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Bankruptcy Law
Family Law
 
 

6525 East 82nd Street
Suite 102
Indianapolis, Indiana 46250

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888.523.0165 office
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A thorough explanation of consumer bankruptcy law and procedure is available courtesy of the Office of the United States Courts, entitled "Bankruptcy Basics."

It is important to understand that Indiana exemption laws are made a part of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Indiana exemptions may be claimed by persons who have been domiciled in Indiana for at least two years prior to their bankruptcy filing date. To see, generally, an answer to the question "what can I keep?" view the Indiana Exemption Statute. (There are additional exemptions laws that may apply to you.)

The United States Trustee Program provides information to the public about bankruptcy law, including an explanation of how the "Means Test" is applied. To learn more about the specifics of how the US. Trustee interprets the "Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005," commonly referred to as "BAPCPA," view the home page and links on the web site of the Office of the United States Trustee.

If you are clueless about the value of some of the common household items you probably own, one interesting sources of information is the Salvation Army's Donation Value Guide

Family Law Resources

If you are a parent, it is important to understand your responsibility to cooperate with your counter-part-your child's other parent - in terms of you each having reasonable and frequent access to your child. A helpful point of reference is the court-mandated "rules of behavior called The Indiana Parenting time Guidelines.

Most Indiana residents who are divorcing and who have minor children must attend a workshop call "Children Cope With Divorce." The workshop is designed to help parents help their children to successfully adjust to the circumstance of the divorce. In Marion County, Hamilton County, and several other counties in Indiana, this workshop is provided for a small fee by the Indiana Visiting Nurses Association at several locations and times.

An excellent source of advice and suggestions about how to put your children first in the divorce process has been compiled by Charlie and Barb Asher. I often ask my clients to visit this site and to give serious thought to the Ashers' message found at Up To Parents.

The Indiana Supreme Court provides forms and minimal guidance to enable you, if you are so inclined, to get a divorce without the help of an attorney. (This is call "pro se," which means representing one's self.) Self Service Legal Center

The Indiana Supreme Court also provides a do-it-yourself calculator if you would like to calculate, on your own, the "presumptive amount" of child support. Indiana Child Support Calculator. A much more detailed guide to how child support is determined is found at the Indiana Child Support Guidelines

Here are some key Indiana statutes governing the division of property:

  • - The statute defining what property is "in" the marital estate Property Defined
  • - The "who gets what" statue that declares that, although the court is to "presume" that a 50-50 split is appropriate, the presumption may be overcome. Presumption For Equal Division Of Marital Property - Rebuttal.
  • - The statue directing the court how to divide the property awarded to each spouse

Division Of Property

....Every single word of the following three statutes is important! Experienced family law attorneys know this. It is prudent to get skilled legal advice before concluding an agreement dividing the assets and liabilities involved in a marriage, especially a marriage of any length.

Property Defined

IC 31-9-2-98

"Property", for purposes of IC 31-15, IC 31-16, and IC 31-17, means all the assets of either party or both parties, including:(1) a present right to withdraw pension or retirement benefits;(2) the right to receive pension or retirement benefits that are not forfeited upon termination of employment or that are vested (as defined in Section 411 of the Internal Revenue Code) but that are payable after the dissolution of marriage; and(3) the right to receive disposable retired or retainer pay (as defined in 10 U.S.C. 1408(a)) acquired during the marriage that is or may be payable after the dissolution of marriage.

Presumption For Equal Division Of Property - Rebuttal

IC 31-15-7-5

Presumption for equal division of marital property; rebuttal: The court shall presume that an equal division of the marital property between the parties is just and reasonable. However, this presumption may be rebutted by a party who presents relevant evidence, including evidence concerning the following factors, that an equal division would not be just and reasonable: (1) The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the property, regardless of whether the contribution was income producing. (2) The extent to which the property was acquired by each spouse: (A) before the marriage; or (B) through inheritance or gift. (3) The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the disposition of the property is to become effective, including the desirability of awarding the family residence or the right to dwell in the family residence for such periods as the court considers just to the spouse having custody of any children. (4) The conduct of the parties during the marriage as related to the disposition or dissipation of their property. (5) The earnings or earning ability of the parties as related to: (A) a final division of property; and (B) a final determination of the property rights of the parties.

Division of Property

IC31_15_7_4Division of property (a) In an action for dissolution of marriage under IC 31-15-2-2, the court shall divide the property of the parties, whether: (1) owned by either spouse before the marriage; (2) acquired by either spouse in his or her own right:(A) after the marriage; and (B) before final separation of the parties; or (3) acquired by their joint efforts.(b) The court shall divide the property in a just and reasonable manner by: (1) division of the property in kind; (2) setting the property or parts of the property over to one (1) of the spouses and requiring either spouse to pay an amount, either in gross or in installments, that is just and proper;(3) ordering the sale of the property under such conditions as the court prescribes and dividing the proceeds of the sale; or (4) ordering the distribution of benefits described in IC 31-9-2-98(b)(2) or IC 31-9-2-98(b)(3) that are payable after the dissolution of marriage, by setting aside to either of the parties a percentage of those payments either by assignment or in kind at the time of receipt.

Etc.

There is a great deal of information about legal topics available on the Internet. If you don't see what you want or you don't want to wade through a lot of material to get your specific questions answered, its easy to get answers from a human being by contacting my office. Simply phone my office at (317) 842 -2592 and ask for my paralegal assistant, Ms. Kelly Iott. The telephone consultation is free. Or you may e-mail me your question.

 
 
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