A significant number appeals taken to the Indiana Court of Appeals stem from paternity and divorce cases. In most cases, the appeal involves some form of disagreement regarding child custody orders issued by the trial court. This blog explores the three most common types of appeals, what you need to know to make an informed choice to appeal, and what kinds of issues are stronger for a “win” on appeal.1 The first type of appeal is the original ...
Tag: trial court judge
In child custody proceedings, Indiana trial court judges award or modify custody by considering all1 of the evidence in order to determine a custody arrangement in the child’s best interests. There are several statutory considerations for the court to weigh, including the physical and mental health of the parents, as well as any other facts or circumstances that may factor into a child’s best interests as it relates to custody.2 For years, “soft” drug use, such as smoking marijuana, has been considered in awarding ...
February 21, 2017 / Custody Modification
Indiana’s elected judges are tasked with the important job of weighing the evidence of the parties’ positions when presented with a custody modification case or contempt of court for a wide range of circumstances, such parenting time interference. In a recent key dissent (from granting transfer [i.e., taking the case by its discretion]), the Indiana Supreme Court1 signaled that when the facts can support but one conclusion—a parent has intentionally interfered with parenting time--such continual interference itself can ...
September 15, 2016 / Division of Assets
tThe Indiana Dissolution Act encourages parties to reach agreements; and in fact, parties to a divorce can agree to a division of assets that a trial court judge could not order under the law that guides judges. This is because of the constitutional right to contract, strongly enforced by Indiana trial courts, the Court of Appeals, and Indiana Supreme Court. This means that having buyer’s remorse and later wanting to go to a contested divorce trial or further negotiate is ...
Divorce is the best of times and the worst of times for most people (parties, friends, and family) all at the same time. It is difficult to manage the day-to-day events and divorce process itself and work or do the events of daily life with the future unknown. In some respects, it is also positive for many people because it signals a life change. Over the course of years, we have observed five critical mistakes parties make that negatively impact their life during and after the ...
There is a general societal view that a bad act by a child is due to lack of life experience and immaturity. Therefore, such should not be a crime and the juvenile treated as a delinquent and limited to state-intervention until he or she is an adult. Nevertheless, because there is some overlap between implications of juvenile delinquency and adult crimes, it is important a juvenile and parents understand these to make key choices to limit its life ...
Historically, parents continued to be parents long after their children become adults, marry, and sometimes have their own families. Many of the parents loan their children money from time-to-time or to purchase their first home. When the marriage turns bad and a divorce is filed, the parents often want their loan(s) repaid. Due to the inherent trust between parents and children and joy surrounding a marriage, anecdotal evidence of divorce lawyers reflects parents and children often do a poor job of documenting ...
The “argument” section of an appellant’s brief is the life-blood of every appeal. This blog explores some of the key aspects of sound argument drafting. Taking the complex facts of life and applying the law is a daily challenge for lawyers. However, this task becomes more difficult when it involves an appeal and controlling standard of review. The standard of review may limit what facts and laws can be argued as set forth in the Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure. This limits how the higher court ...
Under the Indiana Constitution, every litigant is entitled to one appeal as a matter of right. As a general rule, these are taken to the Indiana Court of Appeals, fifteen judges located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Three decide each case. Appeals are presented to the court from final orders (or certain temporary or interlocutory orders) in a written booklet form. There are several standard sections set forth in the Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure. An important section is the “Statement of the Facts.” Many appellate briefs are not consistent with the rules and ...
January 22, 2015 / Divorce
In Indiana, like many other states, marriage and divorce rates are about equal. The differences are stark; marriage is generally a happy time where couples look forward to growing old together, having a family, and doing things that over time will weave most all aspects of life together. Divorce, on the other hand, involves untangling assets and liabilities and often children, things that are not really divisible. If your case does not settle along the way1, the day will come that a final hearing becomes a reality in your case.2 There ...