Family Law Attorneys - We Listen & Care
Proven and experienced attorneys successfully advocating and resolving complex cases for over 25 years
One of Indiana’s Most Respected Family Law Firms Since 1995

We serve clients in four core practice areas: divorce, paternity, child custody, and property division.

Why Choose Ciyou & Dixon, P.C.

In today’s fast paced sound-bite world it is not enough to say we’re different – that we actually care about you and your family law issue(s). That we want you to think of us as true, engaged legal partners committed to your highest legal objective. We get it. We understand. And we can help.

Think of us as your legal advocates with with the wisdom and experience to blend it all together into strategies and tactics that get you your best legal outcome! We listen, ask questions, seek to understand and then apply our expertise to plan a solution that solves today’s challenges and supports tomorrow’s goals.

What To Expect

We’re Different. For Good Reason.

When we meet, you’ll get the sense that we’re a little bit different. And for good reason. From the moment you make your first call to our office for your appointment – to the feeling you get when you walk in the door. You’ll soon realize, we’re different. Much different. And for good reason. We take great pride in solving your complex legal objectives so you can get back to life and enjoy it.

Don't Just Take Our Word For It...
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Meet Your Family Law Team

Attorneys

Our Awesome Staff

Madeline Bartholomew

B.A., Certified Paralegal

Ellie Bartholomew

Legal Assistant

Alex Moseley

Law Clerk

Mark Abell

Law Clerk

Frequently Asked Questions

It depends. If your marriage has lasted more than a few years, a divorce ordinarily takes several months because you have to identify and divide all of the assets and debts you have accumulated over the years, close accounts, and sever all your legal obligations with your spouse–so you can
move on in life with a clean slate and positive future. Sometimes this requires the assistance of other professionals, ranging from tax professionals and financial planners to bankruptcy attorneys.

The soonest a divorce can be ordered by statute is sixty days after filing; this is a cooling off period to make sure the parties really want divorced because marriage is an institution the law favors.

Where children are involved, a divorce may take additional time to determine physical and legal custody arrangements in the children’s best interests. Sometimes this is not clear at the time the divorce is filed because the parents may move apart to different school systems, want to remarry or relocate. To assist, an advocate for the children such as guardian ad litem to a custody evaluator may be ordered to investigate and make recommendations to the court on what works post-divorce after delving into the family and children’s dynamics.

Ultimately, the objective of every divorce is to locate and apportion all these benefits and obligations so you avoid post-divorce surprises or litigation. How long this takes depends on these and many other variables as well. Equally, a divorce should aim to have a child custody order that in most cases maximizes the quality time each parent spends with the children. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. advocates help you to balance the desire to be divorced and to move on in life with the time needed to properly divide the assets and get a workable parenting plan that is best for you and in your children’s best interests.

Maybe. There is fundamental constitutional right for parents to raise their children even if someone else can do a better job or provide more opportunities for the children. However, this right is limited if a parent poses a risk of physical or emotional harm to the children or the parents abandon their children by leaving them in someone else’s care.

Unfortunately, the number of children being raised by grandparents, friends and neighbors, and sometimes almost strangers is growing at an alarming rate for many reasons, perhaps most notable the opioid crisis and inability of parents to stay clean and sober and raise their children.

The de facto custody provisions of Indiana paternity and divorce law and probate law for guardianships gives third-party caregivers the ability to obtain “custody” in several ways where the children they are raising have become psychologically bonded with them and return to their
parent(s) would not be in their best interests.

Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. advocates are routinely involved in third-party custody cases throughout the state and understand the competing interests of the parent’s constitutional right to raise their children and how to also advocate for third-parties. Ultimately, these cases are about the evidence of who is actually raising the child, why that is the case, and what is in the child’s best interests.

They are contracts. One of the reasons America works so well is because of the constitutional right to contract, from opening a bank account to purchasing a car, we all easily accomplish complex transactions by entering into contracts. In general terms, there is a right to enter into a contract in case the marriage ends other than by the death of one of the partners.

This makes a difficult divorce simple because the terms of the pre- or post-marital agreement specify what happens if this occurs in the future.

However, there are specific timing and disclosure requirements of a pre- or post-nuptial and they are subject to challenge as to enforceability in the future. Finally, these contracts cannot specify any child-related issues because the trial court ultimately decides what is in a child’s best interests. Done right, a pre- or post-nuptial agreement is a key contract that may save time, money, and acrimony if a marriage ends in divorce. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys actively involved in drafting and advising clients on these contracts as well as litigation as to enforcement. Perhaps a pre- or post-nuptial is the right tool before you marry (a pre-nuptial) or to continue (a post-nuptial).

Yes. Although the prior law across the nation embraced the maternal preference rule in some way—mothers should have custody of particularly younger children—this has been expressly rejected in Indiana.

Today, the focus is squarely on what is in the children’s best interests. With change in the genders in the workforce and work-at-home any father can obtain maximum custody rights, including sole physical and legal custody with the right facts and presentation in the evidence.

Through skilled counsel, a father has to demonstrate his custody objective is what is the children’s best interests. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. advocates routinely represent fathers in divorce and paternity proceedings and on custody modification actions seeking custody.

Yes. Indiana is one of the remaining states where a parent can be ordered to pay toward the costs of room, board, and living expense for his or her child’s college attendance. The trial court’s have vast discretion to make such awards. The key for any parent wishing to challenge college expenses is to present evidence to show the award does not make sense. This may be for a number of reasons, such as the child’s aptitude for college or the cost. In addition, while most parents want their children to go to college, the right evidence can limit the rather open-ended nature of college expenses and narrow the scope of payments to such expenses reasonably tied to college. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. advocates handle all aspects of college expense cases in courts across the state, from challenges to the award of college expenses, the amount, and have advocated this is unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause because it treats married parents differently than divorced parents.

You Can Reach Your Best Legal Outcome

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317-972-8000

Ciyou & Dixon has been one of Indiana’s Most Respected Family Law Firms Since 1995. We Solve Complex, High-Conflict Family Law Issues Everyday. Are You Ready to Get Started?

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