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Family Law Attorneys

|  Family Law Attorneys  |

Divorce can be one of the most stressful events in your family life. The Law Firm of Banik and Renner will help reduce that stress by putting our experience and understanding to work for you.
 
Whether your divorce involves complex issues of child custody and domestic abuse, or if you simply need to file the right forms to correctly and legally end your marriage, the Law Firm of Banik and Renner can assist you with your family law and divorce case. Family law cases may involve:
 
  • Divorce
 
  • Pre-divorce planning
  • Custody disputes
 
  • Paternity
  • Modifying decrees
 
  • Child support
  • Guardianships
 
  • Prenuptial / Postnuptial Agreements
  • Parenting time
 
  • Dividing assets

A divorce is always stressful, even when you know you need to end the relationship.  An experienced family law attorney can assist you by:
  • Helping you understand the legal process
     
  • Developing a realistic “game plan”
     
  • Carefully explaining your legal rights
     
  • Being realistic about your legal duties

Child Custody

The goal of the court and the parties in a custody battle is to decide what is in the best interests of the child.  The court will consider a number of factors, including:  the relationship between the child and each parent; the relationships between other siblings; the adjustment that will be required (moving to a new neighborhood, a new school, etc.); any history of criminal records or domestic abuse; and a whole host of factors that make up the best interest of the child decision.
 
Custody decisions are rarely easy and always emotionally charged.  A trained and experienced lawyer can help you ensure a positive outcome for your child.

Resolving your family law disputes

Your family law case may be resolved through:  a written agreement between the parties that is filed with the court; after mediation with a court appointed mediator; or, after a trial where a judge determines the outcome.  Whether or not your family law case is a “friendly matter” or if it calls for traditional litigation, the Law Firm of Banik and Renner will vigorously represent you and your rights.  Our law firm will act as your seasoned negotiator or as your experienced litigator and help you through this stressful and confusing time in your life.

Simple Divorces

  • Many couples want to handle their divorce themselves because “we already agree on everything”.  Be careful.  You can act as your own legal representative, but should you?
     
  • How do you split the 401(k)?  What happens to child support if you are laid off?  What if my ex-spouse does not make the car payment that is still in both of your names?
     
  • It is rarely the questions you discussed that cause problems later; it is the questions you did not know to ask.  Talk to an experienced attorney, even if you think your divorce will be “simple”. 
Know the law and the benefits and protections you are entitled to. Knowledge is power.

Why choose Banik & Renner?

  • Individualized service with no assembly line representation
     
  • The lawyer you meet with is the lawyer who represents you
     
  • We are local attorneys who have practiced in the community since graduation from Notre Dame Law School three decades ago.
     
  • We attend seminars and remain current in our areas of practice
     
  • We ask questions and we really listen to your answers to help you
     
  • We will not “hard sell” you on our representation
     
  • We explain your options in words you can understand or keep trying until you do.         

What do I need to do before contacting an Attorney?

  • Gather all paperwork in your possession (i.e. last two tax returns, any IRA or 401(k) statements, credit card statements, etc.)
     
  • Write down the names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers of your spouse and children
     
  • Write down a “rough” list of the major assets (home, cars, investments, etc.) and of the major debts (mortgages, car loans, credit cards, etc.)
     
  • If there are children involved, review the Standard Parenting Time Guidelines (www.in.gov/judiciary/rules/parenting/

How do I contact Banik & Renner?

Click here to or contact us or call 574.293.7170 for more information or to schedule a consultation.


Family Law Frequently Asked Questions

My income has changed since the divorce, can I change the child support order?
You may petition the court for a change in the support order if there has been a substantial and continuing change to your income.  However, if you stop paying the prior court order before a court has changed the order, you will be held responsible for the amounts due under the original child support order.  If you have any questions regarding child support modifications, talk to an experienced family law attorney.

What are my “standard” rights to spend time with my children?
The Indiana Supreme Court adopted a standard set of guidelines to assist parents in many aspects, when it comes to questions regarding responsible parenting.  These guidelines are available at www.in.gov/judiciary/rules/parenting/.  These guidelines cover matters such as:  phone contacts; transportation issues; school records; and many other important topics.  Read the guidelines and remember that you do not “visit” with your children, you are a parent.  If you cannot resolve parenting time disputes with your ex-spouse, talk to an experienced family law attorney.

Are pre-nuptial agreements valid in Indiana?
Under Indiana law, if no pre-nuptial agreement exists, then all of the assets a couple owns at the time a divorce is filed will generally be considered  “marital assets”, and will be subject to dividing between the parties.  Indiana recognizes and will enforce a pre-nuptial agreement.  A pre-nuptial agreement can be an effective tool to provide a formula or criteria as to how the property should be divided in the event of a divorce.  This agreement can bring a level of certainty that may allow each party to make better, well informed financial decisions while they are married.  Indiana law does not allow couples to decide child support in a pre-nuptial agreement.

When does child support end?
Child support obligations continue until the child is emancipated.  A fairly recent change in Indiana law lowered the age of emancipation from 21 years of age down to 19 years of age.  A parent paying child support may modify a court order to pay support once the child reaches age 19.  This is true even if the child is still in college and dependent on his/her parents for financial support.  If your child is approaching age 19, consult a family law attorney to formally file a Petition to Emancipate that child and to terminate support.  Do not assume the court is checking its files and looking to do this for you.

Do I have to tell my ex-spouse that the kids and I are moving?
Easy answer-- absolutely “yes.”  A parent who has custody or parenting time with a minor child must file notice of their plans to move to a new residence.  Your ex-spouse has an opportunity to object, once they receive your notice of your intent to move the children.  No divorce court can legally stop you from moving.  However, moving the minor children can impact an existing court order and affect:  your ex-spouse’s travel time to see the child on a regular basis; the doctors and school districts that are already in place; and, a host of other factors that impact the child’s relationship with the other parent.  Talk with a family law attorney to see how you need to comply with Indiana Code §31-17-2.2.

To learn more about family law, click here to contact us or call 574.293.7170 for a consultation.

 

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