Indiana Divorce Attorney

For many, the process of going through a divorce is one of the most difficult times in life. Things can be further complicated when divorcing spouses encounter disputes about child custody, division of assets, and other terms of the separation. Fortunately, much of the stress and drama of a separation can be avoided by going through the process of a collaborative divorce. How Does a Collaborative Divorce Work? In Indiana, a collaborative divorce refers to one where both parties work with their own attorneys and meet regularly to reach agreements on various aspects of the separation itself. Ultimately, the goal of a collaborative divorce is to iron out differences and avoid needing to go to court over these issues. As[…..]

During the fall of 2018, Congress voted to approve a new bipartisan criminal justice bill known as the First Step Act. The goal of this bill is to improve the conditions in federal prisons across the country and address the mass incarceration problem for drug-related crimes and similar offenses. While many would argue that there are still a lot of changes that need to be made to the criminal justice system in the United States, there is still much to like about this bill. The First Step Act: What Does It Do? Specifically, the First Step Act introduces several programs that allow prisoners to earn “credits” that can be used to reduce their sentences or enter into pre-release custody/home confinement.[…..]

New Albany Family Law Attorney

If you’re a spouse who sacrificed a career to care for children and later divorces, you may get spousal support for only three years. If you’re back in the workforce after being absent for years, this isn’t much time to get your income to a level where you can comfortably support yourself. This part of Indiana family law has come under scrutiny and should be changed because of the unfairness it can cause. This type of spousal maintenance (the term “alimony” isn’t used in Indiana law) is known as rehabilitative maintenance. It’s supposed to help “rehabilitate” a spouse whose unpaid job (possibly for decades) was to care for children and a household; it gives a three-year window of support while[…..]

New Albany Mediation Attorney

The legal system has become so complex, time consuming and costly that parties normally work very hard to avoid using it. After a civil lawsuit is filed, negotiations may ebb and flow, but the vast majority of Indiana lawsuits are resolved through settlements, not verdicts after trials. Those are the endings you see in movies and TV — reality is normally far less dramatic. Mediation is the use of a neutral third party to help the parties negotiate a resolution. At McNeely Stephenson, Larry Church, Jason Lopp and Dana Eberle-Peay not only negotiate settlements for their clients involved in litigation, but they also work as mediators in other cases. There are many benefits to settling a case. The biggest is[…..]

Introduction to Indiana Drug Laws

How Indiana controlled dangerous substances (CDS) crimes are classified varies depending on possession or sale, the type of drug and amount. No matter the possible crime, if you learn you’re under investigation for such a crime or have been arrested for one, you need to talk to a defense attorney to best defend your legal rights and freedom. Indiana has five CDS schedules based on their potential for abuse and whether they’re approved for medical use. Schedule I drugs (including opiates and heroin) have a high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use or are unsafe for use in treatment, even under medical supervision. Schedule II drugs (including morphine and opium) also have a high potential for abuse, but they[…..]

Should I Refuse to Take a Test If I’m Accused of Driving Drunk?

Indiana law is written to punish those refusing to take breath, blood or urine tests to determine if they were driving under the influence, or, as Indiana law puts it, operating while intoxicated (OWI). You may feel the punishment for refusing to submit to a test is the lesser of two evils compared to what may happen if you’re charged with OWI. But that may not be the case. Indiana law requires suspects arrested of OWI to take a breath, blood, or urine test if they’re asked to. This is based on the state’s “implied consent” law. It states that those lawfully arrested for driving under the influence have shown their consent to testing by being on an Indiana public[…..]

Jails Shouldn’t Be the Psychiatric Hospitals of Last Resort

Indiana state psychiatric hospitals used to be full of people who needed help. But that help varied from person to person, and many were “locked away” when effective treatments could have been used in much less restrictive surroundings. Due to lawsuits and changes in the law, people have much more control over their treatment and these state hospitals have largely closed. An unintended result is that many who are mentally ill are convicted of crimes and land in jail, where they’re eventually treated. This is a huge waste of human potential and government resources. Prioritizing treatment, not incarceration, will improve public safety and help reduce costs of local and state jails that are straining government budgets, according to an editorial[…..]

Why Doesn’t the Prosecution Stop After a Case Unravels?

Prosecutors are supposed to seek justice, which, depending on the circumstances, includes dropping charges against a defendant after it becomes clear that the wrong person has been arrested for the crime. Most prosecutors are wise enough to understand when mistakes were made and do the right thing, but other times innocent defendants are sent to prison because prosecutors don’t want to admit mistakes or they’ve staked their reputation on getting a conviction in a case, whether or not the guilty party is on trial. Elkhart, Indiana, police in 1996 were called to a home after an armed robbery took place. One of the assailants shot and nearly killed one of the occupants. They were told that two robbers had broken[…..]

Parental Alienation: Using Your Kids as Pawns in Your Battle Against the Other Parent

The use of children as weapons in an ugly war between parents is a common issue that family law attorneys deal with. Either their own clients engage in it or the other parent is playing emotional games with children to seek revenge for a divorce or ending a relationship. It’s a no win situation for the parents and the children. Parental alienation can happen to any couple, no matter where they live, how wealthy or poor they may be. A famous case of parental disputes involves Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. The two are going through a divorce that Jolie filed for in 2016. The couple has six children. Jolie claimed she wanted an end to the relationship to protect[…..]

Alexa, Don’t Snitch on Me

First there were PCs, then came laptops, cell phones and smartphones, and now we have digital devices. Keyboards are outdated, because now you can talk to your device and tell it what to do. For that to work, the device needs a microphone and a way to store recordings, like on a cloud computer system — which could be accessed by others, such as Indiana or federal law enforcement officers with warrants. Bentonville, Arkansas, in 2015 was the setting where a potential murder scene had a number of electronic devices recording all kinds of information that the police could find helpful, including a digital assistant with a microphone, reports the Marshall Project. James Bates called 911 on the Sunday morning[…..]