Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The "New" New Noblesville office

Given the expansion my firm has experienced in the past few months, in October 2010 the Noblesville office of Cordell & Cordell was opened in the Yeager building in downtown Noblesville.

On February 1 I was informed that I had been selected to staff the office on a full time basis (much to my delight).

Recently the firm has started interviewing for additional support staff and in
anticipation of signing that person up we have opened up
another office suite in the Yeager building which I have dubbed the "New" new Noblesville office. I gotta say I'm digging the industrial feel and the super short commute!

Attached for your viewing pleasure are pics of the "new" new Noblesville office.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Blogging the way it is meant to be done..

So as I laid in bed last night I started thinking about how excited I was a year and a half ago to begin blogging and realized its been nearly a year since I updated DivorceIndiana.

Not that I haven't been busy in the past year, contributing and blogging quite a bit on for my firm. But as I was pondering why I lost the fire to blog after only a few months, the reason was all too simple... What I was writing about just wasn't that fun. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do, I love helping people work through difficult and personal problems and I love the changing and challenging environment I work in. That said, after a few months, it was just tough to find the time and motivation to sludge through legislation and caselaw and find a way to write about it in an interesting way after a long day of work. So, I've decided to change the tenor and tone of this blog, and start blogging the way blogging is meant to be... by making it personal and keeping it light.

Sure I'll keep writing about caselaw and how it affects my practice, but for whoever is reading this blog, I'm guessing it is because either you know me or you may be thinking about hiring me, so I might as well cast a light on who I am..

Maybe it sounds self centered but heck, everyone likes to talk about themselves, right?

So to summarize in a nutshell what has happened in my life in the past 12 months...

1. I found out I'm going to be a father (baby arrives 8/1/2011!)
2. I became Catholic
3. I've watched my life & relationship with Jess get stronger than ever in year 2 of marriage
4. I was named "Rookie of the Year" by my firm
5. I was named "Rising Star" by Indiana Super Lawyers Magazine for 2011
6. I've watched my law practice at Cordell & Cordell blossom and have watched the Indy office expand from 2 to 5 attorneys, and met meeting all kinds of neat and interesting people in the other Cordell & Cordell offices along the way.
7. I've moved my primary office location from Indianapolis to Noblesville much to my delight
8. I've got into Crossfit workouts

I'm sure there will be more to follow on each of those events above, and I'm excited to start updating this blog with more frequency in the coming weeks and months.

Keep it real people, keep it real.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Legislation proposed to change Indiana's emancipation statute from age 21 to age 19.

Indiana is one of approximately three states that permit a parent's child support obligation to continue until an emancipation age of 21 rather than 18. Indiana Code presently requires an obligor parent to support their child until age 21, unless findings of emancipation are entered by a court. An "adult" child may be emancipated if they are at least 18 years of age, have not attended a secondary school or post-secondary educational institution for the prior four months, and is not enrolled in a secondary school or post-secondary educational institution with the capability of self support. An "adult" child may further be emancipated if they have joined the military, have married, or are not under the control of either parent or a guardian approved by the Court.

Legislation was recently introduced in the Indiana House of Representatives 2nd session for 2010 to scale back the emancipation age. Under House Bill 1356, Indiana Code 31-14-11-18 and Indiana Code 31-16-6-6 would be modified to reflect a mandatory emancipation age of 19 rather than age 21 as is currently on the books. Provisions concerning emancipation at an earlier age, due to educational termination, military service, and marriage of the child would remain in the proposed revision of the statutes.

The bill, and accompanying fiscal impact statement can be found

If passed by the general assembly, the bill would become law, effective July 1, 2010. The bill was first read on January 13, 2010, and referred to the Committee on Family, Children and Human Affairs where it presently remains.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Threatened with Termination of Parental Rights or "CHINS" litigation? Now what?

One of the greatest fear most parents face is the possibility of losing their child. Occasionally in making parental decisions, a parent or guardian may become the target of abuse or neglect allegations, and risk losing their relationship with and custody of their child.

If you have questions about Termination of Parental Rights litigation or if your child is alleged to be a "Child in Need of Services" or "CHINS," you may be interested in reading an article I put together on my firm's website.

The attorneys at Hollingsworth & Zivitz, P.C. have experience in assisting parents and guardians in the complex area of “Child in Need of Services,” or “CHINS” litigation, as well as in defense of involuntary termination of parental rights litigation.

Military divorce or separation? What are the basics that you need to know?

If you are a member of a military family going through divorce or child related matters, there are several complex areas of federal and state law that apply specifically to your case. It is essential to seek out an attorney or lawyer that has experience and knowledge in the specifics of military divorce.

Did you know there are specific protections for former spouses of military members or that you may be eligible for continued Tricare coverage.

For more information, please feel free to check out this article I wrote for my firm's website.

If you are dealing with military divorce or separation matters, the attorneys at Hollingsworth & Zivitz, P.C. are ready to assist you.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The importance of an attorney in child custody litigation

In making a determination of child custody, Indiana Courts consider all relevant factors in determining the child’s best interests, including a nonexclusive list of factors provided in Indiana Code section 31-17-2-8:
(1) The age and sex of the child.
(2) The wishes of the child’s parent or parents.
(3) The wishes of the child, with more consideration given to the child’s wishes if the child is at least fourteen (14) years of age.
(4) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with:
(A) the child’s parent or parents;
(B) the child’s sibling; and
(C) any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests.
(5) The child’s adjustment to the child’s:
(A) home;
(B) school; and
(C) community.
(6) The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.
(7) Evidence of a pattern of domestic or family violence by either parent.

The Indiana Appellate Courts in reviewing custody determinations on appeal, have time and time again stressed the importance of parents and grandparents facing custody battles to seek out and retain competent legal counsel: "We encourage parties facing issues involving the custody of children to obtain counsel to aid in the litigation of custody disputes. Because the court’s order has such a profound effect on the lives of the parties and their children, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of presenting sufficient evidence and developing an adequate record." In re Paternity of J.J., 911 N.E.2d 725, 731 n.3 (Ind. Ct. App. 2009).

The Appellate Court once again emphasized this importance in an opinion released (not for publication) on November 9, 2009. In the case: In re: the Marriage of Constance V. Spence v. Michael J. Spence, on appeal from the Vanderburgh Superior Court, the trial court had awarded the Father sole physical custody of the parties children, subject to Mother's parenting time under the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines. In the case, both parties had started litigation with counsel, but both later conducted a provisional hearing without counsel where Father received provisional custody of the parties child. In making its determination, the trial court found that Mother had or risked endangering the child’s emotional and mental health due to numerous instances where Mother had operated contrary to the child's best interests. Father proceeded to final hearing without counsel but Mother retained an attorney who appeared on her behalf.

While the trial court awarded Father continued custody of the child, Mother was able to show, on appeal, that Father had failed to lay the sufficient evidentiary foundation for certain matters, and the Indiana Court of Appeals found that the trial court's findings were not supported by the evidence before it, and remanded for a new hearing. If Father had retained competent counsel, this appeal may have been without basis and the appellate court may have maintained the trial court's findings.

If you are dealing with child custody matters, the attorneys at Hollingsworth & Zivitz, P.C. are ready to assist you.