Several years ago, the Indiana Supreme Court decided an Indiana trial court judge could order a case to mediation before giving a trial court date without any such rule violating the right to open access to courts. This is because in the right case, an Indiana trial court judge could and can hear a case and waive any court-specific rule or local rule for the county to participate in mediation before a hearing. With this case, mediation was firmly established in Indiana. Most mediations resolve any given case based on statistics before trial. This blog explores what can be accomplished in ...
December 6, 2016Adam Hayes
The economic impact of divorce is clear: it costs more to operate two households than one. For this reason, spouses’ standards of living may well decline post-divorce. That said, aside from the relative percentages of gross weekly income for child support, which may differ significantly, there is the issue of uninsured medical expenses and extra-curricular activities. Like most families, these are beyond the regular family budget and hard to manage and pay in an intact family. Therefore, this often becomes a battle ground for divorced parents. The rules are complex, however, when looked at and analyzed closely, the rules are clear. For ...
December 1, 2016Adam Hayes
lSince criminal cases involve the potential loss of freedom, there are trial and appellate provisions for a criminal case to be brought by a filing belated Notice of Appeal. In civil cases, Appellate Rule 9(A), it clearly states that “[u]nless the Notice of appeals is timely filed, the right to appeal shall be forfeited.” Historically, attorneys and Indiana courts have treated this rule stemming from the 1970s as jurisdictional. This means that without a timely filing, the appellate courts could not entertain the appeal because they lacked the jurisdiction to do so. In a new appellate case,1 furthering the reasoning of ...
August 4, 2016Adam Hayes
Stability and continuity of home life for children after divorce is a strong policy found in Indiana’s custody modification statutes and case law. Specifically, a parent who does not have physical custody can file a petition to modify such custody to him or her. However, the non-custodial parent must demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances and it is in the children’s best interests to modify physical custody. Typically, of the eight statutory factors1 a court may consider, general dislike or issues with a step-parent—standing alone—is not sufficient to meet this burden. In fact, psychological research and experiences of family law attorneys ...
August 2, 2016Adam Hayes
The concerns about domestic violence in many Western countries has led to detailed studies and new laws about this often unreported crime. Most states in the United States have specific statutes for criminal domestic battery where there are certain intimate relationships involved. In a recent blog post, the seriousness the United States has placed on this issues was discussed because of the SCOTUS case affirming that a misdemeanor conviction of domestic violence could cause a life time loss of the core civil right to keep and bear arms (the other core civil liberties are the right to hold elected office, sit ...
July 12, 2016Adam Hayes
All issues involving child custody and child support have significant social, political, economic and psychological dynamics operating within the legal system and controlling laws. Two key policies that support the law is to maintain the child with a style of living as if the parents were married and meet the child’s best interests. In the very broad area, this blog post explores three trends that are slowly changing domestic law across the country: joint custody, child support ending at age 18, and third parties obtaining custody. At present, the parent who is not awarded physical custody is given parenting time (overnights) ...
July 7, 2016Adam Hayes
In 2006, the General Assembly enacted a new statute addressing relocation of parents in the child custody provisions of the Divorce and Paternity Act. The relocation provisions required certain notice to be given to a non-relocating parent who may object. This was interpreted by the Indiana Supreme Court in 2008 in the Baxendale case.1 In general, Baxendale, directed a trial court may consider relocation as a part of the best interests factors and modify custody to the non-relocating parent. Since this statute and the Baxendale case decision, three key mistakes or concerns every parent in a relocation case should be aware ...
June 23, 2016Adam Hayes
A common misconception between parents of young children during divorce is that “child support” stops when the child(ren) turn 18. This is not the case necessarily in Indiana, which is the subject of this blog. First, it is important to note that Indiana is one of the few states that has a statute in the Divorce and Paternity Act providing that a parent may be ordered to pay educational expenses once a child has reached the age of majority (i.e., eighteen).1 Most states have repealed the laws requiring divorced parents to pay and provide for college expenses. The minority of states ...
June 22, 2016Adam Hayes
Several years ago, a known person who was mentally ill, but had committed no crime and possessed firearms, went on a shooting spree killing a family member and a police officer and wounding another. In response the General Assembly passed the “Dangerous Person” statute.1 This allows police officers to confiscate firearms from persons they believe pose a risk to society. The person is then given an expedited hearing where the burden is on the State to prove they are a dangerous person or return the firearms. This was challenged in Indiana’s appellate courts and was affirmed as constitutional as this firearm ...
June 21, 2016Adam Hayes
Divorce cases often cover the entire spectrum of law, ranging from complex financial transactions to lengthy custody trials. For this reason, Indiana’s divorce law is very comprehensive to give attorneys, litigants, and judges the ability to “untangle” a relationship that has been years in the making in incremental steps. As such, the parties can agree to terms even a divorce court could not order, so long as it does not agree to waive child support or have terms that are not in the children’s best interests. For this reasons, a divorce may be finalized in several ways. First, in cases of professionals ...
June 16, 2016Adam Hayes