What a Celebration!

Great fun was had by all at our open house last night. Lots of people stopped by and those of us who deal with names and voices on the phone finally got to put faces with them.

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There were a few uneasy moments with the M&Ms in the sun, but overall we think they held up. The only downside is that the evening went by too quickly!  We are grateful for the good friends, clients and colleagues who celebrated with us or sent well wishes.

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Divorce and Your Graduate Student

Does your daughter dream about going to medical school? Does your son envision becoming a lawyer? You may know that divorced parents can be responsible for college costs—but what about the costs of graduate school?

 The Indiana Supreme Court recently ruled that divorced parents cannot be forced to contribute to their child’s graduate-school expenses. In Allen v. Allen, divorced parents agreed that the father would be responsible for their daughter’s educational expenses. When that daughter decided to go to dental school, the father asked the Court to order the mother to contribute to the daughter’s dental-school expenses.  The Supreme Court rejected that request:

[I]ndiana is one of the few states that have a statute providing for educational expenses once a child has reached the age of majority. Most states have no law requiring divorced parents provide college expenses, and of the states that do, the majority limit payment of the expenses to a certain age.

 

“We also note that married parents have no legal obligation to pay for their children’s educational expenses beyond high school, let alone graduate school expenses,” [Justice] David wrote.

 

He ended by noting that divorced parents can still agree to pay a portion or all of their child’s graduate expenses, and that agreement can be enforceable by the court.

Even though a court cannot force parents to pay for graduate school, other issues regarding elementary, secondary, and college expenses often arise in the divorce process. The attorneys at Ruppert & Schaefer, P.C. have experience dealing with these issues and are available to discuss them with you. To make an appointment with one of our attorneys, call (317) 580-9295.

 

Divorcing the Family Dog

Welpe im Scheidungskrieg

Many of the employees at Ruppert & Schaefer, P.C. have pets at home—pets that they love and view as members of the family.  Clients going through a divorce often have questions about who gets to keep a beloved family pet.  Sometimes “pet parents” can come to an amicable resolution. But if you’re going through a divorce and you can’t agree, can a court order you to share “custody” of your four-legged friend? A contributor to the Indiana Lawyer recently recalled such a case:

When two women were divorcing in 2013, a New York judge agreed to hold a rare hearing on their fight over a dog. “Although Joey the miniature dachshund is not a human being and cannot be treated as such, he is decidedly more than a piece of property,” Judge Matthew Cooper wrote. The ruling was one of the first times a court had ever explained reasons for considering pets as more than property, making it influential even though Judge Cooper is a lower-court judge. The couple eventually settled their dispute out of court.

While courts may be hesitant to weigh in on animal issues, parties can frequently negotiate arrangements for their family pets. The attorneys at Ruppert & Schaefer, P.C. have experience dealing with this issue, and we are available to discuss what might be best for you and your furry friends. To make an appointment with one of our attorneys, call (317) 580-9295.

Job Well Done

Wendy Kaufman became an associate at Ruppert & Schaefer in June of 2015, helping our Family Law practice assist more people in matters such as divorce. Recently she received this at the end of a case:Capture 5We’re so glad to have Wendy on board!

Nesting – What is it?

nestingIf you and your spouse are considering divorce, you will soon face many important decisions. If you have children, one of the most important decisions will be who will live where, and with whom. You may also have to decide where one or both parents will exercise their parenting time.

These days, there are plenty of options when it comes to living arrangements during and after divorce.  One such arrangement that has been in the news lately is called “nesting” (sometimes referred to as “bird’s nest” custody or visitation).  A recent contributor to the Huffington Post described his experience with nesting this way:

Here’s how it works: whichever one of us has our son stays at the house with him. The other spends their time at an apartment within our multi-family property. Our son always stays at “his” house. My ex and I both have our own bedrooms at the family house and at our apartment. On holidays and on certain occasions we all will sleep at the house. The apartment is adults only and we are never both at the apartment at the same time. Our son has been to the apartment to check it out and so he knows where we are when we say, “mom is at the apartment.”

As the author goes on to note, nesting may not be for everyone, but it works for his family. The attorneys at Ruppert & Schaefer, P.C. are available to discuss what might be best for your family both during and after a divorce. To make an appointment with one of our attorneys, call (317) 580-9295.

With Our Compliments

A family law case can take our clients on an emotional journey and through it all the attorneys and staff at Ruppert & Schaefer have to remain objective. It’s always nice to know our efforts are appreciated. Shannon Kenney, paralegal, received the following:

skk compliment

Good job, Shannon!

Ruppert & Schaefer, P.C. | Experienced Child Custody Lawyers

ChildCustodyLawyersIndianapolis

At Ruppert & Schaefer, P.C. we strive to achieve child custody solutions that are in the best interest of the child – and the parents. Whether you are seeking visitation rights per the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines or requesting full custody of your child/children, we’re here to help. Our initial goal is explore whether both parties can agree on visitation or parenting time terms. If that is not possible, there are other options available and your attorney can discuss those options with you.

Our law firm knows how important your children are to you. During or after a divorce there’s often conflict on who should and who shouldn’t have custody of the children. You need good representation to help you understand the laws and guide you through the custody process.

Our firm can assist you with both legal and physical custody issues.

Legal Custody – Will one parent or both parents make decisions for the children regarding education, religion and healthcare?

Physical Custody – Where will the children live? With one parent primarily or with both parents on a relatively equal basis? Or will it be something in between?

Our law firm is a strong advocate for your rights and your relationship with your children. We believe your child deserves an enriching relationship with you. Ruppert & Schaefer, P.C. will work to ensure that your child custody rights are protected. For a consultation with Ruppert & Schaefer, P.C., call 317.580.9295 or contact us online.