In child custody ligation, where one parent is seeking primary physical or legal custody over the parent, the “why” the trial court ruled as it did is often important to the parties to help better understand and accept the decision. This rationale is set out in cases with special findings. This is also considered by Indiana’s appellate courts on appeal, if either party requested the trial court to make special findings. The concept is pretty straight forward. A general judgment allows a trial court to judge the credibility of the witnesses and documentary evidence by all of the verbal and non-verbal ...
December 16, 2015Adam Hayes
In a divorce, an attorney by his or her client is supposed to present the value of all household items and other personal property items for the court to divide. The practical question this raises for the parties is how to do this. This blog provides three practice ways to value and put evidence on about the value of such items so the court has a view of the total marital estate. Big assets (homes, retirement accounts, et cetera) are easy to identify and value. Sometimes small things are not, although no party wants to re-purchase all items, like clothing, pots ...
September 22, 2015Adam Hayes
Trials are dynamic events and no two are the same, even on the same or similar issues between the same parties. To have a fair and accurate trial free of most types of evidence that can misdirect a court, there are four key rules of evidence parties and witnesses struggle to follow as sometimes they seem counter-intuitive. These are addressed in this blog post to help you put your best foot forward at trial. The first is hearsay. Unless the matter is what one “party” (not other witness) has said to the other, statements or testimony about what someone else said ...
September 9, 2015Adam Hayes
With technology and more access to different information on a faster basis, there is much more evidence available to parties, attorneys, professionals, and trial court judges to use making child custody decisions. These need to be identified as early in the divorce process as possible to be useful. Custody evaluators and GAL’s can use and rely on evidence that might not be admissible in court. Therefore, it is important to work with your attorney to identify the evidence and determine how it is likely to be used to get into a correct evidentiary format. That said, this blog focuses on common evidence ...
July 9, 2015Adam Hayes
Conflict and dispute is a part of daily life. Most of the time, conflicts are resolved through means outside of court. In a very small percent of daily or even life matters, there is no ability to resolve the matter outside of a lawsuit. In this case the wonder of the US legal system comes into play. Litigants go to court and ask a judge to decide a matter. Cast in terms of emotion and winning or losing everything from children to property and freedom, it is easy to lose track of the fact the trial court judge is neutral in ...
May 27, 2015Adam Hayes
Under the United States Constitution, each person has the right to free travel in and between the states. Where the parties have a child in common and custody is in place (whether by paternity or divorce), this right to still applies. However, under the Paternity and Dissolution Acts, the relocating party must do two things: First, the moving party must provide advance written notice of the intent to relocate 90 days in advance or as soon as possible if the time is shorter. This applies to the custodial and non-custodial parent. Second, the relocation must be made in good faith and for ...
April 22, 2015Adam Hayes
In today’s world, a marriage is sometimes a matter of finance as much as love and romance. For this reason, a pre-nuptial agreement is somewhat common. In particular, a party coming into a marriage with significantly more assets may want to protect them in the event of a future a divorce. If this is your situation, there are five key legal aspects of prenuptials you must know. First, a prenuptial is a form of contract, which is protect by the right to contract under the Contract Clause of the Indiana Constitution. This means that they are favored in terms of being ...
February 26, 2015CD
In all types of court cases, a litigant (party to the lawsuit or criminal case) may be found in contempt of court. They are two types of contempt of court under Indiana law. The first is direct contempt of court, where a party’s action in the courtroom disrupts the court. This is known as direct contempt of court and may subject the litigant to criminal action or incarceration. This not the typical type of contempt that arises in a case. Indirect contempt is what most Readers may have questions about. This type of contempt involves failure to follow a court’s orders. ...
February 5, 2015CD
Divorce cases take up most of the time on Indiana’s trial court’s calendars. They are messy and sometimes take up multiple days of trial court time (i.e., two hours here, a half day there, and an hour to wrap up, even without the traditional opening and closing). The reason for this is there is no real way for a judge or attorneys to gauge how long divorce hearing will take. A given question may open up new assets or liabilities or the perception of parties or witnesses may be stilted taking even more time to sort out by cross-examination, additional questions, ...
January 29, 2015CD
In a domestic law matter, often, child support is one of the main issues that parties disagree about. Who will pay? How much credit will be given? In Indiana, child support is based on a formula, and once the required numbers and information are placed into the worksheet, the total for child support is calculated and determined1. The Child Support Rules and Guidelines provide for a division of many of the expenses. For example, the health insurance premium for the minor children only is a factor in determining child support. Whichever party is paying the health insurance premium (or if the ...
January 8, 2015CD