Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Case Law Development: Effect of Parent's Incarceration on Initial Child Support Determination

The Indiana Court of Appeals held that in making an initial child support calculation in cases in which a parent is incarcerated, the court should impute income to the parent consistent with the earning before the criminal activity resulting in their incarceration.  The issue was one of first impression in the state and the court surveyed opinions of other jurisdictions on the matter, but ultimately arrived at its ruling on public policy considerations.  A dissent viewed the majority's approach as "additional punishment." 

Lambert v. Lambert, 2005 Ind. App. LEXIS 2336 (December 15, 2005)
Opinion on the web at (last visited December 17, 2005 bgf)

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December 18, 2005 in Child Support (establishing) | Permalink

Case Law Development: Father's Eight Year Delay in Asserting Paternity Creates Estoppel

While estoppel in paternity actions is a fairly common claim, it is usually raised to estop a father's denial of paternity. The Pennsylvania Superior Court has now applied the doctrine of estoppel to prevent a father from asserting his paternity. The court held that a man who waited eight years before seeking to form a paternal relationship has forfeited any right to demand a paternity test or assert parental rights, even though the fact of his biological connection to the child is undisputed.

Buccieri v. Campagna, 2005 PA Super 403, 2005 Pa. Super. LEXIS 4176 (December 7, 2005)

The case is reported by Asher Hawkins of the The Legal Intelligencer The opinion is on the web at (last visited December 14, 2005 bgf)

December 18, 2005 in Paternity | Permalink

Domestic-Violence Act Extension Sent to President

Congress on Saturday sent President Bush an extension of the Violence Against Women Act that would increase funding for the landmark act. The House passed the bill on a voice vote Saturday, a day after the Senate approved it. The Act is aimed at curtailing domestic violence through funding for women's shelters and law enforcement training, expired in September. It originally passed Congress in 1994 and was renewed in 2000. The latest renewal extends the legislation five years at a cost of about $3.9 billion. This is a 20 percent increase over the last five-year extension. Source: Please click here for more information (last visited December 19, 2005, reo).

December 18, 2005 in Domestic Violence | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Army Officer Divorce Rates Fall in 2005

Army officer divorce rates fell sharply in 2005 after a spike in marital split-ups generated national debate over whether the war in Iraq was tearing families apart. The dramatic increase, then decrease, in divorce statistics from 6 percent of all active-duty officers, about 60,000 total, in 2004 to 2.3 percent in 2005 had statisticians double-checking their numbers. However, the numbers held on a recount. Source: Kelly Kennedy, Army Times, Please click here for complete story (last visited December 18, 2005, reo).

December 18, 2005 in Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Author Says Holidays “Busiest” as Spouses Shop for Divorce Lawyers

According to Beverly Pekala, author of "Don't Settle for Less: A Guide to Divorce," we're now in the busiest time of year for divorce attorneys because spouses are doing their holiday shopping for a lawyer." She says that "divorce is planned prior to the holidays and executed after the first." Ms. Pekala states that many people don't want to rock the family boat during what is typically a festive time of year, out of deference to children, extended families and personal reputations. There may also be psychological considerations of making the first of the year a fresh start. Source: Please click here for the complete story (last visited December 18, 2005, reo).

December 18, 2005 in Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)