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Pending petition for child support becomes applicable after Legislature amends statute

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A trial court will have to reconsider its ruling in a child support dispute in light of a state law that was changed while an appeal of the case was pending.

Richard Littke had filed a petition to obligate his ex-wife, Laurie Littke, to help cover their daughter’s college expenses in 2012. The trial court granted Laurie Littke’s motion to dismiss because the couple had already agreed their daughter was emancipated pursuant to Indiana Code 31-16-6-6 effective July 1, 2012.

While the father’s appeal was pending before the Indiana Court of Appeals, however, the Legislature enacted an amendment that made his petition timely.

During the 2012 and 2013 sessions, the Indiana General Assembly amended I.C. 31-16-6-6 which governs the termination of child support and emancipation of a child. In 2012, the Legislature changed the presumptive age for termination of child support from 21 to 19. The next year, the governing body added subjections addressing the filing of a petition for education needs.

Consequently, the Court of Appeals found under the applicable version of I.C. 31-16-6-6 the father’s petition was not untimely. In Richard Littke v. Laurie Littke, 64A03-1211-DR-509, the COA reversed the order dismissing the father’s petition for postsecondary educational expenses as untimely and remanded to the trial court to make a determination on the merits of the father’s petition.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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