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Testy divorce remanded for recalculation

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A divorce order that satisfied neither party was sent back to the trial court for recalculation of several provisions.

“Discovery in this case was complex and contentious,” Judge Terry Crone wrote for a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals that on Thursday issued a 31-page opinion in Lisa A. Birkhimer v. Neil S. Birkhimer, 29A02-1111-DR-1058. Lisa Birkhimer had business interests whose values were estimated in divorce proceedings at $2.78 million by her appraisers and $3.55 million by her husband’s evaluations.

The court awarded the business assets to Lisa Birkhimer and gave her 67 percent of the marital estate. To effect the division, she was ordered to pay more than $870,000 in equal monthly payments over 10 years with interest, plus a portion of her ex-husband’s legal fees. Neil Birkhimer also was to receive child support payments for their two children for whom the couple shared custody.

The COA remanded the case and ordered the Hamilton Superior Court to:

  • Include Lisa Birkhimer’s $580,000 debt to her father in setting forth the marital assets, and either recalculate the 33/67 percent split or adjust the percentages if the court determines that a different division is just and reasonable;
  • Recalculate Lisa Birkhimer’s income for child support purposes. If a deduction is made for her taxes, the deduction should not exceed 100% of her taxes. The court shall enter written findings to support any deviations from the Child Support Guidelines;.
  • Complete a new child support obligation worksheet using Lisa Birkhimer’s recalculated income and applying the parenting time credit to Neil Birkhimer; and.
  • Correct or clarify attorneys fees awarded to Neil Birkhimer as directed.
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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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