Indianapolis Family Law & Divorce Lawyer
Family law is the most emotionally charged and mentally draining area of law because it involves disputes between loved ones, such as divorce or child custody. All family law matters are handled by local county courts, though it is possible to resolve the dispute and arrive at an agreement outside of court, such as through mediation or arbitration, and then have the court enter the binding agreement into the record. When you are going through a difficult family law issue, it can be hard on your family. You want to resolve things as quickly and painlessly as possible, but sometimes, the other side is not cooperative. That is why you need a family law lawyer who will fight for you. That’s where Eskew Law comes in.
Our gifted Indianapolis family law attorneys have spent years championing the parenting or property rights of our clients in local family law courts like Marion County Superior Court. We have the drive, dedication, knowledge, and actual trial experience to pursue your best interests, advocate for your side of the story, and fight for your preferred outcome. Whether you’re located in Indianapolis or elsewhere in the state of Indiana, we can assist you with resolving a legal dispute so that you can resume caring for your family. At an initial consultation, we will discuss the situation, explain the law, provide insight based on our personal experience, survey your potential options, and work with you to draft a plan of action. To speak with a knowledgeable Indianapolis family law attorney at Eskew Law today, call us at (317) 974-0177 today.
The state of Indiana refers to a divorce as a “dissolution of marriage” in its divorce statute, though both terms mean the same thing. The state is a no-fault divorce state, which means that the individual filing for divorce is not required to prove anyone did anything wrong or is otherwise responsible for the dissolution of marriage. Rather, the filing party could simply allege irreconcilable differences. The other spouse will not be able to prevent the filing party from requesting a divorce.
In order to get a divorce in Indiana, either you or your former spouse must live in Indiana for the six months preceding the filing. In addition, one of you must live in the county in which you file for the three months preceding the filing.
There are two types of divorce: contested divorce and uncontested divorce. With an uncontested divorce, you and your former spouse both desire to divorce and either (1) have no assets to divide and no children or (2) have already agreed upon how to divide assets and handle child custody and support. This means the court does not need to do anything with your divorce case besides enter the divorce order. It will take a minimum of 60 days for the final order to be entered after the petition is filed. However, prior to the finalized order, there may be a “provisional” or “preliminary” hearing, during which the judge may enter a temporary order. Usually, these hearings are very brief and only if one party requests one.
With uncontested divorces, parties often settle property, debt, and child issues through written agreements. Even if you and your former spouse are willing to sit down and hash things out without involving a judge, you should hire an experienced Indianapolis divorce lawyer to help you draft a marital settlement agreement or child custody and support agreement to ensure that all important provisions are included and are legally sound. Dissolution agreements involving children will receive extra scrutiny from the court.
If the divorce is contested, however, the court will handle the division of assets and debts if you and your former spouse fail to arrive at an agreement through mediation or arbitration. The court presumes a division of assets and debts 50/50, though this process is complicated by several factors, including:
- Some property is not easily divisible in half, such as homes and cars
- ALL property and debt are marital, but not all property and debt are transferable
- A spouse may have a superior claim to or interest in a piece of property than the other spouse based upon a variety of factors
- Spouses may both be interested in property that is not divisible
An Indianapolis family law lawyer can help facilitate the process by working with the client to determine what their end goals are and what their interests are concerning the marital property and debts. Marital property or community property is property that is jointly shared by the spouses during the marriage. When a couple weds, the assets and debts they acquire are jointly owned by them. Therefore, when divorcing, it makes most sense to cleanly divide this property, though as discussed above, this is often a difficult and highly tumultuous process.
When you are a parent, you want the best for your children. You don’t want to drag them through a stressful and emotional child custody battle. If you and the other parent are amenable to working out custody, visitation, and support, you may be able to draft a child custody and support agreement with the help of an experienced Indianapolis child custody lawyer. This agreement will cover which parents have legal and physical custody, when each parent will spend time with the child, who is responsible for making which decisions, the amount of child support, what child support is to cover, and more.
If you are unable to agree, the court will determine custody by prioritizing the best interests of your children by considering:
- Their ages
- Relationship with their parents and siblings
- Their wishes (especially when the children are over 14 years old) and the parents’ wishes
- Medical or mental health issues of the children
- Parents’ ability to provide for the children
- Children’s involvement in school and other activities
- The criminal record or domestic violence history of either parent
In determining support, the court will use the Indiana child support guidelines. These guidelines take into account the income of the parents, educational expenses, medical expenses, costs of raising the children, daycare or school expenses, and more. They are based on gross weekly income.
Eskew Law LLC assists families with working through child custody and support issues. In addition, we have resources for families, and also help with:
- Coordinating visitation schedules
- Paternity disputes
- Grandparents’ rights
- Third-party custody
- CHINS (Child in Need of Services) (Please note we are not focusing on this type of case right now.)
When a divorce, child custody, or child support dispute is resolved with a final order, the parties are required to follow the order. If someone violates the order, such as not paying child support, they can be found in contempt of court. Often at contempt hearings, the judge will give the breaching party an opportunity to correct the issue. The judge may also the final divorce, custody, or support order. In addition, the judge has the power to order attorney’s fees be awarded, adjust parenting time and support figures to remedy the matter or jail someone for violating a court order. It should be noted that incarceration is a rare remedy, reserved for the most serious issues.
A protective order can also spell legal troubles. A protective order is similar to a restraining order. If a family member, spouse, former spouse, or intimate partner has hurt you or threatened to hurt you, you can seek a protective order from a family court judge. The order states that the individual may not come near you. If they violate the order, they can be arrested and jailed.
Contact a Skilled Indianapolis Divorce Lawyer for a Consultation
Family law matters are complex, confusing, and emotionally exhausting. Eskew Law LLC can handle the difficult issues so that you can concentrate on your family. We take this privilege and responsibility seriously for all of our clients throughout Indianapolis and Central Indiana. To schedule your consultation with our team of compassionate family law attorneys, call us at (317) 974-0177.