Woodford Sathappan McGee is committed to providing dedicated and compassionate support to women facing family law issues in Indiana. Each and every attorney at our law firm have a shared goal – to empower women with knowledge of their rights and to guide them to a bright future, one filled with stability and confidence.
We represent women exclusively, and this gives us a unique ability to meet their needs and ensure that their voices are heard. Our Fishers family law attorneys can guide you through issues such as complex property division, child custody, divorce modification, missing child support payments, high-conflict divorce, and more.
We take a holistic approach to family law which prioritizes mediation where possible. However, we are also skilled litigators and will be prepared to fight for you in the courtroom if necessary to protect your rights.
Court orders, such as those laid out in a divorce decree, are legally binding. Therefore, how matters such as child support and property division are determined will have a big impact on your financial stability. It is essential that you have the support and guidance of an experienced Fishers family law lawyer, such as those here at Woodford Sathappan McGee.
Arrange a free consultation with one of our Fishers family law lawyers today at 380-212-3731.
Child custody is often one of the most emotional family law issues for women. Hopefully, everyone wants what’s best for their children, but it is common for warring parents to disagree about what that means in practice.
At Woodford Sathappan McGee, we will always prioritize the needs of your children in family law matters. That usually means creating a parenting plan that finds a balance between keeping both parents involved in the child’s life and creating stability.
The only reason why one parent would be granted sole rights and responsibilities is if the other poses a risk to their child’s well-being. If this is the case, you will need to provide substantial evidence.
A family law attorney can help you, and your ex-spouse come to an amicable agreement on child custody, one where everyone’s needs are considered. If this is not possible, we will fight for you in the courtroom.
In Indiana, there are two forms of custody, legal custody, and physical custody:
Legal custody is the legal term used to describe the parental right to make important decisions on their child’s behalf. Legal custody can involve decisions such as religious practices, what school they attend, and decisions regarding medical care. It is possible for legal custody to be awarded to one or both parents.
Physical custody is the legal term for the time when each parent has responsibility for their child. Parents may share physical custody equally, or one child may live with one parent for the majority of the time, known as the custodial parent, and the other, known as the non-custodial parent, could be granted visitation rights.
While a 50/50 split of parenting time may seem fair, it is sometimes in the child’s best interest for one parent to take the role of the custodial parent. This arrangement can help foster stability and may be more suitable, especially if one parent works a full-time job.
A typical visitation schedule could be one weeknight visit each week and every other weeknight. The court could award more, but not less than, the minimum hours of visitation as per state guidelines.
If one parent poses a risk to the child’s wellbeing, for example, if they have a history of abuse or substance misuse, then they could lose their right to custody. However, it is common for the court to still order supervised visitation, which the custodial parent will need to cooperate with.
When a marriage ends, it is usually very difficult to separate two lives that have become so intertwined, especially when it comes to property. At Woodford Sathappan McGee, we will take the time to learn what’s important to you so that we can fight for an outcome that best supports your needs.
Our law firm has extensive experience in matters involving property division, including those involving high assets, self-owned businesses, hidden assets, debts, or off-shore assets.
Upon divorce or legal separation in Indiana, property must first be divided into separate and marital.
All assets and debts that were owned by you or your partner prior to marriage will continue to belong to each of you after your marriage ends; this is known as separate property. Property may also be considered separate if it was gifted or inherited.
All assets and debts that you or your partner acquired while you were married are subject to division; this is known as marital property.
Marital property can include bank accounts, pensions, offshore accounts, real estate, vehicles, self-owned businesses, and more. Indiana is an equitable distribution state which means that property should be split in a just and fair way, which doesn’t always mean a 50/50 split.
To decide what is just and fair, many factors can be taken into consideration, including the length of the marriage, contributions of each spouse, who the custodial parent is, the needs of each spouse, and their ability to earn money to support themselves.
Parents are legally obligated to support their child’s upbringing financially. Indiana law assumes that the custodial parent will contribute in the time that they care for their child, and so the other parent is usually required to pay child support.
Child support can be a lifeline for many mothers, and it is important that you secure an amount that will allow you to continue to meet your child’s needs, such as housing, food, clothes, toys, and education. Parents are also required to ensure that a child’s medical needs are met, and if medical insurance is available at a reasonable cost, then they will need to provide it.
Spousal support, or alimony, is a financial obligation sometimes placed on one spouse, where they are required to pay their ex-spouse a specific amount after the marriage ends.
Spousal support is not awarded in every case, and it is usually only when one spouse requires financial assistance to maintain a standard of living. Even when it is awarded, it is usually only for a short amount of time to give the party receiving support time to find work or complete training toward work. Other times, it could be awarded indefinitely, especially if the receiving spouse is unable to work due to age or disability.
For some women, especially mothers who have given up a career to care for a home and children, spousal support is essential. It gives them the financial stability they need to move forward with their lives. If you are owed spousal support, we will fight on your behalf.
Our dedication to women has allowed us to create a space where they feel secure and supported. As a result, many women who have suffered domestic abuse have come to us for representation. We know how difficult it is to begin the process of leaving an abusive spouse, and we will handle your case with the care and dedication it requires.
Firstly, we can advise you about how to get somewhere safe. Once the immediate danger has been dealt with, we can file a protection order to keep your spouse away from you and your children. This will give you time and space to make important decisions. We will help you to gather evidence and will ensure that the Judge understands the extent of your experiences and makes it a consideration in important family law decisions such as child custody.
Following a divorce, your decree is legally binding. However, Indiana law also recognizes that circumstances change and an agreement that, once worked, may no longer be viable or may no longer be in the best interests of your child.
When this happens, an attorney can help you file for a modification. However, you will need to show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances, such as a change of income, job loss, the discovery of hidden assets, changing needs of the child, or reclamation.
It may also be possible to change a child support order if at least three years have passed and the amount that would be awarded under current guidelines differs from the current amount by at least 20%.
Once your divorce decree has been issued, it can be a massive relief to finally have a structured plan in place for your future and the future of your children. So when an ex-spouse misses child support payments or ignores the court order in other ways, it is incredibly frustrating.
You should know that child support payments never disappear, and your ex-spouse will need to pay you what they owe eventually. An attorney can help you to first try and mediate with your ex-spouse and come to an agreement on how they will pay you back. This helps protect your relationship and gives them an opportunity to explain.
If they continue to miss payments, we can help you file contempt proceedings. The court could garnish their wages, seize assets, or even issue a jail sentence. It could also justify a modification to your divorce decree.
It is important that you do not take matters into your own hands and follow the proper legal route. If. for example, you refuse visitation until they pay child support, then you could also be guilty of contempt. Child support and visitation are separate issues and must be treated as such.
Considering the importance of the outcome of family law matters, it is important that you feel confident you have the right representation. With so many law firms to choose from, choosing one can feel like a daunting task. Here are some key things to look for when making your decision:
Family law is heavily influenced by state law. Therefore, it is a good idea to find a local law firm that has a focus on family law. This will ensure that they understand all the laws surrounding your case and means that they will be helping people in a similar position to you on a daily basis, giving them plenty of resources and experience. A local family lawyer may also know the Judge overseeing your case and can tailor their strategy accordingly.
Family law cases require a holistic approach that includes both mediation and litigation. Mediation saves time and money and keeps things amicable where possible. However, your attorney must be prepared to stand in court, or you may be left vulnerable.
You will be spending a lot of time with your attorney, and you may need to discuss very personal matters. Therefore, it is important that you like your attorney and feel you can speak with them without fear of judgment. Many law firms offer a free consultation, so you will have an opportunity to decide whether how you feel about your potential attorney.
It is impossible to say how long a divorce will take, as each case is unique. However, it is largely determined by both the quality of your representation and the number of contested issues. Every contested issue will require its own court hearing, which involves waiting for the court to be free to hear your case.
Some divorces can proceed in a matter of months, while others could take up to two years. Your divorce attorney at Woodford Sathappan McGee will keep things moving at a steady pace without ever compromising on your rights.
Mothers and fathers are treated equally under the law, and decisions must be made free from gender bias. All family law decisions should be made based on the best interest of the child rather than the presumption that a child should be with their mother.
Child support in Indiana automatically ends when a child turns 19. However, if the child has ongoing needs, such as a mental or physical disability, then it may need to be paid indefinitely.
The cost of divorce varies widely and is also heavily influenced by the number of contested issues. In your free consultation, our Fishers divorce lawyers will give you an idea of what your case could cost.
Although each spouse is usually responsible for their own legal fees, if there is a significant wage disparity, then the higher-earning spouse may be ordered to cover some of the other’s costs.
Woodford Sathappan McGee is proud to be female-led, although our team is comprised of experienced female and male attorneys. However, if you would prefer to work with a female attorney, then we are happy to accommodate.
Indiana allows for legal separation, which is when a couple remains legally married but separate and seeks court orders on all the typical matters involved in a divorce decree, such as child custody and property division.
A couple may choose legal separation for religious reasons because they hope to reconcile in the future, to maintain health insurance, or for a host of other reasons.
However, it is important to seek advice from an attorney before you make the decision to legally separate, as there are certain implications that you should be aware of, such as financial implications.
We are proud of our team of attorneys, who each have a unique set of skills and experience. When you reach out to us, we will give you some initial advice, and if you decide to agree to representation, we will assign the attorney who has the most experience relating to the key issues of your case.
All of our attorneys are trained mediators and will help you reach agreements outside of the courtroom wherever possible. This saves time and money and also helps protect important family dynamics. Each of our lawyers is also skilled in litigation, so you will not be left vulnerable if your case goes to court.
As the only law firm in the Fishers area to represent women exclusively, we have a unique ability to give women what they need to move forward with their lives in confidence. We do this by providing comprehensive legal representation and by keeping you informed about your case from start to finish.
We will provide compassionate and reliable legal counsel throughout your divorce or other family law matter. Regardless of how complex your family law case is or how overwhelmed you feel, we can help.
Contact us today at 380-212-3731 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney.