In most divorce and post-decree custody cases, Indiana trial courts have local rules requiring the parties to attend mediation before a hearing/trial. While the court can waive this requirement, it is constitutional to mandate the parties go to mediation before trial.1 Statistically speaking, a significant majority of domestic cases settle at mediation. However, to make the most of your mediation, there are three keys to ensuring you enter mediation prepared for a complete resolution; they are analyzed in this blog post. The first is having the documents (in paper or electronic format) to show the value of all significant assets and ...
November 15, 2019CD
Divorce is complex and requires unique steps for each case to be followed before ultimately being finalized—the divorce decree entered, and the parties divorced. There are many avenues that an attorney can take when helping you through your divorce. One of these options is mediation. Most courts order it before a final divorce hearing. However, mediation can be used at any time if this tool makes sense. If you and your spouse are having a difficult time coming to an agreement within your divorce on minor issues or just one issue, it might be time to consider mediation to speed ...
August 1, 2019CD
Once the divorce process is initiated, often times understandably, the parties want to be finished with the process, and each other and move on in life, as quickly as possible. Divorce attorneys sometimes hear the party request a speedy trial. The “Speedy Trial” rule applies to criminal cases. Ultimately, there are several variables that affect how long it takes for the divorce process to be finalized. Below are three (3) key reasons your divorce may require some patience that is required by the Divorce Act or need to properly divide the marital estate, which may make the divorce well, less speedy: 1. ...
September 7, 2017CD
By statute, a divorce must be filed and a sixty-day period pass before the parties can be divorced. This blog explores this legal concept and others that often create confusion for litigants and is necessary to live with the stress of a divorce proceeding. Staring with the waiting period, it is truly rare that a divorce decree issues on day 60. This is because divorce is much like unraveling two battling business partners—there are numerous issues that take time and research to explore, such as whether one party has good enough and enough credit to refinance the marital home (if there ...
January 12, 2017Adam Hayes
Most parents, judges, and domestic attorneys view hearings and custody modifications or contempt filings as a last resort, not the first way to resolve a dispute. However, the conflict of divorce or post-divorce matters often obscures some of the legal and non-legal methods parents may resolve disputes about parenting time outside of court. The first and relatively newer type of tool is a parenting coordinator. There are different levels of authority a “PC” may have. These range from just trying to broker an agreement in real time as they arise to making (in more contentious cases) a binding decision until the ...
June 8, 2016Adam Hayes
Mediation is the rule or expectation before any civil trial. In fact, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled trial courts can order mediation prior to a trial, such a permissible pre-requisite trial. This is not an unconstitutional denial of access to courts because trial courts can always hear things on an emergency and waive this requirement that is a local rule in most counties. Statistically, most mediations resolve even complex civil cases, including highly contested divorce cases. To make the most of any mediation, there are several keys points to remember and embrace before and mostly during mediation. These are explored ...
April 21, 2016Adam Hayes
The mediation process is confidential, and a mediator can only report to the court whether the parties settle, providing the agreement or did not settle. The parties and litigants also cannot relay anything they learn in mediation during the litigation process. However, even with these limitations, a failed mediation is usually very helpful to the parties in moving forward in four ways. First, a party learns about the case and how it is viewed by the other side in weaknesses (and inferentially in strengths) through the process. This may provide insights to later settle or resolve some issues before court. Second, where ...
February 23, 2016Adam Hayes
Just a few short years ago, civil litigants had two basic choices to resolve their disputes. The first was to find a way to settle the matter between counsels and themselves or go to trial. Then mediation started to “catch on.” This is where a neutral party but not a judge, who is usually experienced in the issue at hand, tries at the direction of the court to help the parties reach an agreement themselves with their counsels’ assistance. Later, the Indiana Supreme Court approved mandatory mediation before trial and found it was with a trial court’s authority to so order ...
February 17, 2016Adam Hayes
Twenty years ago, domestic mediation was not common in domestic cases. A primary reason is because spouses were bitter and, perhaps, socially divorce was associated with a courtroom battle. Today all of that has changes. The Indiana Supreme Court has allowed trial courts to order domestic litigants to civil mediation before a contested trial—and trial courts have adopted the view and usually require mediation before a trial. Because mediation is accepted by our society at large, it has a different perception. This is that divorce cases do resolve at mediation. For this reason, litigants and attorneys embrace it as the end ...
August 20, 2015Adam Hayes
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 you face mediation in your case, there are several things you can do to make the most of ...
January 27, 2015CD