COA: Supreme Court was Clear, Post-Secondary Educational Expenses are Constitutional

Family Law Case Review

Case: Lisa Gill, et al. v. Jeffrey B. Gill, et al.
by Mike Kohlhaas, Bingham Greenebaum Doll

This is a consolidated appeal of three separate challenges to Indiana’s post-secondary educational expense statute. The constitutional arguments are: (1) the statute violates Equal Protection, by placing divorced parents in a different position than married parents; and (2) the statute violates a parent’s constitutional right to determine his or her child’s upbringing and education.

The Court of Appeals quickly disposed of the matter, concluding that “the Indiana Supreme Court has clearly held that statutory authority allowing a trial court to order a divorced parent to contribute to his child’s post-secondary educational expenses is constitutional.” The Court was unpersuaded by the appellants’ argument that the passage of time warranted a closer review of precedent.

We will provide updates on transfer, if sought.

To view the text of this opinion in its entirety, click here: Lisa Gill, et al. v. Jeffrey B. Gill, et al.

 

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James A. Reed and Michael R. Kohlhaas of Bingham Greenebaum Doll represent clients in a wide spectrum of relationship transition and wealth planning matters, including premarital agreements, estate planning, cohabitation, separation, divorce (especially involving high net worth individuals and/or complex asset issues), custody, parenting arrangements, adoption, and domestic partnerships. Bingham Greenebaum Doll, a multidisciplinary law firm serving regional, national, and international clients, is the fourth-largest law firm in Indiana. The firm’s main practices include corporate, property, litigation, labor, government law, and personal services law. Visit the firm’s website at www.bgdlegal.com.

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

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Introductory Interdisciplinary Collaborative Practice Training, May 11-12

ICLEF has partnered with the IACP to provide a comprehensive two-day training that will help legal, mental health and financial professionals gain a strong foundation in Collaborative Practice. Taught by a highly experienced interdisciplinary team, the training focuses on the skill sets of each profession and the integration of those skills in the process. Participants will be introduced to the theories, practices, and skills needed to begin a Collaborative practice. This program will also be helpful to those who wish to refresh their initial Collaborative training experience and deepen their understanding, while networking with other colleagues in the Collaborative community.

No need to travel far….
ICLEF is bringing Internationally acclaimed trainers Mariette Geldenhuys, Barbara Hummel and Lisa Schnieder right here to the Hoosier state to teach a two-day Introductory Interdisciplinary Training, which meets IACP Standards and is designed to provide you with the foundation necessary for success as a Collaborative practitioner.

What will you learn?
• How the collaborative team process works, the professionals involved and the wisdom of teams
• Advocacy in a collaborative context and understanding advocacy needs
• The importance of neutrality
• Understanding of interest-based negotiation
• Knowledge of Spectrum of Interest/ Core Concerns
• Facilitation of an initial client meeting and how to explain the process
• Overcoming resistance and perspectives of fairness
• Comprehensive Team Protocols,  screening and process design
• Professional team preparation and critical debriefing

What is the IACP?
The IACP is the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, an international community of legal, mental health and financial professionals working in concert to create client-centered processes for resolving conflict.

Vision: Transform how conflict is resolved worldwide through Collaborative Practice.

Mission: IACP supports Collaborative Practice as a conflict resolution option worldwide by:
• establishing & upholding the essential elements, ethical & practice standards of Collaborative Practice;
• fostering professional excellence by educating and providing resources to Collaborative practitioners;
• leading and integrating the Collaborative community; and
• promoting the growth of Collaborative Practice.

Our IACP trainers are experienced pioneers in Collaborative Practice
Lisa Schneider has participated in the establishment, growth and on-going training of Collaborative Practice Groups around California’s Bay Area since 2002. She regularly presents at annual California Collaboration Conferences and is a part of a Collaborative Divorce Training Consortium, training practitioners nationally and internationally. Lisa believes that sharing experiences and learning from other financial specialists is instrumental in the development of the financial professionals’ role in Collaborative cases. She is an active member in many associations and committees, and is the recipient of the 2013 Eureka award in recognition of her commitment and dedication to Collaborative divorce.

Mariette Geldenhuys is Founder and Past President of the Ithaca Area Collaborative Law Professionals (IACLP), Mariette brought Collaborative Law to the Ithaca, New York community in 2003 and has actively promoted its growth and expansion. She designed public education presentations and instituted a mentoring program for newly admitted attorneys for the IACLP.  Mariette has presented Collaborative Practice training (both basic and advanced training) since 2006 in New York, New York; Ithaca, New York; Anchorage, Alaska; Dutchess County, New York; and Binghamton, New York. She has been a workshop coordinator and presenter at the Annual Forum of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals from 2005 through 2010. She was also a presenter at a symposium on “No Borders, No Barriers: Legal issues for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Clients and their families in the United States and Canada” in Niagara Falls, Canada, in June 2006.

Barbara Hummel, M.Ed., LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice in Cincinnati, Ohio since 1988.  Before beginning her Collaborative work, Barbara conducted Effective Parenting seminars for 15 years, authored numerous articles addressing family issues and communication skills and appeared on local television and radio segments focused on topics related to effective parenting, successful co-parenting relationships, stepfamilies and divorce.  Barbara began working as a Family Relations Specialist in the Collaborative process in 2001 and became a family mediator in 2004.  Her work focuses on assisting couples and families resolve their differences and develop more respectful relationships.  Barbara is a past Co-Chair for the Cincinnati Academy of Collaborative Professionals in Cincinnati, OH, and has served on the local board for over ten years.  Currently, Barbara is a faculty member for the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.

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Come as a team and SAVE as a team!
To help make the decision to attend less of an economic one, and to promote the significance of the “interdisciplinary team approach” in Collaborative Practice, ICLEF extends an opportunity to join us as a team and save.

After the initial registrant, save 50% on each additional registration for our training when you register to attend the training with another professional colleague!  In other words, as many as three interdisciplinary colleagues can attend for the tuition of two!

For example, if you as an attorney register to attend at full tuition, when you invite a Financial Professional and/or Mental Health Professional to join you, they may attend at 50% off the standard tuition.

Pass along the savings or share the savings with your colleagues and enhance the training experience for you all!

Tuition:
$450 standard tuition (includes Credit Hours, Training Materials, and Refreshments)

$225 colleague tuition – available when professionals register together, after one professional registers at standard tuition. (includes Credit Hours, Training Materials, and Refreshments)
       – Use Discount Code “colleague” to save 50% on second registrant tuition
– Use Discount Code “colleague2” to save 50% on second and third registrant tuition

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Introductory Interdisciplinary
Collaborative Practice Training
12 CLE / 12 CME – May 11 & 12

LIVE IN-PERSON ONLY SEMINAR
– ICLEF Conference Facility, Indianapolis

 

 

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Support Modifications Typically Inappropriate without Differing at Least 20% from the Prior Order

Family Law Case Review

Case: Danielle Maple v. Travis Maple
by Mike Kohlhaas, Bingham Greenebaum Doll

HELD: Court of Appeals underscores the Indiana Supreme Court’s MacLafferty holding that, when entertaining a child support modification, it will very seldom be appropriate to modify support if the new support amount is not more than 20% different than the previously-ordered support amount.

HELD: When a trial court is establishing a child support order that includes a credit for “prior born” children, the trial court is required to use a prevailing child support worksheet from that prior born child’s case, and the amount of the credit for prior born children may not be re-litigated.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY:
Mother and Father married, had two children, and divorced in 2009. Mother also had one child from a prior relationship, for whom a child support order had been issued in 2005 and never modified. That 2005 worksheet established Mother’s legal duty of support for her prior-born child at $121/wk.

In the instant case, Father endeavored to modify child support for a variety of reasons, including changes of income and parenting time. However, in the course of seeking this modification, Father sought to reduce Mother’s credit for her legal duty to support a prior born child down to $66/wk. The trial court agreed and, recalculating child support, issued a new child support order which differed by only 16% from the prior order. Mother appealed.

The Court of Appeals reviewed the MacLafferty holding, which provides that the circumstances are rare in which child support should be modified without differing at least 20% from the prior order. The Court of Appeals concluded that no such extraordinary circumstances existed in this case, and the trial court’s modification of support was inappropriate.

Further, the Court of Appeals assigned error to the trial court’s recalculation of the amount of Mother’s credit for her legal duty to support her prior-born child. In effect, the Court concluded that a trial court calculating child support is bound to the child support worksheet of the other court that established support for the prior-born child, and the amount of that credit may not be re-litigated in the current court.

To view the text of this opinion in its entirety, click here: Danielle Maple v. Travis Maple

 

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James A. Reed and Michael R. Kohlhaas of Bingham Greenebaum Doll represent clients in a wide spectrum of relationship transition and wealth planning matters, including premarital agreements, estate planning, cohabitation, separation, divorce (especially involving high net worth individuals and/or complex asset issues), custody, parenting arrangements, adoption, and domestic partnerships. Bingham Greenebaum Doll, a multidisciplinary law firm serving regional, national, and international clients, is the fourth-largest law firm in Indiana. The firm’s main practices include corporate, property, litigation, labor, government law, and personal services law. Visit the firm’s website at www.bgdlegal.com.

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

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Recipient Party is Intended to Receive 100% of the Subject Account, Regardless of Value at Time of Transfer

Family Law Case Review

Case: Fazia Deen-Bacchus v. Harold M. Bacchus, Jr.
by Mike Kohlhaas, Bingham Greenebaum Doll

HELD: When a Decree assigns a value to an investment account for purposes of calculating the marital estate, and then awards one party that account, absent express language providing otherwise, the recipient party is intended to receive 100% of the subject account, regardless of its value at the time of transfer, not the amount that the trial court assigned to the account when calculating the marital estate.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY:
In January, 2011, the trial court issued its property division order incident to the dissolution of the parties’ marriage. Among other property, the order gave Wife, “as her property,” three investment accounts. Elsewhere in the order, the trial court assigned values to each of the three investment accounts for purposes of calculating the overall marital estate.

Apparently, Husband was dilatory in transferring these accounts to Wife and, by the time Wife pressed the issue, the aggregate value of the three accounts had increased materially. A dispute then arose between the parties as to whether Wife was to receive the entire of each of the three accounts — including appreciation — or whether Husband owed Wife only the amount in the original values used by the trial court to value each account for divorce purposes, leaving Husband entitled to keep the rest.

After a hearing, the trial court sided with Husband, but ordered him to pay Wife a nominal amount of interest in addition. Wife appealed.

The Court of Appeals, agreeing with Wife, reversed the trial court. “[T]he order plainly and unmistakably identifies the investment accounts, not a certain value of the accounts, as Wife’s property.” Thus, Wife was entitled to receive the entirety of each of the subject accounts, including any appreciation subsequent to the property division order.

[While not addressed by the opinion, presumably the risk of loss also falls on the party awarded the account.]  

To view the text of this opinion in its entirety, click here: Fazia Deen-Bacchus v. Harold M. Bacchus, Jr.

 

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James A. Reed and Michael R. Kohlhaas of Bingham Greenebaum Doll represent clients in a wide spectrum of relationship transition and wealth planning matters, including premarital agreements, estate planning, cohabitation, separation, divorce (especially involving high net worth individuals and/or complex asset issues), custody, parenting arrangements, adoption, and domestic partnerships. Bingham Greenebaum Doll, a multidisciplinary law firm serving regional, national, and international clients, is the fourth-largest law firm in Indiana. The firm’s main practices include corporate, property, litigation, labor, government law, and personal services law. Visit the firm’s website at www.bgdlegal.com.

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

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