Maybe “yes,” or maybe “no.” For most people involved in domestic litigation, it is unplanned, stressful, and a financial burden. As such, a goal of lawyers and judges is to conclude the litigation and close the case as soon as possible – for the mental, physical and emotional well-being of the parties and their children. The lawyers “work” your case by resolving the legal issues through settlement or an efficient trial. This allows closure for the parties and individuals the ability to move past the “event” toward the future.
For practical reasons, local rules require Indiana divorce lawyers to withdraw from the case as counsel of record at the end of a matter, even if additional litigation is expected. For example, if Indiana divorce lawyers do not withdraw from a case, and, a few years later the client’s ex-spouse files a petition to modify child support or custody, the lawyer will receive these court filings, but may not be able to locate the former client. On the other hand, some cases have on-going matters timed so closely to the closure of the last issue in the case that the attorneys can continue representation for practical purposes and continuity. A party should always keep current contact information, including address and telephone number, on file with the trial court.
In other cases, divorce lawyers in Indiana know the issues between the parties are not “over” and may attorneys leave their appearance in the case after a divorce is finalized (or paternity established) to expedite matters as they arise, such as implementation of a parenting time plan under the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines, particularly as it relates to the resolution of disputes regarding holidays and special events. Sometimes resolution takes wheeling-and-dealing by and between the counsels for the parties who address the event before it occurs in order to avoid more litigation (i.e., weekends and holidays). The dynamics between the parties keep them from accomplishing this on their own. Additionally, there are often property settlement issues that have to be completed after a final hearing, such as the transfer of money from one spouse’s retirement plan to the other spouse.
There is no cut-and-dried answer to this question because every family in domestic relations has different needs and dynamics. In any case, Indianapolis divorce lawyers based or otherwise, may handle your domestic case at any time before, during, and after divorce, especially if there are children, but generally do not practice in other states unless their county boarders other states, and they are admitted to the bars of contiguous states.
If you are the custodial parent and with your child lawfully relocate to another state, you, along with your Indiana divorce lawyer, may seek after the passage of some time to move any future custody matters to that state because it is a more convenient forum for litigation and the evidence about how the children are doing in school and their community; because this key custody evidence is in that relocation state, it makes sense to move the case. This may take an attorney in both states working together for you to try to move the case and have the court in the new state accept, enforce and modify prior Indiana orders. Thus, if relocation is the basis for the custody case, your lawyer may have his or her appearance in the case for some time.
In the final analysis, if you forge a solid working relationship with your divorce lawyer, and have him or her handle your post-divorce issues, it makes a great deal of sense to continue with this counsel as long as you can. This is not to say that there will not be moments of doubt, but this attorney will handle your most precious resource – your children – in emergency situations, which are more common in domestic matters and know more about it than a successor attorney.
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