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Message from the Chair: December 2016 - Family Law News

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Family Law News

Posted on: Dec 2, 2016

Fellow family law attorneys,

2016 has certainly been a whirlwind! Not only have our personal lives been up and down, we have seen some amazing changes to our professional circumstances. Obergefell has opened up marriage, and all of the lawyering involved, to same-sex couples; the Indiana Parenting  Time Guidelines were updated for the first time since 2013; the practical aspects of ADR Rule 2. Mediation, were updated for the first time since 2010 and now include language supporting the importance of having attorneys and mediators identify family and domestic violence and coercive control as soon as possible; Parenting Coordination rules are now officially part of our procedure; e-filing is becoming the standard method of operating; Juvenile Courts are all now required to report decision point data relating to disproportionate minority contact in delinquency cases; as of January 1, 2017, our long-used traditional “DR” case type has now been turned into two new case types, “DC – Domestic Relations with Children” and “DN – Domestic Relations No Children;” along with numerous cases that have slightly and drastically changed the way we all must handle our clients as well as our practices.

One thing that has not changed is the respect that we must have for each other as fellows-in-practice. The IndyBar Family Law Section is the best example I know of where a common purpose has supported the bond we all share with each other as we all strive to improve the short- and long-term outcomes for the parents and children we serve. I am consistently reminded of the thoughtfulness of our bench and bar each time one of us is given the opportunity to participate and make an impact on our broader profession.

As we transition from 2016 into 2017, I would like to be the first to issue my support for the slate of members for our section’s Executive Committee, and especially the section chair-elect, Magistrate Kim Mattingly. Our section will be in very conscientious hands with Kim at the helm. I want to thank all of you, as well as the other members of our section’s executive committee, for supporting me this year and continuing all of your diligent work in the courts as well as in the community. Our practice is like no other area of law. Our practitioners and judges are also like none other.

I look forward to seeing you at the Holiday Party at Rock Bottom on December 7, from 5 to 7 p.m. to celebrate the year, hear about our good works, and bestow the second annual Family Law Award on a very deserving colleague!

It has been an honor. Thank you.


Mike Commons
Indiana Supreme Court
2016 Family Law Section Chair



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