Interior of the Office at Smith Legal LLC.
Attorney N. Scott Smith
Attorney N. Scott Smith

Family Law For Families

Even in the midst of a painful situation such as a divorce or custody battle, Smith Legal will work for the good of your family. Your children’s overall well-being is the most important factor in all services provided by Smith Legal LLC.

While I live and work to emphasize the importance of positive and amicable solutions that reflect the golden rule, I am a litigator that will fight for you and your children, tackling the most difficult of issues that arise in a divorce or custody battle. Bottom line I focus on protecting your rights and your best interests.

Divorce Without Fear Or Agony

Dissolution of marriage (aka. divorce) is often one of the hardest transitions for a separating couple or family. Smith Legal LLC knowledgeably, thoughtfully and compassionately supports clients through amicable or high-conflict divorces. At Smith Legal LLC, we guide clients with an aim for practical solutions to issues such as the following:

  • High-asset/substantial net wealth asset division
  • Complicated marital estate distributions involving premarital assets, dissipation of assets, income disparity, business and asset valuation and more.
  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Divorces involving inheritances, closely-held companies, LLCs, self-employment and military benefits
  • Pensions, qualified domestic relations orders, stock options
  • Estates with tax shelters and trusts

I am also a very 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, which are generally as follows:

  • Legal custody refers to decision-making authority over children related to education, healthcare and religious upbringing. Legal custody can be joint, sole or split.
  • Physical custody typically refers to the parent that is the primary residential caretaker. Physical custody can be primary, joint or split.
  • Custody is not the same as parenting time.

Family law courts, in accordance with Indiana law, presume that joint legal custody is appropriate, with both parents being fit and capable to make decisions related to a child’s education, healthcare, religious upbringing and often times extending over to 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 to determine the appropriate legal and physical custody terms, along with sound, candid and experienced guidance.

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, a child’s specific needs (including special needs), activities and lifestyles.

Parenting time is governed by the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines. Parties may also agree on parenting time arrangements different from the IPTG. Courts have broad discretion and authority to order various parenting time arrangements and conditions.

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. 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 childcare
  • And much more!

Smith Legal LLC adeptly handles complex income calculations to ensures that child support is correctly determined. Smith Legal has handled every employment, income, business owner, executive compensation package, high-wage earner, and self-employment situation imaginable.

Other child-related financial issues that must be taken into account include: extracurricular activity expenses, uninsured medical or healthcare expenses or extraordinary education costs and/or tax credits/benefits, and more.

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 (asset and child-related) decisions.
  • Details and “reasons” remain confidential.
  • Parties can talk openly about options for solving 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 N. Scott Smith, the proprietor of Smith Legal LLC and a well-regarded, highly sought litigator and 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 or if necessary, fight for you in court.

Modification Of Custody And Support Orders

A modification of a support order may become necessary due to a passage of time and/or a substantial and continuing change in circumstances such as:

    • Increased or decreased income
    • Modified custody
    • Modified parenting time
    • Changes in child support laws
    • Underemployment, unemployment
    • Fringe benefits
    • Changes in income structures, commissions or irregular income
    • A child’s emancipation
    • A child’s attendance at college or vocational school
    • Tax implications

Smith Legal LLC works to ensure that 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 all of my clients.

To Get Started

The first 15 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.