In some divorces, there is “foreign” real estate within the total marital estate1. Typically, this falls into one of three categories: (1) a timeshare or some other similar factional ownership; (2) a home or property sited in another state; or (3) a home or property located in another country. Under the Indiana Divorce Act—Indiana’s body of law that guides judges in divorce proceedings—all such real property is subject to the jurisdiction of the divorce court and must be divided. This blog covers the unique legal concepts and issues ...
The Four Cardinal Rules You Must Follow It may seem like an odd blog post, How to “win” your divorce case in a bench trial. The law is applied to the facts by the judge who then decides the case, right? Not necessarily. Judges are impartial, but a case can be won or lost by an unprepared litigant or attorney or failure to follow what are the four cardinal rules of trial. These are the topic of this blog post. The first and most important ...
April 11, 2017 / Contempt
Having a contempt petition (sometimes called a rule to show cause) filed against one in a civil or criminal case is generally unsettling. What is the purpose? Generally, civil and criminal contempt is the legal process by which trial courts enforce their orders and/or maintain decorum in the courtroom. A key and relatively recent Indiana case, Stanke,1 has refined civil contempt and it, along with the array of contempt types and proceedings, is addressed in this blog post. The ...
March 30, 2017 / Divorce
Everyone has watched courtroom television dramas unfold in which a fictional attorney stands up in courtrooms and witness by loudly exclaiming, “I object!” Next, the opposing counsel scoffs, and mutters something under his breath, while the judge decides whether to allow the testimony (this is overruling the objection if the witness is allowed to continue). On television, a scene like this certainly serves its dramatic, cinematic purpose, but when you are in an actual courtroom proceeding, understanding the ...
Good lawyers never stop learning. Some valuable insights into trial practice and how to be a better advocate from your client can be learned in the heat of the moment—trial. In this blog post, it covers three valuable tips Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys have learned over the last several months of trial. We hope they help you better understand inside courtroom, which is vastly different than what is depicted on television courtroom shows. The first relates to objections. A large number of ...
Law, trial process, and litigation is highly evolved by rules, cases, and statutes to allow trial court judges to receive the most accurate and relevant evidence, subject to tests of veracity, to make a fair and impartial decision. Often these technical rules provide confusion to divorce and custody litigants. This blog post explores the three most common evidentiary rules for these types of matters. The first is hearsay. Other than what one party said to another ...
Court room proceedings and trials before judges are misunderstood many times by members of the public and compared with certain reality TV court shows. In reality, the courtroom process is a high-emotion place with those who prevail and those who do not. Television and the pressures of trial sometimes obscure the simple reality of a trial: within the bounds of certain laws and trial rules, a trial is aimed at giving a neutral fact finder the information necessary to make a sound, fair ...
Lawyers do a great job of presenting a client’s best position in court in obtaining their legal objective. Judges sort through it. Often sitting in the courtroom as a casual observer, it is difficult to tell which story is accurate and what evidence the court should rely on to decide the division of property (presumption being equal) and child custody (gender neutral). After sitting through hundreds of trials, the attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. use this blog to explore three highly effective visual aid strategies that ...
November 10, 2015 / Divorce
Most seasoned divorce attorneys observe common and avoidable mistakes parties make during divorce hearings (preliminary hearings or finals). Indiana has a strong and neutral judiciary. However, bad acts and these mistakes may factor into how a judges views a litigant as a parent. So try to avoid them. The first is something relatively new: wireless devices. Sitting in a courtroom and having your cell phone ring is a violation of most written local court rules. And it sends a signal (or can) to the court that something ...
Trial is a nerve-racking experience for litigants, many have not been in the courtroom before. Indiana’s judges and lawyers want you to have your day in court and the case decided by a neutral fact finder. However, with the pressures of property and children in the balance, litigants do all sorts of little things that can help or hurt their case, sometimes in profound ways. Here are some recent observations. Things that can hurt your case: Having your cell phone ring during court. Trying ...