Monday, December 17, 2012

Lakers' Guard in Bizarre Custody Fight

Steve Nash, a guard for the LA Lakers, is currently in litigation with his former Wife over her proposed relocation with the parties’ children.  The parties’ divorce was reportedly finalized in Arizona in 2005. Since that time, the parties’ three (3) children have resided primarily with their Mother in Arizona despite Nash’s subsequent move to California to play with the Lakers. Now, the children’s Mother has proposed that her and the children relocate to be in the same city as their Father, to which Nash is reportedly objecting.

Typically, in relocation cases, a party will object to a proposed move wherein the children are forced relocate to a city where the objecting party does NOT reside.  The basis for the objection in such a situation is very often the impact the proposed move will have on the parent/child relationship due to the newfound distance and, thus, difficulty to exercise parenting time and remain involved in the children’s lives.  Hence, it is “bizarre” to hear of an objection to a proposed relocation into the city of the objecting parent.  It may be that the basis of Nash’s objection lies in his desire for his children to have consistency in their lives and a wish that they remain in the same school, community, support system, etc.  Though there are no reports found as to why he objects to the same.
Under Indiana law, if a parenting time or custody order exists and either party intends to relocate his/her residence, that person must file a Notice of Intent to Relocate with the Court 90 days prior to the intended move. The opposing party will then have 60 days in which to file a formal Objection.  If the opposing party objects, the matter is set for a hearing on the proposed relocation. It is important to note that Indiana law recently changed, and there is no longer a distance requirement, for example, that the move be over 100 miles. Rather, under the current law, parties are required to file the Notice of Intent to Relocate for ANY proposed move – regardless of if the move is across the street or across the country. 

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At Hollingsworth & Zivitz, P.C., our team has the experience, the understanding, and the compassion to assist with your family law needs. If you have questions or concerns regarding divorce, custody, support, or any other family law concerns contact our firm at 317.DIVORCE or  visit our website at

Monday, December 3, 2012

How Much Will My Case Cost?!?!?!

During many initial consultations with clients, one of the most frequently asked questions at the outset of a case is “how much will my case cost?”  Unfortunately it is very difficult to determine an accurate estimation of the total cost to finalize any given case, as each set of facts in a family law case is unique and can change during the pendency of the divorce. This difficulty is due in part because much of what may unfold during the pendency of a family law case, and thus the time necessary to complete the same, is unforeseeable from the outset. For example, while you may choose not to serve formal discovery requests, if the opposing party requests the same of you, your attorney will have to respond. Additionally, there are certain issues and/or procedures which are outside of your attorney’s control that may increase your fees. For instance, some county courts have local rules making mediation mandatory prior to a requested final hearing, thus this is a known cost. However, in other counties without such requirements, individual judges may still order the parties to submit to mediation or a form of alternative dispute resolution prior to attending and/or scheduling a final hearing, thereby increasing the fees to finalize a case.  Attorneys should be upfront with their client about the potential time and cost required to finalize their case.

There are steps clients can take to control the costs of their case to the extent that is possible.  One manner to drastically reduce the attorneys’ fees is for the client to communicate directly with the opposing party.  If parties are able to reach an informal settlement outside of the courtroom, not only will they save attorneys fees associated with trial preparation and attendance, but they will maintain control over the terms of the agreement.  Additionally, if the parties are able to conference with their attorneys for legal advice, but communicate directly with the opposing party to reach the terms of an agreement, in what our attorneys term “kitchen table” negotiations, the attorneys fees will be drastically reduced than if two attorneys must undertake substantial communication to come to a final agreement in any given matter.

Custody Evaluations.  In the event child custody is contested, either party may request that the Court order a custody evaluation be performed.  If such is ordered or agreed to by the parties, then the family members will be interviewed by a psychologist who will determine what is in the best interest of the children with regard to custody and issue a report outlining his/her findings. Custody evaluations, while useful, can cost upwards of $5,000.00 depending upon the evaluator selected. 

Business Valuation.   In the event you and/or your spouse owns a family business or a share in a closely held business, which is not expressly set aside from the marital estate pursuant to a prenuptial agreement, then the business will need to be valued in order to properly divide the marital estate.  If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement as to the value of the business,  you may agree or request that the court order a formal business valuation.  Business valuations  may cost upwards of $10,000.00, depending on the type of business and the business valuator selected.

At Hollingsworth & Zivitz, P.C., our team has the experience, the understanding, and the compassion to assist with your family law needs.  If you have questions or concerns regarding divorce, mediation, collaborative law or any other family law concerns, please contact our firm at 317.DIVORCE or visit our website at