Family Law For Families
Even in the midst of a painful situation such as a divorce, family law is designed to work for the good of families. Your children, your finances and your overall well-being will be primary considerations in all of our family law services at Smith Legal LLC, in Hamilton County. I am attorney Scott Smith, the proprietor of this law firm, and I am available to help you through any of the legal matters described below that are affecting your family.
Whenever possible, I emphasize the importance of positive solutions that reflect the golden rule while protecting my clients’ rights and best interests.
Divorce Without Fear Or Agony
Dissolution of marriage (divorce) is often one of the hardest transitions for a separating couple or family. Smith Legal LLC skillfully and compassionately supports clients through amicable or high-conflict divorces. I am attorney Scott Smith, and I counsel my clients with an aim for practical solutions to issues such as the following:
- High-asset divorces
- Complicated marital estate distributions involving separate premarital assets
- Prenuptial agreements
- Divorces involving inheritances, closely held companies, self-employment and military benefits
- Pensions, qualified domestic relations orders, stock options and more
- Estates with tax shelters and trusts
I am an experienced domestic relations mediator, available to mediate cases for other attorneys and their clients.
Custody In Support Of Strong Parent-Child Relationships
Custody in Indiana refers to both legal custody and physical custody, as follows:
- Legal custody refers to decision-making authority over children.
- Physical custody typically refers to which parent is the primary residential caretaker.
Family law courts in accordance with Indiana law presume that joint legal custody is appropriate, with both parents making decisions related to a child’s education, medical treatment, religious upbringing and major life activities. In some cases, one parent may be assigned sole legal custody. My law firm assists clients through a detailed analysis of relevant factors along with sound, candid and experienced representation.
Parenting Time For Children’s Sake
Parenting time, once referred to as visitation, refers to the actual time that each parent spends with a child. The best interests of the child standard shape parenting time decisions. Specific parenting time arrangements may vary greatly, often depending on work schedules, activities and lifestyles.
Parenting time is governed by the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines (IPTG). Parties may also agree on different arrangements, and courts have the authority to order various arrangements.
Child Support In Accordance With The Law
A child support obligation is primarily based on the respective incomes of the parties and is derived from the Indiana Child Support Rules and Guidelines. Influencing factors include:
- Overnight parenting time that the child spends with each parent
- The income of each parent, taking into account unique aspects such as self-employment, irregular income, bonuses, fringe benefits, underemployment, unemployment, imputation of income, incentives, dividends, interest, military pay, lottery winnings, deferred income, trust benefits and tax-free compensation
- Post-secondary education expenses of each parent
- Health insurance premiums
- Work-related child care
Smith Legal LLC adeptly handles complex income calculations to ensure that child support is correctly determined.
Other child-related contributions that should be calculated and taken into account include extracurricular activity expenses and a child’s uninsured medical or extraordinary education costs.
Enforcement Of Court Orders
Until or unless orders of a court are modified, orders must be followed. Proof that a party is willfully disobeying a court order may result in a contempt finding by the court. Enforcement of a court order will involve ordered relief from the court, which may include attorney fees, modification of orders and even jail time.
Mediation For Private, Personalized Resolutions
The benefits of mediation far outweigh the risks, costs and uncertainties of litigation. The benefits of mediation are as follows:
- It empowers the parties, not a third party, to make their own life-altering decisions.
- Details remain confidential.
- Parties can talk openly about options for solving the issues, ultimately choosing to settle or not.
- Once decided upon and approved by the court, a decision reached through mediation is then enforceable by the court.
- It often saves time, money and stress associated with litigation.
In sum, mediation resolves family law disputes effectively and discretely.
I am attorney Scott Smith, the proprietor of Smith Legal LLC and a well-regarded mediator. I mediate and resolve multiple cases monthly. I also represent my clients who reach resolutions to family law dilemmas through compromise and agreement. As a successful and experienced litigator, I am very familiar with the judges and their preferences and tendencies. I am equipped to provide reliable insight and recommendations for settlement terms.
Modification Of Custody And Support Orders
A modification of a court order may become necessary due to a change in circumstances such as:
- Increased or decreased income
- Modified custody or modified parenting time orders due to job changes or other changed circumstances
Smith Legal LLC works to ensure that proposed modifications meet the required criteria of Indiana statutes. Modification of child support may be appropriate in the event of one or more of the following:
- A substantial and continuing change in circumstances
- More than 12 months passed since the last child support obligation was ordered and a 20% or greater change in the child support obligation would occur making the prior order unreasonable
Most courts require mediation prior to a hearing on any modifications of prior orders. Working with me, attorney Scott Smith, a registered and highly experienced mediator and litigator, gives clients of my firm an advantage. I will identify and present proper facts and devise strategies to obtain a proper and beneficial result for my clients.
To Get Started
The first 30 minutes of your initial consultation with me is free. Do not delay seeking the answers and direction that you need at this difficult time. To schedule a consultation, call 317-953-2572 or send an email inquiry through this website. I look forward to hearing from you.