The idea of cohabitation between partners has become more commonplace in the United States in the past several years. In some respects, an increase in cohabitation among romantic partners grew due to laws prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying. After same-sex marriage was validated across the United States, many couples elected to take advantage of their ability to marry under the law. However, this change does not mean that cohabitation among partners is now no longer prevalent in Indiana and across the US. It is! Couples may cohabit for a variety of reasons – younger individuals are choosing to cohabit before marriage ...
February 25, 2019CD
When a child is born to a couple that isn’t married, and who presumably have two different last names (surnames), non-marital parents could face the challenges of not only crafting a proper first name for their child, but the daunting decision of whose last name they should give the child, the Mother’s or the Father’s, or both? Traditionally in America, children receive their Father’s last names, and this probably stems from hundreds of years of tradition in women taking their husband’s last name upon marriage, and the children born from the marriage receive their Father’s last name by default as both ...
October 17, 2013CD
The divorce process inherently encompasses many issues, including child support, child custody, parenting time, and property division. Many of our past blog posts have discussed these topics generally, and in great detail. One particular thing that can muddy the waters of a divorce matter is when the parties together, or even just one, owns and runs a small business. It may seem obvious if Husband and Wife are co-owners of a family business, and both contribute to the growth and sustainability of that business, that the business is part and parcel of a divorce action. The parties, or a judge, will ...
September 17, 2013CD
Often in domestic cases, the custody of children is a central issue in the litigation. However, there are some instances where neither parent is ready, willing, or able to care for a minor child. In this case, a guardian may be appropriate to provide proper care for the child. A guardianship must be petitioned for in the Court or agreed to by a parent and guardian. For example, if a parent is being arrested, and will be serving time in jail, the first person to contact to care for the children will likely be the other parent. However, if the other ...
March 14, 2013CD
In dissolution of marriage cases in Indiana, the issue of property settlement (by an agreement) or award (by trial) is a two-step process. First, what is marital property? And, second, how should it be divided? In Indiana, marital property is any property acquired or owned by either husband or wife prior to the marriage, or during the marriage, including personal property, real property (land, house, real estate), and property rights (something not tangible that someone has the right to acquire later).1 This is called the “one marital pot” theory. It is all acquired up to the date of filing; and property ...
February 14, 2013CD
Often, parties may be experiencing marital discord, but are not ready to file for divorce. For these parties, there is another option; namely, legal separation. A legal separation is filed through the Court system, but does not divorce the parties; rather, it provides a separation period and any incidentals that accompany that separation. In order to begin the process/proceedings for a legal separation, the party requesting must file a verified petition (signed by the filing party) that sets forth several requirements. For example, the petition shall include the residence of each party, the date of marriage, the date of separation, and ...
September 20, 2012CD
What Is It? What Is Included? How Is It Divided Up? In Indiana, what property, assets, and liabilities the trial court is to divide is commonly referred to as the “marital pot”. In essence, everything the divorcing parties have is poured into a “pot” and the court divides this in a just and equitable manner. Specifically, a central determination to be made during settlement of a case, or by a trial court after trial of the matter, is how the marital estate or marital property is to be divided. An important concept to understand is that the marital pot includes assets and ...
July 12, 2012CD
This blog will seek to explore the changing definitions and dimensions of “marriage” and how it may be expanded in the fairly near future. Voluminous amounts of information exist on this controversial topic, and this blog will only explore the tip of the iceberg. The changing tide of marriage today can be seen simply from a statistics standpoint. The number of couples getting married is declining, the number of couples divorcing is increasing, and the average age of couples getting married is increasing as well. The “average American family” definition is evolving, and what once was considered “family” is expanding. Families are ...
June 7, 2012CD
During a divorce or separation proceeding the issues of custody, parenting time and child support are determined, if not by an agreement approved by the court, than after a hearing. Child support is the duty of both parents. In practice, child support is generally paid by the parent who does not have physical custody (non-custodial) to the parent who was awarded physical custody. This occurs because the noncustodial parent is typically awarded parenting time and given a credit against his or her child support obligation. In addition, there is a presumption against “negative” child support, meaning the custodial parent pays the non-custodial ...
April 19, 2012CD
More and more, the mental health dimension of divorce–one of the biggest life stressors– is being accounted for in the legal system. Is this the right tool in your case? All marriages should be seriously evaluated to determine if they can be saved. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. advocates are firm believers that the hum-drum of marriage masks reality: the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence. That perfect family and life does not exist. For the most part, any situation is what you make of it. Is this your marriage and can counseling help? A key to evaluating ...
July 28, 2011CD