Every year there is a surge in divorce filings from January to March. Why? Most couples, specifically those with children, are reluctant to break up during the closely-spaced holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years; particularly, with the office parties and other events that are almost holiday rituals, like Black Friday shopping. After all, there is a whole year to get divorced before a reset of these holidays and hopefully start the next year with a clean slate as a single person. This blog explores seven key ... Read More


In complex or high asset divorces, attorneys sometimes face property, such as a vacation home, located abroad. The question becomes, “is this part of the marital estate?” Yes. All property no matter where located is marital property. Indiana subscribes, under the Dissolution Act, to the one pot theory where all assets brought into the marriage, acquired during the marriage, or to the date of filing are assets of the marriage the court can divide. This is settled law. This blog explores enforcement of ... Read More


Nationally, and certainly within the state of Indiana, a great deal of public interest has been garnered with the passage of the castle doctrine and its companion doctrine, standing one’s ground, into law. However, every seasoned criminal defense attorney knows this defense is poorly understood across the board. Prosecutors, who serve the public, also understand this—although they often have very different views on the scope and meaning of these doctrines. Think you understand them? Think again. Here is the question: Are you willing to die—today--for your ... Read More


Suppression of evidence in a criminal case has always been a controversial topic and legal remedy. An example would be suppression of a firearm found on a felon after he or she is stopped and searched. It is illegal and a criminal act for a felon to possess a firearm under state and federal law, and standing alone, is criminal and should result in a conviction. The reason evidence is suppressed, such as this hypothetical firearm on a felon, is to ... Read More


Every parent has heard or seen a story about a couple whose child is taken and secreted in another state by the other when troubles develop in the relationship. This has been a problem since the 1960s. In 1968, a uniform act was proposed that would ultimately be adopted in all states in some forms by the early 1980s. This blog post generally summarizes the potential use of the UCCJA. In simple terms, the UCCJA allows a parent who files for divorce ... Read More


In Indiana, all marital assets, except as otherwise excluded by law, are part of the marital estate a trial court can divide upon divorce. There is a presumption of an equal division (assets – liabilities). However, with certain professionals, this division is complex because of the complexity of what they do. This blog explores these concerns and some resolutions. Perhaps, and first, with professionals who own a business or are involved in a practice (medical, dental, law). The value of business in terms of what ... Read More


Supposing a custodial parent is permitted by a court to relocate with the child to another state, there are often matters that arise after relocation that must be decided by a court with regard to the child. This brings up a relatively frequent question of which court decides, the court in the child’s former state of residence, generally the “home state,” or the state where the child now resides. Generally, the court in the child’s former “home state” retains jurisdiction so long as the non-relocating parent resides there. However, a petition ... Read More


Where the is a dispute about a child, from its biological parent to impermissible removal of a child from his or her home to return, there are numerous statutory laws that apply to ensure the child’s best interests are met and/or the proper court hears the matter. This blog is written to summarize those for you to better understand questions you might want to ask your counsel. The Divorce Act. One of the most commonly applicable bodies of law is found under the Indiana Divorce Act statutes. This statute directs that ... Read More


A significant legal myth in the purchase of property is boundary lines. When a home is purchased, even a new home, the mortgage company typically requires a “survey.” There are three types of real estate surveys. With improved real property (which means a structure is built upon it), a purchase and mortgage usually requires a boundary survey. This is a legal term of art and generally means the property is the size described, such as a one-half an acre and the improvement (typically a home) is within the legal boundaries of ... Read More


In the 1960s, it was common for a parent and child(ren) to take a “vacation” to another state, file divorce, and have this new state decide custody matters. Ultimately, this gained enough attention that the laws changed, as this new state would not have the necessary evidence to decide custody fully in a child’s best interests, and as a policy matter, “rewarded” a parent who fled to avoid a court best positioned to decide divorce, custody, and property matters. For this reason, more or less uniform child custody jurisdiction laws1 were ... Read More