When it comes to helping you through your legal issues, my years of experience as a dedicated family law attorney is my strength that will be put to work for you. You deserve a seasoned advocate in your corner who knows and will fight for your rights and your interests. I can simplify the complexity of any situation and I will take time to know you and your case and guide you along the best path as you move forward. I am solution-focused and approach each case with a plan, co-developed with you, designed to meet your unique goals, and always directed towards reaching the best results possible for your individual case.
Indiana is a no-fault state. This means the actual reasons for the breakdown of the marriage are not at issue with the Court, although they are relevant to understanding the dynamics of your situation as we move ahead. Once a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage has been filed, there is a sixty (60) day “cooling off period” before your divorce can be finalized. Most counties now require the parties attend a parenting class if there are younger children of the marriage, and, alternate dispute resolution methods, such as mediations, are often required prior to proceeding to a final contested trial.
I frequently assist clients with handling sizable assets including businesses, real estate, and personal property. I work with leading business valuators, financial and tax experts, and appraisers to accurately determine the value of all the assets that you have a claim to within your marital estate. Working with a team approach, I can often identify assets of which one or both of the parties may not be fully aware, to your financial benefit. While most financial disputes are resolved outside the courtroom, I am very accustomed to dealing with adverse parties and adverse expert opinions in the courtroom to reach your goals.
Indiana follows the “one-pot theory.” Any assets and debts brought into the marriage, or acquired during the marriage, regardless of title, are all included in the marital estate. In Indiana, the presumption is that the marital estate is divided 50/50; however, if one party does not believe this a just and reasonable division of the marital estate, then there are several factors that can cause a deviation from this presumption, and I will go over all the possible scenarios with you to achieve the best result for you.
At the conclusion of a divorce proceeding, often a retirement account needs to be divided to achieve an equitable distribution. Depending on the type of account, these accounts may be divided by a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. This is a document, drafted by one, or both, of the parties’ attorneys is recognized by the IRS as a method of allowing a penalty-free transfer of retirement funds between spouses’ incident to a divorce.
Indiana does not recognize alimony, however, there are three (3) circumstances in which a court may require that one spouse pay maintenance to the other. First, if a spouse is the custodian of a child with a physical or mental incapacity that inhibits that spouse’s ability to work. Secondly, if the spouse is physically or mentally incapacitated such that he/she cannot work. Finally, if a spouse needs rehabilitative maintenance due to a lack of education or training, generally the case when the education is interrupted during the marriage while focusing on the marriage. If this is a possibility in your case, we will discuss all your options and all considerations associated with this issue.
A valid prenuptial agreement will contain detailed descriptions of the assets, debts, and financial intentions of the couple contemplating marriage. I have a significant amount of experience in drafting, reviewing, and negotiating prenuptial agreements for parties regardless of the situation. My focus will be on educating you and provided directed legal drafting to accomplish your goals and steer you in the right direction. Many states, including Indiana, recognize postnuptial agreements, which are contracts between the marriage partners created after the marriage. In Indiana, these post-marriage agreements can settle issues relating to the final division of assets and debts in the event of a divorce, without necessarily proceeding with the divorce action. This can be a very useful tool to support the continuation of a marriage when financial disputes or disparities are threatening the survival of the marriage.
With over three decades of experience, I have helped many clients through several complicated family situations work towards finding a just resolution. I have also helped clients navigate less complex situations to reach a financially beneficial result while controlling costs. No matter what family law issue you may be facing, I will apply cost-effective and client-driven strategies for your case's unique individual needs.
Collaborative law provides a holistic approach to reaching a resolution by incorporating other family professionals that all work together to help resolve your issue out of court. This is also known as a “no court” divorce and involves a series of individual and group meetings designed to meet your goals and reach a positive conclusion to your situation. I am trained to provide this service and I would be happy to provide additional information and discuss this method of resolution with you at any time.