Truth or Consequences: Why Honesty Is the Best Policy When Dealing with Your Lawyer BY KATIE MCCLAFLIN You, like most people, are likely to want to finalize your divorce with your integrity intact, your finances in order, and a positive sense of emotional well- being. There are many steps you can take before, during, and after the divorce to maximize your chances of doing so. Being honest with your lawyer will be the first step,

Protecting Your Children Before, During, and After Your Divorce BY JOAN H. MCWILLIAMS When you are struggling with the financial, psychological, and legal issues associated with a divorce, it’s difficult to remember that your children need more attention than ever before. The good news is that your children can successfully survive your divorce if you follow some basic commonsense guidelines. The following will help you provide for their needs at all stages of the process

Separation Anxiety and Parenting Time Most parenting time orders or guidelines state that the mere fact that a child doesn’t want to go visit with the other parent is not a basis to deny parenting time. At times there is an allegation of separation anxiety by one parent. An article on WebMD, noted that “separation anxiety disorder is a condition in which a child becomes fearful and nervous when away from home or separated from

In the most recent post on this blog, I discussed  Zavodnik v. Harper, 17 N.E. 259 (Ind. 2014)  in which the Indiana Supreme Court delineated what it considered reasonable restrictions on a Pro Se litigant. In this same case, the Supreme Court made a second ruling which I find  quite helpful in dealing with both Pro Se litigants and litigants represented by an attorney (maybe your own client) who are disgruntled by the Judge’s decision

The Indiana Supreme Court recently provided some guidance on how to deal with Pro Se litigants who are using the judicial system to abuse, harass or clog the system with frivolous claims.  In Zavodnik v. Harper, 17 N.E. 259 (Ind. 2014), the court was dealing with a “prolific, abusive litigant” with 123 cases appearing under his name on the Odyssey system (almost all were filed since 2008) in addition to 34 cases at the appellate level.

In light of the 2013 case finding that a guardian could not file for divorce (which shocked a lot of practitioners), the legislature amended the guardianship statute to expressly allow this effective 7/1/14. IC 29-3-6-3 (a) (5) now provides that a guardian has the authority to file: “a petition to request the authority to petition for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or annulment of marriage on behalf of the protected person as provided in I.C. 29-3-9-12.2.”

I recently attended  a presentation on dealing with sexual abuse allegations.   These are clearly the most stressful cases for the parties and the attorneys.   It was an eye-opening hour.  The speakers suggested that a lot of the symptoms which some suggest are related to abuse, such as touching themselves,  may just be normal childhood development or related to anxiety.    The speakers also highlighted the fragile nature of  child memory and the ways

A recent Court of Appeals opinion, McGee v. McGee, 2013 relying on a 1950s Indiana Supreme Court decision, held that a guardian cannot file a divorce petition for a ward even if the Guardian has a legitimate reason for doing so.   The husband was in a nursing home  and the guardian suggested that the ward’s asset needed to be protected.    The court, however, noted: While the statutes governing dissolution and guardianship in Indiana

The relatively new emancipation statute is still creating interesting issues.   In two recent cases I’ve had, a 19 year old child is still in high school.   The legislative committee which made the change thought about this issue, but decided that relatively few students would be impacted by the change.   At a recent conference, I asked how other courts had been handling this issue.  To a person, the attorneys indicated that not a

I attended the two day Family Law Institute in Indianapolis in October.   The two day conference covered the latest case and statutory updates in family law, but also provided a lot of information about same sex marriage in Indiana and elsewhere.   The courts are clearly struggling about what to do with same sex marriages from other states when the parties move to Indiana and seek a divorce.  In one trial court case, a

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