Divorce cases take up most of the time on Indiana’s trial court’s calendars. They are messy and sometimes take up multiple days of trial court time (i.e., two hours here, a half day there, and an hour to wrap up, even without the traditional opening and closing). The reason for this is there is no real way for a judge or attorneys to gauge how long divorce hearing will take. A given question may open up new assets or liabilities or the perception of parties or witnesses may ...
About a decade ago, mediation began to take hold in Indiana. It was so successful, the Indiana Supreme Court allowed trial courts to order parties to mediate their divorce case before setting a final contested divorce hearing on a congested court docket. Most trial courts were receptive to it.1 Attorneys also grew to like the process over the former model of a trial, because the parties could reach an agreement of their own accord versus having a court take control and decide. If ...
January 22, 2015 / Divorce
In Indiana, like many other states, marriage and divorce rates are about equal. The differences are stark; marriage is generally a happy time where couples look forward to growing old together, having a family, and doing things that over time will weave most all aspects of life together. Divorce, on the other hand, involves untangling assets and liabilities and often children, things that are not really divisible. If your case does not settle along the way1, the day will come that a final hearing becomes a reality in your case.2 There ...
In Indiana, there are levels of crimes from misdemeanors to felonies. Indiana recently updated its criminal code to include numbered levels for crimes versus the previous letters (ex. A felony). Misdemeanors, felonies and the different levels are divided by the severity of the crimes. For example, dealing in cocaine or narcotic drug can be charged as a Level 5 felony through a Level 2 felony, depending on the amount and circumstances1. A Level 6 felony carries a lesser sentence than a Level 1 felony. But, if you are charged with ...
January 19, 2015 / Supreme Court
The sometimes-bitter litigation between a child’s adoptive parent and her grandparents who raised her from a young age yielded a decision from the state’s highest court that family law experts believe may represent a significant shift in adoption cases...read more on Indiana Lawyer.
Many legal cases, including domestic cases, come to a settlement/agreement between the parties prior to a final hearing. One way to reach a settlement is through mediation, where a neutral third party facilitates negotiation and agreement between the parties1. To help encourage the best setting for mediation to hopefully get a case settled and an agreement reached, it is best to be prepared. The following list includes three (3) key items to assist with working toward a successful mediation. Background information: Mediation is a settlement negotiation. It is helpful for the ...
A recent Supreme Court of the United States case addressed the issue of whether a search warrant is needed in order to search the contents of a person’s cell phone1. In this digital age of a cell phone acting as a lifeline to users (calendar, alarm clock, video/song player, financial planner, etc.), a device no bigger than a deck of playing cards can contain personal and intimate information about not only the owner, but others as well. In the recent ruling, the Court held that in order to search extensively the ...
In a domestic law matter, often, child support is one of the main issues that parties disagree about. Who will pay? How much credit will be given? In Indiana, child support is based on a formula, and once the required numbers and information are placed into the worksheet, the total for child support is calculated and determined1. The Child Support Rules and Guidelines provide for a division of many of the expenses. For example, the health insurance premium for the minor children only is a factor in determining ...
January 6, 2015 / Custody Modification
Child custody is often one of the lengthiest processes in family law, and continues on, often for several years until the child is emancipated. Custody is often ongoing and fluid. Maybe the work schedule of the parents has changed or a parent is required to move for a job. These and many other factors can cause custody or parenting time modification to be filed and addressed, either by agreement or Court Order. In order to modify child custody, there are several factors that are explored, including, the ...
January 2, 2015 / Criminal Law
In some parts of the Country, such as Arizona, window tint is essential to keeping a car at a reasonable temperature to cool in the summer. However, any tinting that is not done at the factory may make you subject to a traffic stop, ticket, and be a basis for other criminal charges. The legal reason is a darkly tinted side and back window impairs law enforcement officers from making safety decisions about vehicles and the occupants they encounter in daily activities. For this reason, and first, the General ...