As has been noted in previous blogs, law may not always work in real time or move as quickly as one or both parties may like. Often, there are deadlines and pieces that must fit together before a matter can be finalized. This can take some time. In divorce cases specifically, there are several reasons it may take longer or be continued. First, there is a required cooling off period of 60 days, and until that time is reached, the divorce cannot be finalized. Next, there may be a GAL or custody evaluator involved. Both of these providers interview the parties ...
October 2, 2014CD
Often in domestic litigation, the process is lengthy, and extends over a long period. Domestic cases involving children may last for several months or even years, depending on the age of the children when the case begins. It can be a frustrating and highly emotional experience to be involved in domestic litigation, and often the parties just want to get the matter over and done with. However, not everything can be done immediately, or sometimes even for several weeks. For example, when filing for dissolution of marriage, there is a required cooling off period. Additionally, when a notice of relocation is ...
September 30, 2014CD
As the marriage debate continues, we continue to update the cases and related information regarding same-sex couples in Indiana. In the past few weeks, an update out of the Southern District of Indiana was issued, and it was held, as a preliminary matter, that Indiana must recognize the same-sex marriage of parties who wed in Massachusetts as valid. The Order on Preliminary Injunction (requiring Indiana to recognize the out-of-state marriage of the parties) was granted and Ordered on or about May 8, 20141. The parties, Niki and Amy, were married in Massachusetts and subsequently moved to Indiana. They have two (2) ...
September 25, 2014CD
Creating an agreeable and/or feasible parenting time schedule, coordinating between 2 busy households is difficult. However, adding an agreeable transportation schedule/plan to effectuate parenting time can be just as difficult. Often, parents may not live down the block from one another. Jobs, family, or opportunities may leave parents 45 minutes or further apart. Pursuant to the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines, one recommendation for parenting time exchanges is that “the parent receiving the child shall provide transportation for the child at the start of the scheduled parenting time and the other parent shall provide transportation for the child at the end of ...
September 18, 2014CD
When a divorce is filed, the parties can either litigate the matters before the Court or can agree to terms and have the agreement Ordered by the Court. There are many issues that divorce addresses, including child custody, child support, parenting time, and property issues. When dividing property, often, retirement benefits of the parties are reviewed and possibly divided. For example, if one party receives the marital residence and equity as a part of the divorce, the other party might get a portion of that person’s 401(k) to offset the house, for an equal property division. However, issues related to Social Security ...
August 5, 2014CD
After a custody and parenting time determination, the parenting time schedule is set as specific as possible, so that the parties know their parenting time schedule. Often, the non-custodial parent will have a midweek and every other weekend as their parenting time schedule. The non-custodial parent may have more or less parenting time, depending on the Order or agreement of the parties. But, one matter not so well-defined is the opportunity for additional parenting time. If, during a parent’s parenting time, they need childcare for the children, what is the protocol for offering that time to the other parent? Often, it ...
July 17, 2014CD
Prior to a final hearing, discovery may be completed to allow the parties to gather information relevant to the pending matters. Discovery can be conducted in many forms, including written questions (interrogatories), requests for production of documents, depositions, third party discovery, and requests for admission. The discovery process allows for several means of gathering information, and being able to request documents and information from opposing and third parties. Requests for admission are governed by Indiana Trial Rule 361. Requests for admission are served upon an opposing party, and seek the truth of the matters requested, including the genuineness of documents described. For ...
July 8, 2014CD
The current state of marriage in the United States continues to shift and morph, adapting to the current climate of marriage and divorce in the country. The trends away from the traditional notion of “family” has caused a shift in trends from the traditional custody determinations. In previous decades, mothers were often granted custody over fathers. This was claimed to be due to bonding or mothers’ ability to parent more effectively. However, there is a national shift away from this presumption. States, including Indiana, are moving more toward the notion of joint or equal custody or parenting time (or something closer to ...
July 3, 2014CD
In custody matters, the best interests of the children are paramount, and the process seeks to determine who shall have physical and/or legal custody of the minor children of the parties. However, the parents are the parties to a custody matter, not children, and in fact, children’s statements are generally hearsay, and not admissible in Court under the Rules of Evidence. So, how are children heard in the judicial system? There are several ways. There was a previous presumption that a child under age ten (10) was an incompetent witness. This has been repealed (revoked) for several years. So, one way ...
June 19, 2014CD
The decision to get divorced can often be a difficult one, with underlying issues and bad feelings all around. Once the decision to get divorced has been made, there are still several matters to determine when moving forward with divorce and what can be accomplished with a divorce. 1) Jurisdiction. Generally, one of the first issues to determine before filing divorce is jurisdiction. In Indiana, the requirement is to have resided in Indiana for the past 6 months and the County in which you are filing for 3 months. 2) Pregnancy. Generally, parties cannot get divorced if Wife is pregnant. 3) No Fault. Indiana is a no-fault ...
June 12, 2014CD