Planning Your Summer Vacation

Planning Your Summer Vacation

Where's Wilson, The Newest ICLEF Blog

In the newest Where’s Wilson 2-Part Series, our ICLEF travel expert, John Wilson explains how to plan for vacations.

Planning Your Summer Vacation, Part 1
By John Wilson

For me, there are three distinct parts to every vacation: planning, the event itself and for lack of a more discreet term, the afterglow. The afterglow is when you consolidate your memories, enjoy your pictures and souvenirs, and take the stories that were interesting and embellish them to amazing. Not many people enjoy planning a trip as much as I do. There are no travel agents who have the time or inclination to work with me in the detail that I enjoy. In this article, I will give you a number of techniques I use working on my own to make a trip more fun, more convenient and less costly. If you incorporate one or two in your planning process, I will consider this writing a success. If you like all of the ideas, we need to have lunch with an atlas….You buy.

How to Decide Where to Go:
Sometimes you decide on the vacation or location and other times it decides for you. I have a piece of paper with about twenty or thirty destinations that I have not been to, but would like to visit. I created it five years ago while sitting in front of a peat fire on a chilly, foggy night in Northern Ireland. My wife and I were visiting our daughter who was in Belfast for a year. I had been traveling a lot to interesting locations and thought I might be running out of places to visit. The exercise proved me wrong. I kept coming up with new places to get excited about in both the U.S. and elsewhere. Since then, I have visited a number of the places on the list, but not as many as I would have expected. Other places keep calling me in addition to those on the list.

On occasion, a family member or I have just wanted some R&R. To us, that usually means a beach vacation. If you need some R&R and beach vacations are the answer for you, take a look at my Where’s Wilson blog article, My Favorite & Least Favorite Beach Vacations.

Don’t have a specific vacation in mind, but want to start the dreaming process? Take a look at these websites which primarily have guided tours. I will discuss the pros and cons of guided tours later. For now look at the trips to see what interests you. These companies are able to offer these tours continuously because they go to some of the most popular destinations world wide. The tours they offer span the gamut from easy, both physically and culturally, to way out there, literally and figuratively. I tend to travel economically both for the obvious reason and because I find the people that travel this way interesting. Sites I look at (and sign up for e-mails on trips and specials) include: G AdventuresGate 1 Travel & Intrepid

Grand Circle Cruise Line and Viking Cruises have some great itineraries for river and other cruises. A little more upscale with mostly Americans over sixty with great itineraries is Overseas Adventure Travel (OATS). These sites consistently discount tour prices if you can travel on short notice. My twenty something daughter and I went on a short notice OATs trip to Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece. The price and itinerary were great. Forty-nine of the fifty people on the tour were over sixty years old. This was not ideal for my daughter who was the fiftieth person. The fact that our tour guide sounded exactly like Natasha from Rocky and Bullwinkle (and the young international staff of the ship) made up for it. In the category I consider expensive is National Geographic Expeditions. For the purpose of the dreaming exercise, look at all. They all have trips that can stimulate thought.

I was on fire to go to Mongolia. By looking at popular tour company itineraries, I realized that Mongolia would have amazing sights and experiences, but would require much more time riding buses than I wanted. I also wanted to go to Morocco. Looking at organized tours on G Adventure’s website, I was able to determine feasible routes, places to visit, and that it was economically within my range.

South East Asia is on my mind now. Reviewing the sites above, I was able to determine there are more areas of interest and itineraries than I could experience on one or more vacations. India, Nepal for trekking, Thailand, Laos, Viet Nam and Cambodia for culture, and some beach time. Then down to Malaysia and Indonesia, Bali and Java. Borneo? Who knows? Reviewing the cost of the trips on the sites, allowed me to extrapolate that the costs in the area were within my budget, whether I traveled independently, on a tour, or did a mix of both.

Air Travel:
Next I studied airfare to South East Asia and time of travel. It’s a long way. Distance will not put a quietus on a trip for me, but cost will. Even though many tours include airfare (and my have the best price), I check air fare separately and on multiple sites. For international travel, I like Yapta, Skyscanner, and Kayak. I also use Orbitz, Travelocity, and Expedia, more for the US, Caribbean and Central America. Yapta is good because it can track the change of prices for specific flights going forward and alert you to those changes. Southwest Airlines does not show on most sites and should be checked separately.

If you are planning late for a trip and having trouble finding a reasonably priced room and/or flight, look at packaged vacations on Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia. They may have inventory that you cannot get to separately.

Be creative in checking flights. For example, even if you want to start your trip in Hanoi, also check the flight to Bangkok, because it’s a hub. It may be cheaper to fly to Bangkok and get a regional flight to Hanoi. On my recent trip to Sochi, flights on the above sites were all showing around $2500. By breaking up my search to be Indy to Moscow, $950, and Moscow to Sochi, $300, the flight came within my means. (I did also check reviews for the Russian airline I was using, S7, which turned out to be on time, with new planes and flight attendants right out of the 50′s of U.S. air history.) For trips from Indy, I also check flights out of Chicago. Recently, a flight to Quito, Ecuador from Indy was around $1200. From Chicago, it was $750.

I have airports that I like and others that I avoid. I do not fly to Chicago from Indy. In my unproven, but strongly experienced opinion, because Indy is so close to Chicago, when backups occur in Chicago, Indy is one of the first airports from which flights are delayed. The weather can be fine here, you can be on the plane and still not get to Chicago for hours. I do not want to risk missing the only connecting flight to Kathmandu because I can’t get to Chicago. If Chicago flights are too good to pass up, I drive there. I will consider returning through Chicago because the long distance flights into Chicago will not be cancelled. However, flights to Indy, even though there are a bunch of them, can be frustratingly delayed also. If you fly through Newark, I will not respect you in the morning. – And that will be the morning you are still in Newark because your flight-in was delayed and you missed your connection.

My favorite airport is Charlotte which is relatively small, convenient to navigate, and from which you can catch a surprising number of connections to Europe and the Caribbean. For connections, I also like Detroit (you don’t have to go into the city), Minneapolis (in the winter, they know how to handle snow), and Cleveland. Atlanta and Houston are larger airports, hence I plan a little more time between connections, but I have had good luck there. I have had a lot of burgers in the Friday’s at Hartsfield International in Atlanta after coming off a week of great seafood in the islands. Others may disagree, but I will also travel out of Boston and Philly. The New York and Miami airports are not my favorites, but I will fly out of them when other options are not working.

Join us next week for Part 2: Where to Go and Accommodations and Things to Do

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This is one of an ongoing series of travel discussions by John Wilson, retired lawyer and trust banker. John was motivated to start this series when he realized that his travel bio was more extensive and interesting than his legal credentials for doing ICLEF talks. He has traveled to forty-five states, over sixty countries and all continents except Antarctica.

If you have travel questions or tips of your own that you would like to suggest please contact ICLEF’s travel expert, John Wilson, by Clicking Here.

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

Posted in Where's Wilson: Travel Discussions0 Comments

Fathers Consent for Adoption Not Required…

Case: In re Adoption of T.L. and T.L.; M.G. v. R.J. and E.J. 
by Mike Kohlhaas, Bingham Greenebaum Doll

HELD: Indiana Supreme Court holds that Father’s consent to adoption was not required where Father had an extended history of not paying any support for the children.

HELD: Even though Father’s pro se “notice of appeal” was defective and did not comply with Appellate Rule 9, Father’s appeal should have been afforded greater accommodation and not dismissed by the Court of Appeals due to the significance of the right to parent.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY:
Mother and Father had two children together. In 2002, a child support order of $30 per week was issued against Father. In 2004, the support order was increased to $106/wk. Since then, Father has spent most of the time incarcerated, except for a brief period when Father was unemployed, and Father has paid a grand total of $390 towards the support order — with no payments whatsoever since 2005.

In 2011, Mother remarried and her new Husband petitioned to adopt the children. Father opposed the adoption, but the trial court granted it anyway, citing the statute that a parent’s consent to adoption is not required if that parent “knowingly fails to provide for the care and support of the child when able to do so as required by law or judicial decree.”

Thirty days after the adoption decree issued, Father filed a pro se response that the trial court treated as a Notice of Appeal. However, the Court of Appeals dismissed Father’s appeal, upon the motion of Mother and Husband that Father’s appeal was not filed timely.

Father sought and was granted transfer by the Indiana Supreme Court. “Because of the importance surrounding an individual’s right to parent his children, we deny the Appellee’s Motion to Dismiss and proceed to the merits of Father’s claim.”

Reviewing the merits, the Supreme Court agreed that the record supported the trial court’s finding that Father had failed to support the children in a manner that removed the need for Father’s consent to the adoption. The Court was mindful of Father’s extended period of incarceration, but because Father did not make any payments of support whatsoever, coupled with the fact that extended periods when Father was out of prison also went without any support being paid, justified the trial court’s findings.

The trial court’s order granting Husband’s petition for adoption was affirmed.

To view the text of this opinion in its entirety, click here: In re Adoption of T.L. and T.L.; M.G. v. R.J. and E.J.

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The Indiana Family Law Update is a free service provided by the Matrimonial Law Group of Bingham Greenebaum Doll, LLP. While significant efforts are made to ensure an accurate summary and reproduction of each opinion, readers are advised to verify all content and analysis with a traditional case law reporter before relying on the content and analysis offered here.

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

Posted in Family Law Case Review, Sale/Featured Items0 Comments

Jazz Up Your Skills by Emulating Musicians

By Marty Latz, Latz Negotiation Institute

What can we learn from jazz musicians about negotiation? Seemingly little. Yet a new book on negotiation by Harvard Business School professor Michael Wheeler, “The Are of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World,” makes a compelling case that jazz and negotiations share important traits.

Here are two important strategies Wheeler recommends, among others:

1. Manage the inevitable uncertainty with adaptability, creativity and agility.

Wheeler quotes master negotiator Richard Holbrooke, who was instrumental in negotiating the end of the bloodshed in the Balkans, as describing negotiation as more like jazz than science. “It’s improvisation a theme. … You know where you want to go, but you don’t know how to get there. It’s not linear.”

I agree. Every negotiation involves surprises, many significant and unexpected, and expert negotiators need specialized skills to analyze, influence and manage them and the chaotic impact they have on the process.

What are those skills, and how can you prepare for the unexpected?

Flexibility, a creative mind-set, adaptability toward change, a positive attitude facing uncertainty, the ability to improvise, and a lack of fear of the unexpected constitute such skills.

Importantly, we can learn to more effectively utilize these skills. Jazz musicians study and practice these all the time. How can we strengthen these skills? Wheeler suggests you:

  • Deeply listen and pay close heed to your counterparts.
  • Learn from counterparts; adapt your strategy and style accordingly.
  • Look for surprising non-verbal signals and messages, including on the emotional front.
  • Embrace the unexpected and the opportunities it may generate.
  • Relax and try to consciously stay loose under pressure.
  • Explore beyond your comfort zone. Be provocative sometimes.
  • Be situationally aware and prepared to modify your game plan if necessary.
  • Take calculated risks where warranted.

This does not mean, however, that you do not extensively plan. I am a huge proponent of strategic planning. It does mean, though, that you don’t become rigidly wedded to your preset plan.

Dwight Eisenhower before D-Day said, “Planning is everything. The plan is nothing.” Be prepared and flexible.

2. Set the stage for success.

First impressions disproportionately impact our view of others. This is true the first time you meet someone. And it’s true for negotiation openings – the first time parties engage. It’s thus incumbent on us to spend sufficient planning time to get our openings right.

Wheeler sets up a useful framework for this crucial part of the process. In essence, he suggests we prepare for openings on three interrelated levels. First, he suggests we evaluate the “who” of the negotiation – the “identity, roles and relationships” of the parties. Will they be a friend or foe? Are your interactions going to be easy or hard? Which do you want? Then develop tactics to accomplish your preferred relationship.

Second, Wheeler recommends we “frame” the task early on – the “what” of the negotiation. Are you “pursuing a partnership, resolving a conflict, or simply haggling?” Will it be collaborative problem-solving or competitively win-lose? And again, what do you want it to be and how can you initiate the process to help make that happen?

Finally, set the tone and pace of the process – the “how” to engage – in a way to accomplish your goals.

And don’t underestimate the impact of the “how.” It may ultimately determine if you get a deal.

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Marty Latz is the founder of Latz Negotiation Institute, a national negotiation training and consulting company, and ExpertNegotiator, a Web-based software company that helps managers and negotiators more effectively negotiate and implement best practices based on the experts’ proven research.  He is also the author of Gain the Edge! Negotiating to Get What You Want (St. Martin’s Press 2004). He can be reached at 480-951-3222 or Latz@ExpertNegotiator.com

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

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Relocating Without Filing Statutory NOI: Promptly Initiate Custody Mod?

Case: Dustin Lee Jarrell v. Billie Jo Jarrell 
by Mike Kohlhaas, Bingham Greenebaum Doll

HELD: In a procedurally subtle custody modification case, the Court of Appeals held that the trial court properly applied the traditional “best interests” custody modification factors — rather than the factors promulgated under the relocation statute — even though the modification matter substantially arose from the Mother’s relocation. In effect, the Court held that if a parent fails to litigate relocation timely, then a subsequent litigation custody modification does not apply the relocation statute factors, even if the parent’s relocation plays heavily in the custody determination.

NOTE: This case underscores that, when one parent relocates without filing a statutory notice of intent to relocate, the other parent should analyze whether it makes sense to promptly initiate a custody modification based upon the other parent’s relocation.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY:
Father and Mother married in 2003, and resided in Vincennes. In 2008, they had their only Child. In 2010, Mother filed for divorce, and the resulting agreed-upon Decree provided for joint legal custody, and equal parenting time with an alternating seven-day schedule.

In 2011, Mother quit her nursing job in Vincennes to move to Carterville, Illinois – an approximate three-hour drive from Vincennes — to be with her new fiancé. Despite the move, for nearly two years the parties continued their alternating week parenting time schedule set forth in the decree, meeting halfway each week to exchange Child. Importantly, at the time of Mother’s relocation, Mother did not file a notice of intent to relocate, nor did Father file any objection to Mother’s relocation despite being well aware of it.

In 2013, as Child was nearing the start of kindergarten, Father filed a petition to modify, noting Mother’s relocation and arguing that the alternating weeks parenting time schedule would be impractical once Child started school. After a hearing that included an in camera interview with Child, the trial court modified custody, granting primary physical custody to Mother, and giving Father parenting time of three weekends per month and nearly all of the summer.

Father appealed.

At the heart of Father’s appeal, the factors a trial court should consider when modifying custody in a relocation case are different than in a traditional custody modification. In a traditional custody modification, the focus is on the “best interests factors”; the relocation statute adds to the best interests of the child various “relocation factors,” such as the relocating parent’s reasons for the relocation, the hardship relocation would create, etc. (The 2008 Baxendale case discusses the difference between the statutes in greater detail.)

Here, Mother provided Father with written notice of her intended relocation, but never filed a formal notice of intent to relocate with the divorce court. At the crux of this case is whether Father’s obligation to file an objection to the relocation was triggered since Father was well aware of the relocation, even though Mother never filed a notice of intent. The Court of Appeals resolved the question as follows: “[B]ecause we find that Father acquiesced to Mother’s relocation, the Modification Statute — not the relocation statute — supplies the factors that the trial court should have considered in determining whether to modify custody.”

Reviewing the merits of the custody determination, the Court noted that there was detailed evidence presented to support a conclusion that Child’s educational interests were much better served by being with Mother, that Mother and her fiancé provided a good living environment for Child, and that Mother had made better daycare arrangements for Child during Mother’s working hours than Father had for Father’s working hours. As such, it was within the trial court’s discretion to award custody to Mother.

To view the text of this opinion in its entirety, click here: Dustin Lee Jarrell v. Billie Jo Jarrell

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The Indiana Family Law Update is a free service provided by the Matrimonial Law Group of Bingham Greenebaum Doll, LLP. While significant efforts are made to ensure an accurate summary and reproduction of each opinion, readers are advised to verify all content and analysis with a traditional case law reporter before relying on the content and analysis offered here.

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

Posted in Blog, Family Law Case Review, Sale/Featured Items0 Comments