modified, it would “irreparably harm” the father’s relationship with his two children.

The arrangement in place between mother L.C. and father T.M. had the children spending Mondays, Tuesdays and alternate weekends with their father in Mooresville. The mother lived in Carmel, where the now teens are enrolled in school and play in travel soccer leagues. Also as part of the custody order, mother is to enroll the children in spring sports and father to enroll them in fall sports.

L.C. signed her son up for travel soccer in the spring of 2012; her daughter was already playing on Carmel’s travel team. She sought to modify the physical custody arrangement to better accommodate the children’s schedules, travel distance and difficulties the kids had when staying with their father. They felt they were treated worse than their step-siblings.  

The trial court ruled the mother’s enrollment of her son in the travel league that lasted an entire year violated the custody arrangement that mother enroll the children in spring sports and father enroll them in fall sports. It also held she didn’t prove a substantial change had occurred to warrant modification.

“In our view, the trial court’s determination that the parties should remain bound to their shared physical custody arrangement, despite the intervening changes that affect the children’s welfare and best interest, cannot stand,” Judge John Baker wrote in In Re: the Marriage of L.C. v. T.M., 32A01-1303-DR-91. The judges remanded for an order to be entered based on the evidence presented that modifies the custody arrangement in accordance with the children’s best interests.

The appellate court also noted it was mindful of the recent Indiana Supreme Court decision in D.C. v. J.A.C., 977 N.E.2d 951, 956 (Ind. 2012), that admonishes against appellate reversal of custody orders and reminds that great deference should be afforded to trial courts in custody matters. But, Baker wrote, the court doesn’t believe that the rationale in the opinion stands for the idea that an appellate court is unable to reverse decisions that do not serve the best interests of the children and promote stability.
 

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  1. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  2. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

  3. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  4. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

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