Family Law

Family Law

Founded on the premise that the practice of law should be a service oriented profession

Family law cases involve the most emotionally challenging and fundamental legal issues faced by South Bend families. Stress, anxiety and uncertainty about the future overwhelm many people facing the ominous prospect of a contentious divorce or a contested child custody dispute. These important issues affect the most fundamental and intimate aspects of a person’s life. There is a broad range of family law matters, including divorce, paternity actions, child custody and child support proceedings, and the resolution of these issues may have serious long-term consequences on your relationship to your children and financial ability to support your family.

South Bend family law and divorce attorney Julie Dominiack did not come to practice family law in South Bend by fluke. She followed her natural instincts to return home and help people deal the legal issues that have the most fundamental impact on their lives and the lives of their families. Before becoming a family law attorney, Julie was a paralegal helping people facing challenging family law issues in a hands-on fashion. Many of her clients complained about the lack of connection and compassion they received when dealing with their divorce attorneys. Her South Bend family law practice is founded on the need to fuse the legal knowledge and experience of a family law attorney with her compassion and concern about the future of her clients and their children, which she developed prior to becoming an attorney.

At the Dominiack Legal Services, LLC, we know that when you are contemplating a divorce you may be faced with a sense of loss and the fear of an uncertain future. South Bend divorce attorney Julie Dominiack crafts creative solutions customized to the specific needs of each client that are designed to prevent the long-term hostility and conflict that may make it difficult to develop a constructive co-parenting arrangement. This approach also can reduce the level of animosity between divorcing parties and the unnecessarily depletion of financial resources necessary to help both you and your children rebuild.

Solving Child Custody Issues Rather Than Promoting Unnecessary Conflict

At Dominiack Legal Services, LLC, we assist our clients in negotiating a workable custody and parenting time (visitation) arrangement with the other parent with an eye toward shielding our clients and their children from conflict. We work diligently to fashion lasting solutions that will reduce the risk of constant trips back to court to modify your custody and visitation (parenting time) orders. We know that powerful emotions like jealousy, anger and resentment can make it hard to reach amicable agreements regarding custody, parenting time (visitation), decision-making, communication and child support. Julie can help you successfully navigate these emotions to avoid the roadblocks that might derail a lasting custody and visitation agreement and that may permit you and the other parent to achieve a workable co-parenting relationship.

Our experienced South Bend divorce attorneys also understand that sometimes the other side is simply not reasonable or the issues involved in the case make a contested custody dispute unavoidable. Scenarios where contested litigation of child custody arrangements is common involve divorce and paternity cases with allegations of domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse, child abuse or neglect and other serious fitness issues. In these situations, Julie may seek supervised visitation to protect a child from being put in harm’s way or advocate for a parent that is the target of false allegations.

While it usually is advantageous to reach an agreement on a parenting plan with the other parent, the family law judge will make orders regarding legal and physical custody and parenting time (visitation) when an agreement cannot be reached. An Indiana judge will typically apply the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines (“IPTG”), which apply unless parents agree to different arrangement, or the judge believes it is appropriate to deviate from these guidelines. The IPTG are based on the premise that it is usually in a child’s best interest to have frequent, meaningful and continuing contact with each parent. The best interest of the child standard will govern all custody and visitation orders.

There are several key terms that are important to understand in all Indiana custody cases whether a paternity case or marital dissolution (divorce). Legal custody refers to the right to make major decisions regarding a child’s upbringing including medical care, religious upbringing, schooling and other similar issues. Unless one parent is determined to be unfit, legal custody typically will be joint though sole legal custody may be awarded to one of the parents if the court has serious concerns regarding the fitness of the other parent to safely care for a child. Physical custody refers to where the child lives, which may vary from equally spending time in the homes of both parents to living primarily with one parent. Parenting time is the term used to delineate visitation in Indiana.

When a family law judge is asked to make custody and visitation orders, the court will make such orders based on the best interest of the child. The factors relevant to the determination of the best interest of the child include the following:

  • Gender and age of the child

  • The preferences of the child

  • Any history or domestic violence

  • Adjustment to school, home and community (value of maintaining the status quo)

  • Health of each parent

  • Child’s relationship with each parent and siblings

  • Preferences of the parents

  • Care provided by a de facto custodian

Whether you are involved in an action to establish a paternal relationship or a divorce in South Bend or the surrounding areas, the court will also make child support orders based on the Indiana Guideline Child Support Guidelines. This mathematical calculation provides the amount of child support to be ordered based on such factors as the custodial time of each parent and each parent’s income after certain allowable deductions. It is important to understand that the court does not consider living expenses like mortgage payments, rent, food and other household expenses.

Alimony & Asset Division

While child custody and visitation issues are often the most pressing issues for many parents in divorce, the financial arrangements in a divorce are critical to your ability to care for yourself and your children. When handling the division of your property and debts as well as alimony obligations, we strive to keep the wealth you have built during your marriage where it belongs – in the possession of your family. Our law firm is committed to the principle that unnecessary litigation accomplishes little more than the depletion of your family’s hard earned assets during a divorce. If we can guide you toward an amicable negotiated settlement of the financial issues in your divorce, we can help you keep what you have built rather than have it drained away on litigation and court costs. Experienced South Bend, Indiana divorce attorney Julie Dominiack is committed to helping her clients emerge from a divorce with stable and workable property and alimony arrangements and the preservation of their financial assets.

We work hard to demystify the legal process and make your divorce as uncomplicated as it can be for you and your family. Our law firm serves clients in South Bend and the surrounding areas of Indiana. We are prepared to deal with complicated property division and alimony issues, such as high net worth estates, difficult asset valuation issues, division of interests in a family business and similar complex family law Indiana property division and alimony issues.

We will work closely with you to help you obtain the best possible outcome designed to help you move on with your life. Julie Dominiack guides her clients through the resolution of the full range of family law issues in South Bend. We will help you seek an outcome that you believe is in the best interest of you and your children. Our South Bend divorce law firm represents clients in a broad range of family law issues including:

  • High net worth divorces

  • Contested child custody & visitation issues

  • Division of businesses and professional practices

  • Complex property division issues

  • Division of retirement plans, 401Ks, pension plans, etc.

  • Preparation of prenuptial agreements

  • Child support issues

  • Military divorces

  • Division of interest in real property including the family home

  • Contested divorces

  • Modification of custody and alimony orders

  • Paternity actions

  • Contempt procedures to compel compliance with court orders

  • Domestic violence & restraining orders

  • Uncontested divorces

  • Orders for exclusive possession of the family residence

  • Disagreements regarding establishing or modifying child support

  • Disputes regarding spousal support (alimony)

  • Awards of attorneys fees

At our South Bend, Indiana family law firm, many of our clients have become long-term friends because we care about our clients and their families. We are committed to helping our family law clients overcome their fear about the future and to providing a foundation for a stable and happier future. We know the importance of reasonably prompt responses to our clients’ inquiries and endeavor to return telephone calls by the next business day at the latest. Our South Bend family law firm is committed provided personalized service based on the highest standards of legal expertise, ethics and commitment to the best interest of our clients. If you have family law questions about divorce, child custody, paternity actions, modifications, alimony, enforcement proceedings, child support or any other family law matter, please contact us to arrange your free initial consultation at (574) 400-3623.

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established. The tesimonials and case examples on this site does not guarantee or predict the outcome of your case. Each case is different.

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Dominiack Legal Services, LLC

115 N. William Street,

South Bend, IN 46601

Phone. 574-400-3623

Fax. 877-720-9125