In a Divorce, Am I Entitled to Half the Value of Property Titled with My Spouse If It Creates an Unequal Division of Assets? Maybe? This is a common question as many people logically think if the mortgage/deed and title to a car is in both names, half the value belongs to each spouse on divorce. This brings us three closely related legal concepts that were all recently addressed in a key case decided by the Court of Appeals on November 7, 2018. This case and how it answers this question is the topic of this blog post. The most important legal ...
Tag: trial courts
November 15, 2018CD
Can I Be Required to Contribute Toward My Kid’s College Expenses If We Have Had No Relationship After the Divorce1? Maybe? Maybe not! Under Indiana law, there is no absolute duty for a divorced parent to be ordered to contribute toward his or her adult child’s college expenses. Generally, Indiana divorce courts order divorced parents to pay toward their adult child’s college.2 However, where repudiation can be established—that there is no relationship between the adult child and parent--the court may determine the child has repudiated the relationship with the parent and relieve him of his or her obligation to contribute toward ...
November 14, 2018CD
One key aspect of the American legal system is the prohibition against warrantless searches of your home. As you may know, police officers cannot search your home without first obtaining a search warrant. This embodies the English common law notion and societal view that your home is a special place—your castle—and should only be subject to search under a high legal standard. But what happens if a police officer does not first obtain a search warrant? Or searches the wrong house? The general rule is that any evidence of criminal activity obtained by the illegal search is “fruit of the ...
October 11, 2018CD
Everyone knows of a custody “battle” waged by a family member or friend--where both parents are entrenched in their positions, are convinced they are right (and maybe are), and fight tooth and nail to have the time with their children they believe is in their best interests. Or, is this your case? Most commonly, this struggle is waged through successive litigation involving contempt actions and modification petitions; trial courts retain custody jurisdiction to hear and decide these matters until the children are adults, meaning the litigation can go on for years. As an alternative—yes there are alternatives to court--this blog ...
August 30, 2018CD
Every litigant in Indiana administrative proceedings or trial courts has the ultimate right to appeal to the Indiana Court of Appeals. Trial courts make many orders, but typically it is the last one deciding the issues that is the final order that is subject to appeal. Usually. However, life and law are complex and sometimes an appealed order is not final as to all of the issues or not a final order at all. A recent case, Severance v. Pleasant View, demonstrates that even where a case before the Court of Appeals does not present a final appealable order, it ...
March 26, 2018CD
Probation is often a tool used by trial courts and is normally within their discretion to order in most cases. It is obviously a desirous outcome for judges, the community, and defendant. Most of the time it keeps the defendant out of jail, at home and work, and the taxpayers from paying for criminal incarceration. However, violations of the terms of probation, such as drug use determined by a positive drug screen, may result in a violation of probation (VOP) being filed by probation and the defendant’s probation revoked and he or she sent to prison for the balance of ...
February 28, 2018CD
Sometimes litigants are shocked and upset by a final order of a trial court in civil litigation and want to stay or “stop” it pending an appeal. In general civil cases, a party has to first ask for this stay in the trial court1 and present the reasons for a stay as set out in the trial rules. In essence, these rules require that for a stay to be considered, it must demonstrate that if the party prevails on appeal, the implications of enforcement of the final order would be unable to be corrected later. The trial court then decides. ...
January 10, 2018CD
Every year there is a surge in divorce filings from January to March. Why? Most couples, specifically those with children, are reluctant to break up during the closely-spaced holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years; particularly, with the office parties and other events that are almost holiday rituals, like Black Friday shopping. After all, there is a whole year to get divorced before a reset of these holidays and hopefully start the next year with a clean slate as a single person. This blog explores seven key considerations in preparing for a “Happy-New-Year” divorce filing. The children: Perhaps the most important ...
November 15, 2017CD
Under the Divorce Act, the Legislature vests trial courts with great discretion to divide the marital estate in a just and equal manner. One consideration in any divorce is the award of statutory rehabilitation maintenance. Rehabilitation maintenance1 is much narrower than alimony in many states because it only allows a trial court to award such for up to three (3) years when a spouse needs extra support while obtaining employment-related education or training. There are four (4) considerations the trial court considers in making such an award: The educational level of each spouse at the time of marriage and at the time ...
October 31, 2017CD
Indiana’s trial courts issue tens of thousands of final orders. Over the years, we have observed three common ways individuals who want to challenge the trial court’s ruling in the Indiana Court of Appeals have inadvertently waived this right. Don’t let this be your case if you want to appeal what you believe is a wrong order and seek reversal. This blog post identifies and explains common mistakes. Procrastination or lack of awareness of timelines. The decision to appeal or not to appeal is a vexing one for many reasons; you or your trial counsel may understand. All sorts of things ...
October 27, 2017CD