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 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[…..]

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[…..]

Drug Use Worse in Single Parent Families and Those of Low Income

The destruction caused by the use of illegal drugs isn’t felt uniformly across Indiana, Kentucky or the rest of the United States. A recent study shows differences aren’t based on geography but on social and economic factors such as the divorce rate and the availability of medical care from government sources. According to Vice, the study by Syracuse University researchers, published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, found: There’s no significant difference between rural and urban drug overdose rates. High rates of divorce and a greater share of single-parent households were most connected to counties with higher rates of drug deaths. The second biggest contributing factors were economic indicators, including how many people are dependent on the mining industry[…..]

Will the Elderly Have Their Own #MeToo Movement?

Millions of elderly Americans suffer some form of abuse every year. While women suffering sexual harassment at work were able to publicize the abuse they’ve had to suffer, older Americans largely suffer in silence. In an effort to bring attention to the issue, the United Nations has named June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. There are many types of elder abuse and victims may have to deal with more than one at the same time, according to the National Council on Aging. Physical abuse: inflicting physical pain or injury. Sexual abuse: Touching, fondling, intercourse or other sexual activity with an older adult if he or she can’t understand what’s going on, doesn’t consent, is threatened or forced to[…..]

Indiana Paternity Attorney

This year the Trump administration opened up a new front on trying to reduce undocumented immigrants. It has targeted families of children who crossed the Mexican border in an effort to escape violence and criminal gangs in their home countries. These asylum seekers are often cared for by family members after they get to the U.S. Indiana caregivers who are undocumented immigrants may find themselves targeted for deportation and possible criminal prosecution in what the administration states is an effort to cut down on human smuggling. When unaccompanied children and teens who cross the Mexican border are found by Immigration and Citizenship Enforcement (ICE) agents, the agency seeks out family members to care for them during the immigration process that[…..]

The state of Kentucky recently passed a new law, House Bill 492, that encourages divorcing parents to work toward a “shared parenting” solution rather than granting one parent primary custody over the other. This law was passed not just with the best interests of the children in mind, but the parents’ best long-term interests as well. And while Kentucky is one of the first states to pass such a law, it is expected that more states will begin to follow suit as the benefits of shared parenting arrangements become clearer. What is a Shared Parenting Arrangement? Essentially, a shared parenting arrangement is a custody solution that is put in place following a divorce or legal separation. In a shared parenting[…..]

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[…..]