Category: Family Law

Do I Need a Lawyer for Mediation?

Mediation is a way to resolve your differences with another party and avoid the high costs in time, energy, emotion and money that come with litigation. It involves a neutral third party who guides the parties to an agreement which ends the dispute. You don’t need a lawyer to be involved in mediation, but if your dispute involves your federal or Indiana legal rights, it’s best that you have one to help you. A mediator is normally an attorney who does this full time or as part of his or her legal practice, as we do at McNeely Stephenson. Mediators can handle any kind of dispute, whether it’s related to divorce, child custody, disagreements between business owners or reaching a[…..]

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[…..]

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

The use of children as pawns 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. What Might Lead to Using Kids as Pawns 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[…..]

Considerations for Postnuptial and Prenuptial Agreements

An Indiana divorce can drain you of energy, emotion and dollars. Two potential ways to prevent or lessen those losses are prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. They are agreements made between the parties either before (prenuptial) or after (postnuptial) they’re married. These agreements can spell out how various issues (but not child custody or support) will be resolved in case the parties end their marriage. Without one of these agreements, under Indiana law all property brought into a marriage or acquired during it is joined together and will be subject to division in a divorce. Under Kentucky law, property is deemed marital or nonmarital. The division of property starts with a presumption of an even split; then one party can argue[…..]

Child support in a divorce ensures that parents give their child the quality of life and support they intended to provide while they were still married. It’s a critical component of most divorce agreements when the couple has children. Yet what many parents fail to consider is what will happen to their child’s quality of life and their support payments if at some point in the future the supporting parent dies or becomes disabled. In these instances, the income providing the support stops, but the child’s need for support does not. One way to ensure that the child will receive all of the support necessary, in spite of obstacles like these, is through insuring the child support. Many parents are[…..]

Pride

When many of us are at the bank, the airport, or even just a bar, we don’t think twice about pulling out our driver’s license or passport to prove who we are. For transgender individuals, however, if the way they look and feel on the outside doesn’t match the gender marker on their ID, it can put them in a tricky situation. It can cause them to miss flights, get questioned by the authorities, or in some cases, make them immediate targets for public humiliation, hostility, or violence. Almost half of the states in this nation require proof of reassignment surgery, a court order, or both before allowing a gender marker change on state-issued ID cards or a driver’s license,[…..]

Pet Divorce

Most people consider their pets to be part of the family. Many pets even get matching sweaters for the holiday photo cards and portraits. We take care of their needs, like they’re furry toddlers – only they can be left alone without much worry. Companion animals have been known to lower stress, teach children compassion, and help ease symptoms of depression. When it comes to divorce, deciding who gets Fluffy and Fido is just one of the many areas that has to be negotiated. Recently, pet custody has been a hot topic in courtrooms across the country, and Indiana is no exception. Generally, animals are considered by the law as property, objects to be owned. Judges have been dividing up[…..]

Educational Support

Married parents get to choose whether they will (or whether they can) finance their child’s college education. For divorced parents, however, that choice is one of the luxuries they often have to sacrifice. Nearly everyone is familiar with the concept of child support in divorce and custody cases. The court can (and nearly always does) order one parent to pay child support to the other parent. Child support is a contribution toward the child’s basic needs: a roof over his head, food in her stomach, clothes on his back. Child support ends at a certain age by statute or upon certain life events, such as marriage or enlistment in the military. When the parents don’t have a combined household, how[…..]

Indiana Family Lawyer

Legally speaking, childhood lasts only 18 years. The rest of life is considered adulthood. With that much disparity, it’s no wonder we lose touch with what it’s like to be a kid. Still, adult situations affect children deeply, and divorce is no exception. That’s not to say divorce isn’t often the path that’s best for everyone in a family, but when you’re caught up in the hullabaloo of the adult aspects, keep in mind the kid POV. No one knows exactly what to say or do to help children thrive in any kind of split custody schedule. But it’s vital to try to tap into your own life markers and remember how adult interactions – particularly your relationships with your[…..]