It is Graduation Time, What Next?

By Richard Mann, Richard A. Mann, P.C., Indianapolis

Do You have a Child of Divorce or Paternity Graduating High School, Turning 19 or Planning on Post Secondary Education?

In 2012 Indiana law underwent a significant change regarding the children of divorced or never married parents.  I.C. 31-16-6-6 was changed to make the age of emancipation for child support 19 instead of the previous 21.  As a result of this change, the child support duty terminates automatically at age 19.  While the duty terminates, if the support is being withheld from one (1) parent’s wages then a court order is necessary to terminate the support.  If there was more than one (1)  child covered by the child support order, it does not change or end the support order unless it is changed by the court (or if they are twins, triplets etc.).  Also, if the child is 18 and is not enrolled in school for 4 months and is capable of supporting him or herself, the child may be emancipated by court order.  Before you run off to file to get the support changed, you should make sure that the change is in your favor.  I have seen numerous times where a person goes to change support thinking it will go down and it goes up, or vice versa.  If you are the party receiving support you might say why would I stop it?  First, because it is not due to you, and secondly, you might have to pay it back.  See Matson v. Matson, 569 N.E.2d 732 (Ind. Ct. App. 1991).  However, if you are paying it and do not file to stop the payment or overpayment believing you will get it back, most cases are against you.  See Eisenhut v. Eisenhut, 994 N.E.2d 274 (Ind. Ct. App. 2013) where the court refused to order the repayment of $19,250 which was a result of a voluntary wage assignment.  The best practice is to seek out legal advice from a lawyer who regularly practices family law months before the date is to occur.

Another issue affected by the change in the law is post-secondary education expenses.  Post-secondary education includes college, trade school etc.  Is your child going?  If you are divorced or under a paternity decree, then what does that order say?  The law provided for a grandfather clause for decrees before the effective date of the law, i.e. before July 1, 2012.  The problem is if there is no provision for post-secondary education and your support order has been modified since July 1, 2012, the grandfather clause may no longer apply. See Neal v. Austin, 20 N.E.3d 573 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014).  If your child turns 19 before you file, you may not be able to look to your child’s other parent for contribution.  Putting these matters off until after graduation and prom may end up costing you a lot more than graduation or prom.  If you are the parent who may have to pay the majority of the costs and do not want to be court ordered to contribute, then you should still seek out legal advice but not raise the issue with you ex-spouse until after you have obtained that advice.  The Indiana Child Support Guidelines were also modified effective January 1, 2016.  They too can significantly affect the contribution a parent may be ordered to make toward post-secondary education.

As in all legal matters, the individual facts may have a significant part of what occurs.


Richard A. Mann has been practicing Family Law for more than 36 years in the Indianapolis area and throughout the State of Indiana. He is a Certified Family Law Specialist as certified by the Family Law Certification Committee, a Registered Family Law and Civil Law Mediator and Guardian ad Litem and Parenting Coordinator. Mr. Mann and his firm, Richard A. Mann, P.C. Attorneys at Law, are proud to have been one of the firms who represented Same-Sex couples who were successful in overturning Indiana’s ban on Same-Sex marriage. He continues to fight discrimination in the law.

While a large portion of Mr. Mann’s practice is in the Family Law area he also represents several corporations on contract, personnel and other matters. He also has a varied General Practice in wills, estates, juvenile matters, collections, probate throughout the state of Indiana. Mr. Mann has tried murder cases as well as a death penalty case.

Mr. Mann has been selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers SuperLawyers Edition for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Follow Richard Mann on Facebook, Twitter, or read more blogs by him here.

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

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43rd Annual Midwest Estate, Tax & Business Planning Institute, Thursday & Friday, June 2-3


• The Year in Review for Estate Planners

• Succession Planning for the Family Owned Business

• Indiana Legislative & Case Law Update

• Hot Topics and Current Trends in WealthManagement (Luncheon Presentation)

• Ethics for the Estate Planner

• Business Income Tax Issues for the Estate Planner
A guide to federal income taxation of C corporations, S corporations and partnerships with planning opportunities and traps each presents

• Charitable Giving with Retirement Benefits: The 3 Whys, 8 Hows, 7 Whiches, & 9 Whens
Help your charitably-inclined clients save money while doing good
– Three Reasons to Fund Charitable Gifts with Retirement Benefits
– Eight Ways to Leave Retirement Benefits to Charity
– The Seven Types of Charitable Entities (such as public charity, private foundation, charitable lead or remainder trust), Which Ones Are (and are not) Suitable as Beneficiaries
– Four Situations in Which Charitable Giving Helps Solve Benefit-Planning Problems
– Five Scenarios for Lifetime Givingwith Benefits

• Understanding the Minimum Distribution Rules: The Estate Planner’s Guide to “stretch” IRAs
The minimum distribution rules for retirement benefits are key to minimizing income taxes for your clients and their beneficiaries. Learn how your client’s benefits can qualify for the “stretch” life expectancy payout, and how to avoid missed deferral opportunities and costly penalties.
– How to Compute Required Distributions, During the Participant’s Life & After Death
– When Distributions Must Start
– Why the Lifetime Rules are a Good Deal for Retirees (and their estate planners)
– The Post-Death Options for Spouse, Children, Trust, or Estate Named as Beneficiary

• How to Anticipate & Avoid Will Contests

• Estate Planning for Digital Assets, Pets & Firearms

• Issues in Mediation & Litigation for Estate Planners


MaryEllen K. Bishop, Co-Chair
Cohen Garelick & Glazier, Indianapolis, IN

Jeffrey B. Kolb, Co-Chair
Kolb Roellgen & Kirchoff LLP, Vincennes, IN

David W. Barrett
Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Indianapolis, IN

Turney P. Berry
Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP, Louisville, KY

Professor Gerry W. Beyer
Governor Preston E. Smith Regents Professor of Law, Texas Tech University School of Law, Lubbock, TX

Michael P. Bishop
Cohen Garelick & Glazier, Indianapolis, IN

Natalie B. Choate, Esq.
Nutter, McClennen & Fish LLP, Boston, MA

Professor Samuel Allen Donaldson
Georgia State University, College of Law, Atlanta, GA

Diane S. Renforth
Vice President, Senior Trust Officer, Horizon Bank, Indianapolis, IN

12.5 CLE / 15 CPE / 1 E / 12.5 Ins. CE
Thursday & Friday, June 2-3, 2016

– Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium, 500 Ball Room, Indianapolis

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Municipal Law Update, May 18

 Public Finance & Economic Development
Public Purchasing & Bidding


Open Door Law & Access to Public Records

Land Use Issues – including discussion of digital signs & billboards, cell phone tower regulation, & other recent developments

Code Enforcement

Employment Law Issues

Public Safety & Public Employment Litigation

Ethics Matters In Municipal Law

Sue A. Beesley – Chair
Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP, Indianapolis

Michael A. Blickman
Ice Miller LLP, Indianapolis

Luke H. Britt
Indiana Public Access Counselor, Indianapolis

Brenda K. DeVries
Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP, Indianapolis

Bruce D. Donaldson
Barnes & Thornburg LLP, Indianapolis

Patrick R. Hess
Beckman Lawson, LLP, Fort Wayne

Kevin P. McGoff
Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP, Indianapolis

Richard S. Pitts
Arlington / Roe & Co., Indianapolis

Liberty L. Roberts
Church Church Hittle & Antrim, Noblesville

Craig W. Wiley
Jackson Lewis LLP, Indianapolis

6 CLE / 1 E – Wednesday, May 18
9:00 A.M. – 4:30 P.M.


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Relationship Value in Negotiations

Notes on Negotiations
By Marty Latz, Latz Negotiation Institute

It’s been a tough month. I lost a close friend to a 2-year battle with pancreatic cancer. My 85-year-old Dad went in for emergency surgery (which was successful). And I just saw a cousin who last year lost his 34-year-old son (my cousin, too, obviously) in a tragic accident.

What does this have to do with negotiations? Everything. Business, personal and legal-oriented negotiations often revolve around past, current and/or future relationships. Whether and how much we value those relationships – and the extent our counterparts value them too – can make or break a negotiation.

So how should we evaluate and incorporate relationships into our negotiation strategies?

Determine its value relative to your goal
Does your short or long-term negotiation success involve seeing or working with the other party in the future in any context? How much and to what extent? And how much do you really care?

This is crucial. It’s easy to say you care. Here’s the question to ask, at the beginning of the negotiation, to test your real feelings. Would you be willing to accept less or give up more to preserve and/or strengthen the relationship?

Then quantify this. Put a dollar sign next to it. This will help you truly evaluate how much you care.

Of course, it’s also crucial to evaluate how much your counterpart cares, too. Would they take less or give up more to preserve and strengthen the relationship with you? If so, great. If not, do their feelings impact your feelings?

The higher the mutual value – the more you problem solve
I recently met a highly successful patent litigation attorney at a large national firm. Some of the largest companies in the world hire him to protect their patents and intellectual property – which often form the lifeblood of their success.

I asked him to share one of his most successful negotiation strategies in settling these huge, often called “bet the company,” cases. While he is a highly successful and aggressive litigator who has had significant courtroom success, his approach to the negotiations takes a very different tack.

In his experience, he said, at the appropriate point in many cases it’s often in all the parties’ interests to problem-solve by exploring possible partnership options and cross-licensing opportunities. It’s only in this way that the parties can find a solution, which often involves working together in mutually profitable ways.

What specific tactics does he use? One, he engages in some information sharing about his client’s goals and interests – and insists this sharing is mutual. By doing this, the parties often begin to recognize the overlap in their interests. This is the sweet spot in their negotiations and often becomes the fundamental basis for their deals.

And two, he urges everyone to focus on standards that can form the benchmarks of such deals (like similar previous deals, market rate elements, cost savings opportunities, etc.).

Bottom line – he helps his clients solve their problems and create and/or repair their relationships.

Recognize no relationship situations
Not all deals involve possible future relationships between the parties. Or one party might care about the relationship and the other doesn’t. Many of these matters require a more competitive approach.

If so, hold your cards close to your vest, more forcefully exercise your leverage, and make aggressive offers where appropriate.

Of course, never be unprofessional or unethical. That would harm your relationship and reputation – with them and likely others too.

Latz’s Lesson: Relationships can possess almost incalculable value. Recognize and incorporate this into your negotiation strategy.


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

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

Posted in Negotiation/Mediation Blog, News0 Comments

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