Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. provides the following helpful links to official state and/or federal websites, along with a select few others, for other information relied upon and necessary to most domestic cases. This is because domestic relations is a vast legal area. Numerous sources of primary and secondary law apply and must be used to resolve or try any legal matters.
These are provided for Readers so that they may educate themselves on their given legal topic and be more engaged legal consumers. Ultimately, at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C., we believe the better educated our clients are about their legal issue, the more effectively they can help us identify controlling dynamics to make the process more efficient and it more likely they will reach their legal objectives.
Nevertheless, these links to extra-Site materials are not controlled, maintained, reviewed or regulated by the Firm. For this reason, as with any material, Readers should always exercise independent judgment and caution in relying on information from only one single source. The firm is not responsible for the contents or Reader’s use of these materials.
Domestic relations is a vast topical area. Numerous sources of primary and secondary law may need to be accessed with any given case, depending upon factual complexity and legal issues. The most common materials needed by a Reader in a domestic case are provided for and linked.
Primary Source of Family Law
Most routine family-law matters are covered by the statutory title for Family and Juvenile Law, Title 31. This link is provided:
However, these code provisions necessarily (and sometimes directly) incorporate a number of other companion legal bodies of law and resources to allow it to work in the global sense. The first is the case law, the other source of primary law.
Caselaw applies the somewhat sterile statutes to real cases, with real families, and also accounts for ambiguities in statutes. These two (2) types of law address the legal problem at hand in the broadest of ways and are the most authoritative law.
A link to the unofficial database for these cases is provided:
The official source is Westlaw and may be accessed by the Internet, but this is a pay-to-access database.
Secondary Sources of Family Law
A cursory review of these statutes and the cases on point quickly demonstrate that they rely heavily on other legal rules and resources in order to be able to cover the breadth of family-law cases. The Child Support Rules and Guidelines are one of the most common examples.
In application, a party seeking modification of a child-support obligation would be required to demonstrate in evidence compliance with the child-support-modification statute and its caselaw development, and establish a new, modified amount by use of the Child Support Rules and Guidelines.
Readers should be mindful that in the family-law arena, primary and secondary sources of law are always interlinked. What follows is identification of the most common additional sources of family law, with some description and its link.
Child Support Rules and Guidelines
The Child Support Rules and Guidelines provide a mathematical formula for computation of child support. The support obligation that its use determines is the presumed amount of all child-support obligations. However, these Rules provide a means by which an Indiana trial court may deviate from the presumed support of the Guidelines:
The Indiana Supreme Court also provides an online Child Support Calculator for parents and practitioners to use to compute support duties and obligations (select “information for citizens” page and the “Child Support Calculator” on the next following page). Support of child(ren) is a important policy, and substantial materials are available online at this site:
The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines (IPTGs) specify the non-primary (custodial) parent’s parenting time with the child(ren). In addition, the IPTGs set forth provisions for infants, holidays, special occasions, school breaks and summer parenting.
Each parent must carefully review and should fully understand the IPTGs in order to minimize conflict. A link is provided for ease of access (select “information for citizens” page and the “Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines” on the next following page).
Additional Family Law Resources
Indiana trial courts routinely require (order) domestic litigants to attend mediation with a neutral third party in an effort to attempt to resolve their dispute before trial. Statistically, mediation has a high rate of success, and most civil cases, including domestic cases, divorce or post-decree matters, never actually proceed to trial.
This is a newer legal concept to the end of settling a matter and is one of the methods provided for under the Indiana Rules of Alternative Dispute Resolution. These ADR rules thus provide other types of methods to resolve a case (domestic or otherwise) in lieu of a trial that may aid in resolving Reader’s issue. A link to these rules is provided (select Indiana Rules of Court and “Alternative Dispute Resolution”):
In addition, the Indiana Self-Service Legal Center provides a good summary of the mediation and its benefits:
Indiana trial courts cover a diverse number and group of people across the State who are oriented in a variety of life-settings, such as rural to urban. To account for different needs, customs, practices and the like, most courts have local rules that litigants and their attorneys must follow in addition to all other rules and laws. As noted, many local rules adopted by trial courts require mediation. A link to these rules is provided (reference Local Rules):
Another common requirement found in local rules is that divorcing parties who have minor children attend a workshop on how to effectively parent their child(ren) once divorced. This program is generally put on by Visiting Nurse Service, Inc., and is titled “Children Cope with Divorce.” It is four-hour educational program for divorcing parents focused again on how to co-parent the child(ren) as they move on in separate life paths. A link to VNS’ Central Indiana schedule for “Children Cope with Divorce” and additional information is provided:
Protective orders in domestic cases are available and afforded by a uniform statutory provision in Indiana. They are frequently encountered, and their use and application is important to understand. This is the Indiana Civil Protective Order Act codified in Title 34 (Indiana Code 34-26-5-1):
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