Articles Posted in Indiana Divorce

A new study published last month in the American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities revealed that while parents of children with developmental disabilities weren’t more likely to divorce than other parents, their reasons for separating often differed.

Researchers analyzed a longitudinal study of more than 10,000 people – and some of their siblings – beginning in 1957. From this group, study authors identified 190 parents of biological children with developmental disabilities, as compared to 7,250 parents of children without disabilities. What they discovered was that the rate of divorce was about the same for both groups – 1 in 5. However, for parents of children with no developmental issues, risks of divorce were lowest with just one child, and increased with each subsequent child. This was not true though for parents of children with disabilities.

What this suggests is that other children may provide an important support and coping system in caring for a developmentally disabled child, researchers say. Continue reading

The business of dividing property, deciding child custody and support payments and parsing out details of a decades-old prenuptial agreement can be messy. When two people have built a life together, it can be difficult trying to untangle all the strings as fairly and painlessly as possible.

The case of Carmer v. Carmer, recently before the Indiana Court of Appeals, is one such example. This was a case in which a couple married for more than 20 years was separating after purchasing two homes together, having three children and in the midst of preparing to adopt two more. There was a premarital agreement on the table, but there was dispute about how it should be interpreted. There was also contention as to whether husband’s monthly annuities – received as compensation stemming from a personal injury lawsuit – should be factored into the child support schedule.

Just as every marriage is different, so too is every divorce and every divorce agreement. It’s imperative throughout the process to have an experienced divorce attorney advocating on your behalf and for the best interests of your children. Continue reading

Indiana law requires an equitable division of property in a divorce. However, “equitable” does not mean “equal,” and it can be difficult for courts to divide property when separate and marital property is commingled.

Marital property is that which is acquired during marriage, while separate property is what a spouse owns prior to marriage or acquires by gift or inheritance during the marriage. Even so, a judge has the discretion to divide the couple’s property in any way that seems fair, regardless of when it was acquired or who actually owns it. Commingling happens when separate and marital property is mixed.

Factors that may be considered when dividing a couple’s property unequally would be:

  • Economic situation of each spouse;
  • Each spouse’s current earnings or earning potential;
  • Conduct that resulted in dissipation or loss of property;
  • Each spouse’s contributions to property acquisition or income.

Continue reading

In Indiana, marital property is commonly referred to as a “marital pot.” It is all the assets and liabilities a couple shares in the course of their marriage. When they are divorced, in essence everything gets poured into a “pot,” and it’s up to the court to decide the best way to equitably divide it all.

There is a legal presumption under Indiana law that property will be divided equally (50/50). However, parties can overcome that presumption by rebutting it with evidence to show why there should be a deviation. The goal isn’t always totally equal division, but rather equitable (fair) division in light of the circumstances.

Division of property is often one of the most contentious aspects of any divorce, and it’s one that often makes it to the appellate courts when one or both parties disagree with trial judge’s ruling. Such was the case in Carie v. Carie, recently before the Indiana Court of Appeals. Continue reading

When the adultery-promoting website Ashley Madison was hacked last month, the personal account information of millions of current and former site users was released. According to the Indy Star, it appears a number of email domains listed on the spouse-cheating site were .gov domains linked to city accounts in Indiana, Carmel and Greenwood, as well as to the Indiana State Police and the Indiana Department of Correction.

Officials were careful to caution that the appearance of those emails doesn’t necessarily mean anyone signed up for the service using their work email, but an investigation was being launched nonetheless. It’s not so much a moral issue, they say, as a potential violation of government email use policy.

But whether having an account tied to the site that encourages affairs causes workers trouble with their employer, it may not have a direct effect on one’s divorce. That’s because Indiana is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce. Continue reading

When a court in Indiana issues a dissolution of marriage, it approves the divorce agreement as reached either by both parties through mediation or by the court following litigation or some combination of both.

These agreements encompass everything from child support and parenting time to division of property and spousal maintenance (also sometimes referred to as spousal support). These orders are final, and the only way they can be modified is through a request from the court for modification on the basis of a material change in circumstance.

In weighing recently a request for modification in Pohl v. Pohl, the Indiana Supreme Court noted the precedent for such action was established nearly 20 years ago in Voigt v. Voigt. The court recognized in that prohibition of modification of maintenance agreements may produce harsh results, but it is generally to be recognized unless the agreement so provides. Continue reading

Many people facing a divorce are hyper-focused on the here and now. And sometimes, it really is best to take things one day at a time.

Your divorce attorney, on the other hand, should be looking at your long-term well-being. That means figuring out a plan for division of assets, debts and benefits to sustain you not just over the next several months, but over years and even decades.

Even if a couple is not near retirement age, benefits accrued during the marriage are subject to division and must be carefully considered, just as one would weigh houses and other real estate. In fact, retirement benefits may actually be the largest asset a couple has between them.

Putting off the issue of retirement benefits or refusing to address them can be a big mistake. It’s important to understand that while divorce in Indiana calls for equitable division of assets, that does not always mean equal. Further, these funds are not automatically split in a divorce.
Continue reading

The issue of legality of same-sex marriage in America was settled recently with the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.

The lead plaintiff, from Ohio, challenged a state ban on homosexual marriage on constitutional grounds. Indiana voters had previously passed a similar ban, but the law was overturned last year when a federal judge declared it unconstitutional. Still, the question remained open-ended in many other states – until now.

What it means for same-sex couples who choose to marry is that the union they form in Indiana will be recognized nationally wherever they go. It also means those couples will have the right to divorce anywhere too.
Continue reading

After two people decide they no longer wish to be married, one of the key points of contention often becomes division of assets. Indiana, as in most states, seeks equitable distribution, or a distribution that is fair given the circumstances.

But this is often a more complex process than it seems. Some assets can’t be simply cut down the middle, 50-50. In order for the distribution to be fair, marital assets must first be identified and then valuated.

For some elements, this can be straightforward. For example, the amount of money in a bank account can be clearly valuated. A retirement account or real property might be a bit more complicated, but will still generally come out to a fairly easily calculable figure. A business, however, is different. In order to properly evaluate a business, one must often analyze the history of the business, the company’s tangible assets, the earning capacity, the fair market value, good will and any other intangible value.
Continue reading

A recent attempt by an ex-wife to sue her former husband’s mistress for alienation of affection was thwarted by the fact that the contacts between husband and mistress did not occur frequently enough in the state of Mississippi for the state court to have jurisdiction. Primarily, the contacts occurred out-of-state, while husband was traveling as a pilot for a mail carrier.

The case of Nordness v. Faucheux, before the Mississippi Supreme Court, is what is referred to as “alienation of affection.”

Alienation of affection is a common law tort brought by a deserted spouse against a third party alleged to be responsible for the end of a marriage. It has been abolished in most jurisdictions, including Indiana. In Mississippi, however, it still remains a viable cause of action.
Continue reading