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David James Steele
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David Steele’s Answers

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  • What form do I file with Johnson county court to obtain legal emergency custody of my grandson mother is incarcerated

    father has never been around and my daughter is incarcerated awaiting trial what form to use in Johnson county to obtain gruardianship or emergency custody of my grandson who has been and is currently in my home under my care

    David’s Answer

    Andrea said it all and said it best. I really am just answering to agree with my colleagues and stress how important it is you do whatever you can to at least consult an attorney. Those fill in the blank forms they provide, at least in my opinion, often do more harm than good as it leads you to believe it is a simple enough matter that you can simply fill in their form and things should work out. Most things in this area of law are rarely that simple, but I would put guardianships near the top of the list as far as things that are particularly fact sensitive and cannot usually be adequately addressed by a form and a pro se litigant. I understand that lawyers are expensive and nobody ever actually WANTS to hire one, but in a case like this, where the best interests of the child are at risk, it really is vital you at least consult an attorney and, I believe, eventually retain one. There is simply too much riding on most situations like this to try and do it yourself. Read the links Andrea provided and use those resources to see if you can find a lawyer you like and can afford. But, those forms are generally not going to accomplish what you need accomplished and they won't do much to explain the options you have or the legal implications of different courses of action. I very sincerely wish you the best of luck.

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  • Emancipating a child who has his own child and not having to pay support anymore

    I have a child who is 17 will turn 18 in February and just had a child wanted to know whether I could have him emancipated and get out of paying support anymore

    David’s Answer

    the law in Indiana regarding emancipation is pretty clear cut, though the application of it is slightly more complicated. I strongly encourage you to contact a local attorney to discuss how to proceed with this and whether it is time. there are a number of things to consider in attempting to have a child emancipated but the statute, IC 31-16-6-6, states fairly plainly that for purposes of child support, Indiana law considers a child emancipated if the child:
    1. is age 19;
    2. has joined the United States armed services;
    3. is married;
    4. is not under the care or control of either parent or someone else approved by the court; or
    5. is at least 18 years old, has not gone to school for the last 4 months, is not enrolled in school, and is or is capable of supporting himself or herself through employment

    so, if your child is not in college, or high school, you cannot automatically have him/her emancipated until the age of 19. but, as I said, you should discuss it with an attorney as there is a little more to it than that broad generalization. most attorneys will talk with you initially for no charge and I generally find that if they won't, you don't want them anyway. but that is just my opinion. to file for emancipation, you will want an attorney to do it as i never recommend doing anything pro se, meaning on your own. best of luck to you and I hope this was helpful!

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  • I am court ordered certain times to see my children but the mother wont go by those times? what can i do?

    we have always gone by indiana state guidelines set forth in the book but this year my ex refuses to let me have them for my half of xmas break and says its her way end of story they are supposed to be here tonight and ive texted and called and s...

    David’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Can't tell you how many cases like these we get. especially around the holidays. there are several problems/issues you need to talk to a lawyer about. Mainly, if she won't talk to you or give you visitation, it is going to require court intervention and it is highly unlikely you can get into court before Christmas. Your situation boils down to one party not honoring the terms of a divorce and visitation agreement. Again - very common. Call a local attorney and the sooner the better. Half of these cases are simply to set the tone that you won't be a doormat and it cannot be her way or the highway. Your attorney can tell you whether you need to bring a contempt motion, motion for rule to show cause ... whatever turns out to be the most appropriate response to this situation. and, without knowing more, I will not say anything other than if you have a court order, the police may, MAY, get involved to try and enforce it. that's not an option I ever like using but if it is set out in writing, the cops may help you enforce it. maybe a last ditch effort. Again - talk to a lawyer. but, you basically need to find a local one who can take your case quickly and see what to do and try to get her into court to ensure that she abides by the terms. and, as I said, the sooner the better.

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  • My friend is in fear of someone who he had sex with almost 17 years ago, he was 18 & she was 14 or 15.

    She agreed to go a long with it & he is afraid of getting in trouble over it, it was by consent from her.

    David’s Answer

    Katherine is right. The statute of limitations is in place so that people don't have to look over their shoulder their whole lives for mistakes made when young. It has undoubtedly run by now. But, you really shouldn't make a habit of it. Sorry - your friend shouldn't.

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  • How does the paternity affidavit work if the parents are married after its signed?

    MY ex and i had our son in may 2012 we then got married in september 2012. we are now getting ready to go through a divorce. with him not doing the DNA test didnt he forfeit his rights?

    David’s Answer

    That's actually a fairly detailed question that will probably require contacting an attorney to discuss it further. But, briefly, if you two actually established paternity, signed by a judge, it serves the same purpose as a DNA test inasmuch as it makes him the legal father. So, no, he doesn't "forfeit" anything by not taking the DNA test as you two essentially agreed he is the father and a court approved it. But, I guess i'm unclear as to what you are saying would have resulted in a forfeiture of any parental rights. But, if I am understanding your question correctly, no he is not forfeiting anything. But, there are things in your case I can't be aware of so I strongly suggest you talk to a lawyer. If you have an attorney for your divorce, that is something she can answer and if you don't ... well, I can't recommend strongly enough that you get one. I don't recommend anyone gets divorced without a lawyer but it is especially important in your case because there are questions you have regarding his legal relationship to your child. Simply put, if you guys established paternity, that establishes a legal relationship and it does not get automatically undone. But call a local attorney to discuss what, if any, options you might have. They should speak with you for free and if they don't, my personal opinion is you don't really want them anyway. Best of luck to you!

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  • What can I do about a step parent not returning the child upon request

    my daughter was admitted to the hospital, her ex husband was going to keep the child umtil she was released from the hospital. on the day she was released, i made arrangements to pick her up, the wife argued every option, wanting my daughter to pi...

    David’s Answer

    I agree with Brooklyn above. Most will tell you whether you need them or not. This matter will depend on the order/agreement that is in place regarding visitation and transportation. Without knowing the language, or more details, I wouldn't hazard a guess, but I would say contact an Indiana attorney and just ask them. If it is a matter of enforcing the travel specifics, then you might be well served by bringing an enforcement action to prevent the kind of issues you are having from becoming permanent. And if it is something else, they will probably tell you. But it can't hurt to ask. Best of luck to you.

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  • Age 60 divorce likely. Need to see what I am entitled to get.

    Steve has a 37 acre farm in his and his dads name goes to Steve if dad dies to Paul if Steve dies. Also have a house on contract with only Steve's name. Been married 20 years.

    David’s Answer

    It is fairly hard to answer a question that general, but you should definitely consider consulting an attorney to discuss the issue in more detail. Put very simply, there is a presumption in Indiana, all other things being equal, that the marital assets, as well as the debts, are generally divided as close to 50/50 as possible but there are several factors that would influence that, not the least of which is the quality of your attorney. If you are sure you are going to proceed with a divorce, do your homework and contact an attorney you like to discuss your options. Most family law attorneys will offer a free consultation so that shouldn't cost you anything. Best of luck to you.

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  • Just a general ?

    WIth such programs as Prepaid Legal or Legal Shield, and I can't afford the higher retainer attorneys but want the aggressive attorney with attitude that wins for Family Law matters. Any suggestions please?

    David’s Answer

    I think you are as right as the previous two attorneys. You generally do want an aggressive attorney, inasmuch as you need them to stay on top of things, push towards a resolution and generally just be in charge of ending it. You do not want somebody who, as the other attorney said, just acts like a pitbull and wastes everyone's time because he/she is too abrasive to be effective. If you can't afford an attorney, then there are some legal services available to you (Indianapolis Legal Aid Society, etc.) but in my experience, more people get turned away then helped. You shouldn't have any problem finding an attorney who would charge a retainer around $1,000 or so. I understand that is still a lot of money but if you get your divorce handled properly, think of it as an investment that easily pays for itself. Good luck to you.

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  • Can a father open a childsupport case against the mother if the fathers parents have guardianship of the child?

    They have had it for years because dad is a trucker and he is hardly ever home.

    David’s Answer

    nope. father is not the one legally obligated to take care of them. sorry. grandparents can.

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  • If a father say he wants his rights taken n I say I want his taken to would the judge sign for the rights to be taken?

    2 girls 20 year old mom no child support no help no father that should say all that's needed

    David’s Answer

    I don't believe so. Indiana law requires there to be a father to step in if one steps out. You can't voluntarily terminate all parental rights unless you have a replacement lined up. The courts are reeeeaaaalll picky about child support around here. Rather insistent actually.

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