Articles Posted in Indiana Divorce

The Indiana Court of Appeals recently took on the divorce case of a well-educated couple who married in 1995 and had two children. The husband, a tenured professor at Purdue University and the wife, a chemical engineer with a master’s degree in business administration, were in the process of separating in 2014 after nearly 20 years together.

Three wedding rings stacked on a dark background

At issue before the appellate court in Klimeck v. Klimeck was whether the trial court:

  • Properly and reasonably divided the marital estate;
  • Abused its discretion by ordering the husband to pay spousal maintenance to the wife;
  • Abused its discretion by imposing a gag order on the husband with regard to the wife’s medical conditions and treatments.

Ultimately, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.  Continue reading

The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a lower court decision in Laesch v. Laesch, finding a husband must:

  • Pay interest on his monthly payments to his wife, because he did not pay each in a lump sum;
  • Be held in contempt for failure to obtain a life insurance policy naming his ex-spouse as the sole irrevocable beneficiary;
  • Pay for her attorney fees in taking the matter to court. sadness2

The outcome has proven costly for the husband, and it illustrates the importance of ensuring you fully understand your obligations under each provision of the original Indiana divorce agreement. Failure to abide by any part of it could prove an expensive mistake.  Continue reading

Spousal support, once a critical aspect of any divorce case, has waned in recent years as both spouses often work outside the home and contribute somewhat equally to the financial stability of the household. Where husbands once were always required to pay spousal support – and often for many years after the divorce – it’s not so common these days. When it is approved, it’s often for a finite period of time. sadness3

Indiana Code 31-15-7-2 specifies the circumstances under which spousal support can be awarded in Indiana. Most often, spousal support is awarded during the provisional period of the divorce, which is after the filing for divorce but prior to its finalization. However, it may also be awarded when:

One spouse lacks sufficient property to meet his or her needs and/or the spouse is the custodian of a child whose physical or mental incapacity requires the custodian to forego employment. The court will consider the educational level of each spouse, whether family responsibilities resulted in an interruption in education/training or employment, the earning capacity of each spouse, and the time and expense needed for the lesser-earning spouse to acquire sufficient education or training. Continue reading

The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed that a former husband’s early military retirement pay is in fact payable to his ex-spouse, per their Indiana divorce agreement, despite the husband arguing it was not.salute

In the case of Seal v. Seal, the court ruled that the terms of the original distribution formula, which were agreed upon by all parties, were clear and unambiguous.

This case highlights what is an increasing point of contention in many Indiana divorce cases: that involving the apportioning of retirement funds. People are living longer, more often divorcing later in life, and these funds are what will determine each spouse’s quality of life in the golden years ahead.  Continue reading

Last year, a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision opened the doors for same-sex partners across the country to obtain a marriage license – and to have those marriages recognized in any state across the country. Since that ruling, many same-sex couples have married in Indiana. woman

But there are still some gray areas in our nation’s civil court systems with regard to these relationship. Take for example the recent case of Luttrell v. Cucco, weighed in on by the Virginia Supreme Court.

At its core, this case was a dispute over spousal support. As is common in many temporary spousal support agreements, a provision indicated that the support agreements were subject to termination in the event of “cohabitation,” as defined in Va. Code 20-109. The law states that maintenance and support of an ex-spouse may be discontinued upon cohabitation, remarriage, or death. Specifically, the law states that an ex-spouse who has been “habitually cohabitating with another person in a relationship analogous to a marriage for one year or more” is subject to termination of spousal support benefits.  Continue reading

The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the family trial court erred in its application of a financial formula on a husband’s retirement accounts. For this reason, in Ahls v. Ahls, the appellate court ruled wife should receive $115,000 more than she was granted in the original divorce settlement. womanback

This is a good example of why it’s important to carefully review retirement accounts when determining a divorce settlement.

According to court records, husband and wife married in 1993 and had one child together. After 20 years of marriage, wife filed a petition for divorce. Continue reading

A survivor benefit plan of a military pension should be included in the “marital pot” when considering what should be calculated as an “asset” in an Indiana divorce.USflagbearers

That was the ruling handed down by the Indiana Court of Appeals in the recent case of In Re: the Marriage of Carr v. Carr.

This was a couple who had been married for 16 years and had two children together when the husband sought a divorce. For 14 years before the pair were married, husband had worked in the military, and his service continued while the pair were together. Prior to their marriage, the husband had begun building up his pension. During the marriage, that pension grew. He’d also earned a pension prior to the marriage from a private company. Continue reading

If you are a business owner contemplating divorce, you have additional considerations that wouldn’t come into play for many facing a separation. davestressed

It’s not an uncommon scenario, as many entrepreneurs toil long hours building the company, and the marriage can suffer. It’s typical of younger couples to marry with no prenuptial agreement. What starts as a $50,000 venture can expand to a $10 million enterprise by the time the marriage dissolves – and by that time, the spouse has a stake in the business growth.

Of course, every scenario is different, but preservation of the business is a top priority for many owners.  Continue reading

The New Year brings with it the potential for change. Many who have been suffering in marriages that are miserable, loveless or simply unfulfilling seize the opportunity to write a new chapter.brokenheart

That’s why January has a reputation for being “divorce month.”

But as heartbreaking – or freeing – as the process may be, one of the first things we recommend to those on both sides of the aisle: Companionship.

Not with each other, of course, but with an experienced divorce attorney. You’re going to need a legal, tax and investment professional to help guide you through this change so you don’t end up on shaky financial ground. The goal is to keep things as amicable as possible and as equitable as possible. In cases where relations are contentious or strained, it’s especially important to have a third-party to help mediate the conversation and goals. Continue reading

Spousal maintenance – also sometimes referred to as alimony – is awarded in Indiana divorces under certain circumstances. couple

Typically, this is offered when one spouse earns significantly more than the other. Usually, this type of support is temporary, though a judge may determine it should be indefinite if the lesser earning spouse is disabled or unable to return to work for other reasons.

Whether spousal maintenance is permanent or temporary, parties may request modification or even termination when there is a material change in circumstance, such as remarriage. However, the 1994 Indiana Court of Appeals case of Roberts v. Roberts was clear in establishing the fact that spousal maintenance is not automatically terminated upon remarriage. There still needs to be proof presented by the moving party that the marriage means a significant change in the former spouse’s ability to support himself or herself.

This issue was weighed against recently by the Indiana Supreme Court in Gertiser v. Gertiser. Continue reading