Ever since the United States Supreme Court determined that state bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional,1 the legal landscape has seen numerous changes regarding same-sex individual’s legal rights in divorces and ancillary matters flowing out of the divorce, such as division of property. One of the biggest changes that has occurred is the legal rights an individual has to a child born during the marriage. So, you may be wondering, what are my rights to my child born during my same-sex marriage? In this blog, we try to answer that question, as well as provide general information on an individual’s rights ...
Tag: indiana court of appeals
September 17, 2020CD
In many instances, individuals getting divorced will enter into settlement agreements to divide what is deemed “marital property.” Settlement agreements are contractual in nature. Therefore, when individuals enter into settlement agreements dividing marital property, the settlement agreements become binding on the parties. The trial court only retains jurisdiction to interpret the terms of the property settlement agreement and to enforce them. But what happens if the settlement agreement was improper or was based on something like fraud? Is there ever any instance in which a court can modify an agreement? The Court of Appeals recently addressed such questions in their ...
July 23, 2020CD
In all child custody litigation—the original determination by a court or in passing on a modification petition—the trial court always looks at what is in the child’s best interests. In making its initial determination to award physical custody, there is no preference for either parent. With a modification, a substantial change in circumstances must be established and be in the child’s best interests. In this blog, we cover how courts consider the wishes of a child fourteen (14) years of age or older. With regard to age, a child’s advanced age is important to two (2) significant types of litigation: custody ...
July 22, 2020CD
Child custody litigation is a gut-wrenching experience for all parents. Both want the same amount of time they had before the divorce or post-divorce they may be seeking a modification to gain additional time, but there is only a finite amount of time for custody and parenting time. That said when a parent loses a custody battle their first thought often is to appeal. Sometimes this is possible and sometimes it is not. Further, there are a number of different reasons to appeal. When and why you should appeal a loss in custody litigation is the focus of this blog ...
July 7, 2020CD
Any party who loses a civil trial (bench or jury) has the right to appeal. Trials and appeals are expensive and laden with emotion. That said, we often receive inquiries from “appellees” when they find out the losing party is taking an appeal.1 These calls all focus on what really happens if they do not file an appellee’s brief. Clearly, the winner in the trial court does not have to file an Appellee’s Brief. This blog explores the reasons a potential appellee should strongly consider filing an Appellee’s Brief. There are two key reasons you should consider retaining appellate counsel to ...
May 15, 2020CD
In Indiana, there are thousands and thousands of trials and hearings each year. For litigants who lose on the merits in civil or criminal litigation, there are roughly 3,000 appeals taken to the Indiana Court of Appeals.1 This is Indiana’s intermediate appellate court. The entire appellate process is laborious for the lawyers who handle appeals and time-consuming for the Court because three judges are assigned to review every case. As might be expected, there are comprehensive rules to ensure efficiency and consistency in the process because these appeals come from all of Indiana’s 92 counties. The one rule that can ...
April 30, 2020CD
One question we frequently hear from our clients is “can I get attorney fees?” Unfortunately, the answer to this question is, it depends. The main reason for the uncertainty surrounding the ability to obtain attorney fees is due to the fact that our legal system follows what is known as the American Rule. The American Rule is a deviation away from the old common law rule (known as the English Rule), which required the losing party of a particular matter to pay the winning party’s attorney fees. However, under the American Rule, the presumption is that both parties pay their ...
February 6, 2020CD
A common question litigants have in family law cases is whether there is a way they can be reimbursed for their attorney’s fees? The answer is somewhat complicated and it depends. In most litigation in the United States, we follow the “American Rule”, which is each side pays its own attorney’s fees. However, in divorce and paternity cases in trial courts and on appeal there are ways a party may recover some or all of his or her attorney’s fees. This blog covers what you need to know about attorney fee awards in divorce and paternity cases. Perhaps the most common ...
December 18, 2019CD
Very few cases go directly to the Indiana Supreme Court (ISC) as a matter of right.1 Most cases wind up in the ISC as a matter of discretion. The way this occurs is a party to a Court of Appeals’ (COA) decision (Indiana’s intermediate appellate court) seeks transfer. The ISC must accept the case. When it does so, it vacates the COA’s decision. This blog explores what the ISC may do on transfer and highlights a new case the reflects a change in the way the ISC has operated in the past given the addition of new Justices in the ...
November 19, 2019CD
We have all heard on television or from an unsatisfied litigant they will take their case to the Supreme Court. In reality, most cases have a right to be appealed to the Indiana Court of Appeals (COA). The Indiana Supreme Court (ISC) must accept most cases by a litigant timely filing a Petition to Transfer after the COA decides the case. The Indiana Supreme Court then decides which cases it will take and denies transfer to the remaining cases (it does not hear them). Fortunately, the ISC has published guidance on the types of cases it typically takes (it can ...
October 16, 2019CD