In divorce cases, it sometimes takes a long time for a case to be made ready for trial and a divorce decree entered. For instance, the value of a family business may be in question or the custody of the children. Often times, “discovery” is conducted, which may be a business valuation on a family business or a custody evaluation making recommendations to the trial court about what custody arrangement between the parents is in the children’s best interests.
For this reason, the parties are in legal “no-persons land” where each are equally entitled to the custody of the children, use of the home or possession of the house. In a majority of cases, the attorneys are able to reach a more or less formal agreement about these matters on behalf of their clients. Nevertheless, in some cases, not agreement is reached and a party by counsel asks for a preliminary hearing. When this occurs, it may be important to discuss or all of the following with your counsel for a temporary (while the divorce pends or until modified) order:
- Physical custody.
- Legal custody.
- Child support.
- Health insurance.
- Possession of the marital residence.
- Paying and maintaining all insurance.
- Exclusive use of one of the autos.
- Payment of bills.
Temporary orders making this apportionment are subject to a different division at the final hearing In other words, if one party demonstrates at trial the other obtained an undeserved (inequitable) benefit, the trial court may account for this. The trial court will ultimately make a final custody decision (that may be modified in the future) in the children’s best interests and a just and reasonable division of the marital estate (what is owned and owed).
We hope you find this information useful in understanding the Indiana’s process of preliminary hearings in divorce cases. This blog post is written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. and is for general educational purposes only. It is not legal advice, or solicitation for legal services. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys handle civil and criminal appeals from all Indiana state trial court, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, or United States Supreme Court.