Preparing For A Child Custody Hearing In Indiana

Are you facing an upcoming child custody hearing in Indiana? If so, you are likely feeling anxious and stressed out. After all, these hearings can have long-term implications on your living arrangements and your day to day interaction with your loved ones. We figured we would take the opportunity to draft up a brief overview on what to expect when preparing for a child custody hearing in Indiana. For more specific advice, we recommend that you reach out to a family attorney directly, someone like trusted attorney David R. Phillips.

Remain Calm and Composed At All Times

Remember, to the family law courts in Indiana, child custody hearings are about determining the course of action that promotes the best interests of your child above all else. While this is a highly emotional and stressful time, you need to ensure that you retain your cool and demonstrate your ability to provide and care for your child. While nobody can fault you or anyone else for reacting strongly to such life-changing events, remember that judges are there to scrutinize you and your ex-spouse fully to protect the interests of minor children before anything else.

Prepare all Documents Ahead of Time

In general, it pays to be prepared. Be sure to show up to your hearing with everything that you need, including all relevant documents and records. Every case is different, and if you’re unsure about what to bring to your hearing, don’t delay in contacting a family law attorney. He/she will certainly be able to guide you in the right direction and ensure that you will be ready in time for your upcoming hearing.

Consult With an Indiana Family Law Attorney

There isn’t an easy solution or obvious answer when it comes to child custody hearings in Indiana. This is why it is so important that you consult with a family law attorney, someone who can help steer you towards a favorable outcome and help you prepare for your upcoming hearing.

When dealing with child custody, divorce, or any other type of family law matter in Indiana, know that David R. Phillips can provide you with the legal expertise that you need. Fill out our easy to use form on the “contact us” page or call us at 219-929-7060 to schedule a free initial consultation.


Key Facts About DUI Laws In Indiana

In the United States, over 1.5 million people are arrested for DUI offenses on an annual basis. Needless to say, states like Indiana have taken a hard stance on the offense, and with alcohol present in nearly every facet of society, it is important that you take the time to familiarize yourself with DUI laws and key facts in Indiana.

Remember, if you or someone you know was arrested for a DUI conviction, your priority should be to reach out to a criminal defense attorney who can provide reliable legal counsel. For now, here are a few key facts about DUI laws in the state of Indiana.

Implied Consent is the Law in Indiana

In Indiana, you have to relinquish a urine, breath, or blood sample when requested by law enforcement. Refusal to consent is a criminal offense as per the law, and your license is automatically revoked for a year. Not only that, but additional refusals down the line lead to longer periods of suspension. In general, refusal in Indiana will only worsen the consequences of your arrest.

Additional Factors Affect Potential Jail Time

DUIs are punished harshly in Indiana, and several factors go into play when defendants are sentenced to jail. Previous arrest or convictions, unusually high BACs, and resulting collisions or injuries all play a role into the sentencing that is handed down, which is why the representation of a qualified attorney is so critical.

Multiple Convictions Lead to Steeper Fines

Make no mistake, a single DUI/OWI conviction carries harsh penalties. First-time offenders face fines ranging from $500-$5,000 and up to a year in jail. However, repeat offenses ramp up these tough penalties even, and habitual offenders might face consequences such as fines up to $10,000, up to an additional eight years in jail, the suspension of your driver’s license for up to ten years, and more.

To learn more, call Attorney David R. Phillips, skilled criminal defense attorney, to schedule a free initial consultation. 219-929-7060. You may also fill out the form on our “contact us” page.

Planning A Divorce In Indiana? Be Sure To Check These Items Off Your List

As you move towards your divorce, your head is probably reeling and you might be having trouble figuring out exactly where to start. This is perfectly normal, given that you're moving towards a fresh start and a new life. To help make things a little easier, we've compiled a list of items that you should fully check off before finalizing the planning stages of your divorce.

To learn more, remember that you can always call David R. Phillips, seasoned Indiana family law, to schedule a free initial consultation. For now, here's a checklist of things to account for when planning for a divorce in Indiana.

Account for All Expenses and Have a Financial Reserve

Many separating couples go through the phase where they're living separately but are still legally together. During this time, the household costs essentially double and can wreak havoc on your budget. In addition, many surprise expenses can test your limits, especially when you no longer rely on the support of your soon-to-be ex-spouse. This is why you need to get your financial ducks in order before initializing divorce proceedings. Ensure that you’ve built up a solid financial reserve and remember to separate your finances sooner rather than later.

Sort out your Transportation Needs

On a similar note, make sure to account for your transportation needs ahead of time.  Sort out who gets which vehicle at the time of filing and consider opting for a new trade in when dealing with older cars. The last thing you need on your plate during this time is a faulty or broken vehicle.

Collect and Organize all Critical Documents

In addition, give yourself enough time to collect and organize every important document that you'll need to move forward with your divorce proceedings. You'll need tax returns for the past three years, financial statements, property and car titles, passport, birth certificates, and other key documents. Preparing these ahead of time will make a world of difference down the road, especially when working with a divorce attorney.

Seek Qualified Legal Counsel

Moving forward without legal counsel at this stage is reckless and opens you up to a variety of serious legal consequences. Remember, disputes are always a possibility even in the most amicable of divorces, especially when it involves matters such as child custody and alimony/spousal support.

If you're planning for a divorce or are dealing with any other type of family law matter in Indiana, know that you can rely on skilled divorce attorney David R. Phillips. Call us today at 219-929-7060 to learn more about how he can help, and to schedule your free initial consultation.

Sleeping In Your Car After A Few Drinks: Precautions To Know

The fight against drinking and driving has only ramped up in recent years, and Indiana police have increased their efforts in catching drunk drivers. Their expansion of efforts has included setting up DUI checkpoints and increasing their scrutiny of everyday drivers in an attempt to identify illegal behavior.

Not everyone is so quick to engage in drunk driving, however, and plenty of smart people opt to sleep off their drinks inside their car instead of driving off. Unfortunately, the increased vigilance of police everywhere means that they often come across these drivers, and things don’t always play out in their favor. Police in Indiana can and often do arrest people who are simply “sleeping it off.”

In order to help drivers who are smart enough to avoid getting behind the wheel and choose to sit tight instead, this post covers some of the precautions that you need to be mindful of when sleeping off a few drinks in your car.

Precautions to Take When “Sleeping It Off”

The reason that police are able to arrest you in this scenario is because, when inside of your car, you are technically in control of the vehicle. One way to help mitigate this is by making your intentions clear. For example, napping in the back seat as opposed to the driver’s seat helps convey that you’re simply in need of rest and have zero interest in operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

Likewise, having the keys in the ignition, or anywhere else on your person, is a big no-no. Play it safe, place your keys in the trunk instead. This can be the definitive proof that you need to prove your innocence if questioned, and later down the line if you are unlucky enough to be arrested.

Want to Learn More?

Whatever your approach is in ensuring that you don’t drink and drive, always be mindful of police, the way they seek out arrests, and your rights. When dealing with any type of matter relating to DUIs in Indiana, know that you can count on seasoned criminal defense David R. Phillips.

If you want to learn more, or to schedule a free initial consultation, we invite you to call us directly at 219-929-7060, at your earliest convenience.

Key Questions To Ask Before Taking A New Medication

Medical errors continue to be a prevalent problem within the healthcare industry, and these oversights or mistakes at the hands of medical professionals are now the third leading cause of death in the U. S. A large portion of these mistakes center around medication. Whether a doctor forgot to prescribe a given medication, recommended an incorrect dosage or formula, or even if there was a labeling mistake at the pharmacy, these mistakes can have serious implications to patients.

The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from medical errors involving medication is to remain vigilant and always ask the right questions, For this post, we’re looking at some key questions you should ask your doctor before you proceed with any new prescription or medication.

Why do I Need this Medication?

Perhaps the biggest question involving any new prescription, it’s important that you understand why your doctor is recommending or prescribing a given medication. Make sure you’re fully clear on the benefits and the risks of the recommended medication, and ask your doctor about expected results, timelines, and dosage instructions.

Are There any Known Side Effects?

Most medications have side effects. These can range from mild to severe, and while the benefits of a medication will often outweigh the side effects, it’s still important that you remained informed about potential effects and reactions, and whether your doctor needs to prescribe additional medications to help alleviate side effects.

Is a Generic an Acceptable Replacement?

Patients will often opt for the most cost-effective solution, especially if they expect to regularly take the medication for a long period of time. Ask your doctor if generic alternatives are ok, or if you need to stick to the name brand that he/she recommended. If a generic is acceptable, your doctor should include that information in the prescription itself.

Want to Learn More about Medical Errors or Other Personal Injury Matters?

Keep these pointers in mind next time you visit your primary care physician, and remember that, if you want to learn more about this or other topics related to personal injury law, seasoned attorney David R. Phillips is just a quick phone call away.

Call today at 219-929-7060 to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer, where you can schedule a free initial consultation.

Getting Divorced? Essential Financial Tips

As a family law attorney in Indiana, David R. Phillips spends much of his time providing guidance and counsel to those going through divorce proceedings. Over the years, he has noticed a trend: while many people focus on their soon-to-be ex-spouse’s finances, they don’t always spend enough time thinking about their own financial arrangements and needs.

To help alleviate these oversights, this blog looks at the key steps that you, or anyone going through a divorce in Indiana, should account for as they set out to finalize their separation or divorce. Every divorce is different, and you’ll want a qualified legal professional on your side but for the time being, here’s some essential tips to know when navigating a divorce in Indiana!

Set A Budget for Your Core Needs

This is critical for anyone that is soon to be divorced, especially when you’ve relied on a spouse’s income to make ends meet. Most people experience a decrease in income after a divorce, and the costs associated with the divorce itself rack up quickly. Take the time to figure out exactly how much you need to meet your basic needs every month, which will serve as a valuable starting point for your current and future finances.

Take Care of All Administrative Details

Now is the time to start gathering your documents! As any family law attorney will advise, you’re going to want copies of as many financial statements as you can collect. These documents are critical when it comes to division of assets, child custody arrangements, and more, Lacking the proper documentation or not being fully prepared with the correct information could end you up on the short end of the dispute.

Think About Your Long-Term Goals

It might be hard to think about the far future when you’re still deep in middle of your divorce process, but you need to look at the bigger picture. Where do you see yourself once the dust has settled and you have embarked on your new life? You need to let this question guide your next moves, whether you’re wanting to pay off debt, are considering a career change, or are maybe even playing with the idea of going back to school.

It’s impossible for a blog post as brief as this one to account for the variety of situations out there, and no divorce ever plays out the same. If you want more guided assistance tailored to your specific situation, remember that seasoned family law attorney David R. Phillips is just a phone call away. Call today at 219-929-7060 to learn more about how he can help you with your family law matters in Indiana, and to schedule a free initial consultation.

Why Mediation Makes Sense: The Main Benefits Of Mediation

It’s true; divorce is messy and expensive no matter how you go about it. What many people don’t realize however is that there are alternatives to traditional divorce proceedings, all of which are designed to speed up the process and make your life easier. One of these options is mediation, the legal process where feuding spouses come together in an attempt to reach a mutual agreement on a variety of issues, all without involving the family law courts of Indiana.

Mediation is comprehensive and can cover topics ranging from child custody and support arrangements, agreements on how property is to be distributed, and more. For this post, we decided to cover the main benefits that mediation carries.  After all, we always advise our clients to opt for mediation whenever possible.

Mediation Saves Time and Money

The most obvious benefit to mediation involves the financial side of things. In general, mediation saves you a whopping 40-60% when compared to traditional divorce proceedings. A big part of this is that while divorce can be lengthy and drawn out, mediation allows both parties to quickly and efficiently come to an agreement. Not only that, but since you have more control over the outcome of your case, you could find yourself saving a fortune in child support, spousal support, and other related expenses.

Mediation is Private and Confidential

Another major benefit to mediation is that it is an entirely private affair. In contrast, divorce is public and just about anyone can dig around and nose into your business, especially when the juicy details become part of the court record. With mediation, no one other than your ex-spouse and the assigned mediator ever need to hear the details of your divorce, making it an attractive option for those who wish to keep the public eye away from their private affairs.

Mediation is Amicable and Benefits Children

The nature of mediation means that you’ll have time to negotiate with your ex-spouse, which fosters a more amicable relationship. This also benefits your children, as it allows you all to work together in order to plan all arrangements and ensure that they are always provided for and looked after. In general, children as much happier when both parents are involved in their lives, and mediation opens the path for a healthy relationship even after parents have separated.

Want to Learn More? Talk to a Mediation Attorney in Indiana

We hope this information helps you make a decision as you move forward with your divorce proceedings, or at least provides some insight into how mediation works in Indiana. If you want more tailored advice, and to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced divorce attorney, know that you can always count on David R. Phillips. Call today at 219-929-7060 to learn more about how he can help.