Knowledgeable Answers To Common Questions About Indiana Family Law
At Cairns Rabiola Vance, LLC, our attorneys regularly receive questions from people just like you who are going through divorce, a custody dispute or other family law issue. On this page, we’ve provided answers to some of the most common questions we are asked. After reading, we invite you to ask us your own questions during a free initial consultation.
How does Indiana law say property should be divided in divorce?
Each state follows one of two legal principles when dividing property in divorce. A handful of states use the “community property” model, in which nearly all assets acquired during the marriage are considered marital property and subject to a 50-50 split in divorce.
Most states, including Indiana, use the “equitable distribution” model. This means that courts must ensure that all marital assets are divided equitably, which isn’t always the same thing as equally. There may be reasons to deviate from a 50-50 split, and courts are allowed to do so (or approve negotiated settlement proposals that do so), when appropriate.
What are some of the benefits of mediated divorce in Indiana?
For most of the history of divorce in America, litigated divorce was the only option. This is an adversarial process by design. While it is necessary in some cases, it is not the best option for spouses who can resolve their differences through cooperation and negotiation. Mediation is one such option for clients looking for a peaceful alternative.
Compared to litigated divorce, mediation:
- Is often faster to resolve
- Tends to be cheaper for all involved
- Involves less stress and acrimony
- Gives both parties more control over the outcome of the case
- Maintains privacy by not making the details of your divorce public
Our firm offers mediation services in addition to more traditional representation, and we would be happy to discuss all of your options during a free consult.
Can child support and child custody orders be changed to match current circumstances?
Yes, court support and custody orders can be modified by petitioning the court. In both cases, you would need to demonstrate that a change in home/financial circumstances or the needs of your children has occurred, and demonstrate that this change is so significant that the current order no longer meets the best interests of your children.
Our attorneys can help you present a strong argument for why modification is necessary or why the order should be kept in place, depending on your position.
Does child support include the costs of helping my child pay for college?
Funding post-secondary education is not a standard part of child support, as payment obligations typically end when children turn 19 years old. However, higher education costs can sometimes be part of a child support agreement. This is a complex legal matter, so it is best to seek case-specific advice from an attorney.
My ex-spouse and I will be sharing custody but have a very hard time cooperating with one another. Are there any services available to help us?
You may be able to work with a professional known as a parenting coordinator, although this usually requires an order from the court. One of our attorneys, Jaimie Cairns, sometimes serves as a parenting coordinator and can answer any questions you may have about the role that these professionals play in helping co-parents work through their differences to better serve the needs of their children.
Ask Us Your Own Questions During A Free Consultation
At Cairns Rabiola Vance, LLC, our attorneys offer free consultations to inform clients of their options and answer questions they may have. We can discuss potential payment plans available (for future services) during this meeting as well. To get started, call at 317-953-2182 or submit an online contact form. We serve greater central Indianapolis.