Geist Reservoir is located in the Northeast corner of Indianapolis, Indiana, and the Southeast corner of Fishers, Indiana, with small sections touching the nearby towns of Lawrence, Fortville, and McCordsville. The Geist Area in Marion County and Hamilton County is most notable for its many upscale housing communities surrounding or located near the Reservoir. With a population of over 52,000, according to Onboard Informatics, there are almost 15,000 family households in the Geist Area. Forty Eight Percent of those households include children.
The residents and businesses of Geist and other Hamilton and Marion County towns will benefit in untold ways when their divorced or divorcing couples avoid court and divorce with dignity. Indiana Divorce Mediation offers several alternatives to the adversarial process that is so damaging to families and communities. Just a few benefits to the Geist community are as follows:
- Geist businesses will benefit by having divorced couples who did not lose their shirts in a divorce and can still afford their services.
- Geist churches will benefit by the fact that couples who divorce with dignity will not feel the need to leave their church family.
- Geist schools will benefit by the fact that children of parents who divorce with dignity can focus their energies on just being children.
Geist, Indianapolis Divorce Mediator
And families benefit from a dignified divorce because fighting over “stuff” isn’t very dignified. One of the most common reasons divorcing Geist residents wind up fighting over “things” in family court is because one or both of the parties’ believed they would “win” more things. Unfortunately, the “things” people win in family court are rarely equal to the amount of money spent in legal fees and, worse yet, is rarely different from what the parties would have agreed to had they known about alternatives to the adversarial process.
Be sure to visit a family law court in your County before you decide to hire a attorney to fight about “stuff.” You will quickly learn whether the “things” you think you want in a divorce are worth the ugliness you will have to endure or inflict in order to get them. Call the court and ask what days and hours they hear family law cases. Plan on staying all day or go several times in order to get a realistic picture of what you can expect in family court.
Some of the basics about property are as follows:
The marital estate is made up of all the property you own individual or jointly and all the debts you owe individually or jointly on the date one of the parties files a petition for dissolution of marriage. This includes such things as retirement accounts and property held by the parties prior to the marriage. It does not include debts or assets that are incurred or obtained after the date of filing.
A court in Indiana must presume that an equal division of the marital estate is just and reasonable. However, this presumption may be rebutted by either party based on the specific circumstances of their case. Some of the circumstances that might rebut the 50/50 presumption are as follows:
1. The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of property, regardless of whether the contribution was income producing,
2. The extent to which the property was acquired by each spouse before the marriage or through inheritance or gift,
3. The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the property is to be divided, including the desirability of awarding the family residence or the right to dwell in the family residence for a period of time the court considers just to the spouse having custody of the children.
4. The earnings or earning ability of the parties as related to a final division of property and a final determination of the property rights of the parties.
Courts are unlikely to bump very far off of a 50/50 division except in extreme cases of income disparity and the existence of significant pre-marital assets that were not co-mingled during the marriage. Be sure to ask your attorney the “best case” “worst case” question if he or she suggests that you could get a better deal by going to court. And, oh yeah – be sure to ask what your attorney fees will be if the case isn’t settled out of court.
Carol Romine, an Indianapolis Divorce Mediator, will keep Geist couples out of court by using her skills as a mediator and will help couples decide what a fair and equitable division of property might look like.