While every divorce case is unique when it comes to property, assets, debts, incomes, child custody, and parenting time, in each of these categories, courts have a starting point, and lawyers will help to you to argue your position and move off the presumed starting place. 1. Property (assets and debts): The Court presumes that of all property owned by the parties either before or during the marriage will be divided 50/50. There are exceptions to this general rule, including situations where one party entered the marriage with substantial property acquired years before the marriage, or one party makes substantially less income ...
May 27, 2014CD
The Indiana Legislature has recently voted to amend the state Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage in Indiana. This matter will not be voted on by the public for some time, but in the interim, there are lawsuits moving forward regarding the same-sex marriage ban Indiana already has in place (by statute and caselaw). Recently, four (4) lawsuits have been filed in Federal Court regarding Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage. Indiana Code 31-11-1-1 defines marriage as between a man and a woman only and does not recognize same-sex marriages, even if valid in the state performed. The parties suing are alleging that ...
May 22, 2014CD
Getting divorced can be a long and arduous process for both parties. The decree of dissolution divorces the parties, but still leaves many things left to do. The dissolution is a shift in the relationship between the parties, but not the end of the relationship all together. There is still communication that needs to happen. Sometimes important matters are forgotten or postponed, causing small to major problems in the future. Here are some common examples: QDRO In dividing marital property, the retirement accounts of one or both parties may have been divided by agreement or the Court. To achieve this division, a ...
May 13, 2014CD
In many civil cases, mediation is a potential option prior to a final hearing or trial to allow the parties to negotiate with the assistance of a mediator. A mediator is a neutral third party who acts as a go between for the parties and work with both sides towards a settlement. However, a complete settlement is not the only outcome of mediation. Even if mediation fails to settle every issue before trial, there can be diverse outcomes of mediation that can assist the parties and help narrow issues for trial. Mediation, even when it fails to settle each issue completely, ...
April 1, 2014CD
In litigation, one of the most important means of obtaining information from opposing parties and even third parties is called discovery. Discovery can consist of many forms including written discovery, depositions, and third party discovery. Here are three key components of discovery that can help understand the process. 1) Discovery has limitations Not every piece of information is discoverable. For example, in a personal injury case, a question about why a person got divorced 10 years ago may not likely be relevant, and the other side may not likely be forced to answer. 2) The other side can object Much like in a trial setting, the ...
March 18, 2014CD
Several recent blog posts have directly or indirectly addressed the shift away from the traditional family of a mother, father, and two children to a more blended family, often involving participation from extended family members and step-parents. Other third parties can even be guardians or custodians who are not related to the parties, but help raise the children. A recently passed California law allows for a change from the statutory two-parents-per child definition1. This newly adopted law allows that custody, visitation, and child support could be divided among three or more people as parents if it is in the best interests ...
November 12, 2013CD
A recent blog addressed tips for mediation. But, how does mediation work1? Prior to trial, the parties in a matter may be ordered or agree to mediate the issues (this can be some or all issues) pending. A mediator can be agreed upon by the parties or may be appointed by the Court. Often, the timing for mediation is after discovery (information gathering) has been significantly begun or completed. Different mediators have different styles and tactics. Some have the parties in a single room together. Others keep the parties in separate rooms and go back and forth. During mediation, the parties ...
October 8, 2013CD
On the whole, most litigants, attorneys and judges would agree that divorce is not a good thing or a pleasant process. Yet, it is a reality for one in every two marriages. However, there are a number of legal concepts, such as no-fault divorce to binding arbitration, which globally seek to minimize the emotional and financial impact, as well as speed up what is usually a lengthy process. Sometimes this is not enough to address the facts (typically financial) of a given case. In the last blog post, addressing legal separations for older adults, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. began looking at new ...
December 29, 2011CD
With every U.S. Census, we gain a snapshot into how the confluence of past events shapes our current Society. So to with the 2010 Census, which reveals marriage, is at a record low; and those who are marrying, are doing so, and correspondingly, starting families, later in life. This is not necessarily a surprising development because America was founded (indeed populated) on the principal of rugged individualism; those who did not share this view probably stayed in Europe or perished. Every movement (abolition of slavery, women’s right to vote) since that time has been toward a more free and open society, ...
December 27, 2011CD