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A frequent question posed to divorce lawyers is whether and when you can change the locks to the house. The answer is the same as it is to many legal questions: It depends. In Indiana, if you are able to establish domestic violence or a threat of abuse, you may be able to obtain a Temporary Restraining Oder that also excludes a spouse from the marital home, by way of a temporary eviction. If granted, a sheriff may arrive and help escort your spouse from the home. Of course, these are temporary orders and a person evicted from his home will be given a quick hearing to oppose the finding....
At birth, you may legally give your child any first, middle, and last name you like. Whether you are married or not, you don’t have to give the baby the last name of either parent if you don’t want to, and the child does not have to have the father’s last name to be considered “legitimate.” However, if a child is born out-of-wedlock , the Mom may be the only parent who makes that decision. In Indiana, the natural father of a child born out-of-wedlock enjoys no rights regarding child's name until his paternity has been legally established. Once paternity is established, both mother and father...
Annulments do not happen every day in Indiana, as it has the effect of voiding a marriage. There are only two very specific circumstances under which a court can grant an annulment: 1) One party to the marriage was incapable because of age or mental incompetency to enter into a marriage contract, or 2) One of the parties to the marriage induced the other into the marriage by fraud. Proving mental incapacity or fraud is not easy and definitely not your typical situation... but it does happen! If you believe a loved one was not capable of consenting to a marriage but was taken advantage of--...
What is a prenuptial or a premarital agreement?  The purpose of a premarital agreement or a "prenup" is to determine, prior to marriage, what each spouse wishes to maintain as non-marital property in case of death, disability or divorce. When a husband or wife each have children from  a prior relationship, such agreement can help preserve your children's future inheritance, in the event that you do not outlive your new spouse.  Without such an agreement, its possible that our new spouse would simply leave everything to her children, thereby depriving you and your family of what you've worked...
If you aren't up to date with your kids' school calendars, you may have missed a relatively new concept: Fall Break.  Its an end of the first semester break for kids and teachers alike and provides enough days off of school to allow parents and families to schedule in some last minute vacation time. To understand the Spring Break and Fall Break rules in the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines you must be certain as to which version of the guidelines you follow.  There are presently two (2) versions of the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines that parents may follow.  If your parenting time order...
All parents want the best for their children, but a discussion as to whether college is affordable is common today in most families. What happens when parents divorce? Is one or both of the divorced parents responsible for paying for their child’s college education? How should those costs be divided among divorced parents or parents who have never been married? Indiana law permits custodial parents to seek contribution from a non-custodial parent for the costs of a child’s college education. Courts will consider a number of factors to determine whether a non-custodial parent should contribute...
You’ve Got Your Decree-- do you know that there may be a lot of loose ends to tie up?  Here are Some Suggestions for Tying up Loose Ends. If, as a part of the Decree, you  have been awarded a division of your ex-spouse’s retirement account(s), make  sure your portion of the account(s) is actually transferred to your individual  account, set aside in your individual name, or reserved in your name for  distribution at a future date pursuant to the plan.If the plan is a “qualified plan,” such as a  401(k) or pension, follow up with your attorney within 60 days to make sure the  appropriate...
In a recent decision by the Indiana Supreme Court, the Court struck down a deal between parents who attempted to bargain away child support in exchange for no parenting time as void.  Mother and Father agreed that Father would give up his parenting time if Mother would not pursue him for child support or an outstanding arrearage. The Indiana Supreme Court noted that any agreement to contract away child support rights is directly contrary to the public policy of protecting the welfare of children and is therefore void.  The Court observed that the right to child support lies exclusively with...
There are several sperm donor cases in the headlines right now.  If you’ve followed Jason Patric’s appeal in the California courts, it is clear that there are two very different versions of their son’s conception.  The mother claims that Jason Patric wanted nothing to do with a child, but was willing to donate sperm.  Jason Patric claims that he at all times wanted to be a father and because of fertility problems, utilized a sperm bank.  Should a biological father who wants to be a father to his child be a legal father?  The trial court in California denied Jason Patric’s petition, citing a...
In Indiana, a court may order parents to contribute toward a child's college education. However, repudiation of a parent by the child is a complete defense to such an order. Repudiation is defined as a complete refusal to participate in a relationship with a parent. In the recent case of Nelson v Nelson, decided March 16, 2016, the Indiana Court of Appeals refused to find that repudiation had occurred between a father and his son. The Father argued that he should not be ordered to pay any money toward his son's college education, because the son had repudiated their relationship and it was...
We're in the midst of tax season and the question on everyone's mind is who is claiming the kids? If you're in the middle of a divorce and were therefore married in 2015- the answer is probably both of you. Absent an agreement or court order to the contrary, you will most likely be required to file taxes jointly and share in any refund. However, as part of your divorce negotiations, who will claim the dependency exemption must be discussed and included in any final agreement. In Indiana, the most common practice and most common court order is for parents to share claiming the children on...
Tag(s): Family law
Already in 2016, the Supreme Court issued yet another ERISA opinion in Montanile v. Board of Trustees.  This one should send shivers down the spines of health plan administrators everywhere.  The subject was the ability of health plans to recover amounts paid to injured participants who subsequently recover from third parties in a personal injury claim.  Such recovery actions are called subrogation liens, and are a familiar feature in both fully-insured and self-funded health plans sponsored by employers. Of course, being employer-sponsored means that terms of the plan, including its...
Most kids participate in some kind of organized activity outside the school day and there are a wide range of costs and commitment levels required of parents whose children want to be involved. Pursuant to the Indiana Child Support Guidelines, extracurricular expenses are not part of the regular weekly child support payment. They are expenses which are optional in nature since these activities are not part of life’s required costs such as food and clothing. That means that in addition to meeting the basic financial needs of a child, parents are faced with the expenses of things like sports,...
Tag(s): Family law
In welcome news for most employers, the IRS announced in Notice 2016-4 that the deadlines for employers to report health care coverage information as required by the Affordable Care Act have been extended. Background. All Applicable Large Employers (those with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees) must report on Forms 1095 and 1094 whether they offered affordable, minimum essential coverage at minimum value to employees (and their dependents) who were full-time for at least one month during 2015. In addition, any employer sponsoring a self-funded medical plan must report on Form 1095-C...
The IRS has announced various contribution limits applicable to retirement plans in 2016.  Highlights include: The elective deferral (contribution) limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), and most 457 plans remains unchanged at $18,000. The catch-up contribution limit for employees aged 50 and over who participate in 401(k), 403(b), and most 457 plans remains unchanged at $6,000. The limit on annual contributions to an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) remains unchanged at $5,500. The additional catch-up contribution limit for individuals aged 50 and over is not subject...

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