Family Law FAQ's

Get your divorce, custody, support, and other family law issues answered by phone at no charge by a local attorney.


  • Can I ask an attorney questions concerning my situation over the phone? Yes. Call 1-317-969-8000 to speak with an Indianapolis attorney today.
  • What if I prefer to meet in person? Do I need to retain the attorney before I get to talk to one? Just give me a call and we will schedule a FREE Initial Consultation. This does not require you to hire us.
  • Can I represent myself without hiring an attorney? While it is your right to represent yourself, it is generally not recommended. I If you have absolutely nothing to lose, perhaps you could represent yourself. However, even then, I would recommend that you consult with an attorney to help you evaluate if representing yourself, without an attorney, is the best choice for you and your family.
  • How long does it take to get a Divorce finalized? In Indiana there is a mandatory 60 day waiting period after the Petition for Divorce is filed with the court. If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse cooperate, the divorce process can seem very short. However, if your divorce is combative, the process can take much longer. I know that divorcing is a very trying time in your life, for that reason, it is my goal to work with you to efficiently complete your case.
  • How much does it cost to get a divorce? We offer programs to fit most budgets:
    • Flat Fees
    • Hourly
    • Payment Plans
    • Give us a call, let's figure it out together.
  • Do I have to move out of my home? NO. Unless,
    (1) you have been ordered by the court or
    (2) you and your attorney have concluded that moving out makes sense in your situation.

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  • Call JR Emerson before making the decision to move out of the marital home or any other important decision that will affect the outcome of your divorce and life ahead.
  • Can my wife/ex-wife move away with the kids? Yes, if she has permission from the other spouse or a court Order, it is possible to move away. However, this is hardly ever in the best interests of the children which is the standard the court uses in making nearly all determinations involving a child.
  • How will the Judge calculate Child Support? Here is a link to a Child Support Calculator offered by the State of Indiana, child support calculator. Please use this only as an estimate. Attorney JR Emerson is ready to help you investigate the potential sources of reducing your child support obligation.
  • The Judge has issued the divorce decree, what can I do now to reduce my child support obligation and/or increase my time with my children? Frequently there are several opportunities for you to advance your position both during and after Settlement with your ex or following a Final Judgment by the court. These include Modifications, motions for reconsideration, and even Appeals, any of which may help you improve your position.
  • How is a legal Legal Separation different from a Divorce? If you are Legally Separated, you are still married. There may be financial considerations which keep a couple from desiring a divorce. Perhaps, a spouse needs to remain on the health insurance plan. In Indiana a Legal Separation is only good for 1 year and must be renewed. Additionally, a Legal Separation DOES NOT require a 60 day waiting period. Divorce in Indiana does require a 60 day waiting, or cooling off, period. Once the Judge signs off on your divorce you are single.
  • Is Mediation a good idea? Mediation might just be the trick to get you and your soon-to-be ex on the same page with your divorce or child custody case. However, before you make the decision to mediate, negotiate, or litigate your divorce, you should consult an attorney. Furthermore, you should consult an attorney before you reach a full settlement or sign an agreement. Having a plan of attack provides you with the best chance of reaching your goals, but it most likely save you money and reduce your stress.
  • Will the court really split our property in half? Indiana has a “one pot” theory. This means that all property owned at the time of the divorce by the husband, wife, or both, is in the pot and subject to division. This includes assets and liabilities (so bills are included). However, this presumption can be overcome by showing the court that you owned the property in question prior to the marriage. There may be times where an unequal division would work in your favor. As such, it is important to investigate financial and tax consequences of this division.
  • What will the judge look at to decide child custody? Judges have broad discretion, meaning that they can look at lots of different things, in making custody decisions. However, they key term you will hear when a child is involved is “the best interest of the child.” In Indiana, it is generally in the best interest of the child to have continuing and regular contact with both parents. However, this decision is based on the facts of each individual case. If there is an issue of child custody, you should speak with a family law attorney before any final decision is in place.
  • What can I do to defend my rights in regard to custody and visitation? Take advantage of the time you have with your children. In fact, you are more likely to spend more time with your children after your divorce if you spent lots of time with them while going through the divorce. This is why I do not recommend you moving out of your home right away. You have a right to spend time with your children. If your spouse limits your time with your children, you should call a family law attorney immediately. Do not distance yourself from your children just to escape conflict with your spouse. Doing so may increase your child support obligation payments when the divorce is final.

Child Custody

For many parents, child custody and parenting time problems create a great amount of unease. Basically in Indiana courts will resolve any dispute about child custody and parenting time according to the best interests of the children involved.

Child Support

Child support comes with rights and responsibilities.  Normally the non-custodial parent pays the parent with primary physical custody a monthly amount which is more or less fixed by the Indiana Child Support Guidelines.

Division of Assets

Indiana law creates a presumption that each party to a marriage is entitled to 50% of the marital property. This presumption can vary, but in most cases, each party is awarded 50% of the marital property and 50% of the marital debt.


Whether you are contemplating divorce, or been arrested or injured you are probably scared, unsure what will come next and what to do.  Give me a call. We will sit down, go over your options and work to find a way to move forward. Call me or another attorney. But call someone and get the help you deserve.

- JR Emerson, Attorney

I am here to help. I am not here to judge. For nearly 20 years I have been helping people in difficult situations and I would be happy to speak with you to see how I might be able to help you too.

- Jill Bracken-Emerson, Attorney


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If you need help we are happy to talk to you at no charge.  Give us a call or click the button to make an appointment.

About Us

Our office is located on the north side of Indianapolis at 98th Street and Keystone Avenue.

3091 E. 98th Street, Suite 180

Indianapolis, IN 46280

Phone: 1-317-969-8000


Our Services

Our attorneys represent people in need of assistance with personal injuries, car accidents, divorce, family law and DUI/OVWI matters.  Our clients typically live in counties throughout central Indiana including, Hamilton County, Boone County, Marion County, Hendricks County and Johnson County.  Please contact our office to learn how we can help.

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Copyright © 2017, Emerson Law L.L.C.

The laws governing legal advertising in the state of Indiana require the following statement in any publication of this kind: Advertising Material. This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

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JR Emerson is an attorney who represents men and women in family law matters including divorce, child custody modification, and child support modification in Marion County, Hendricks County, Boone County, Hamilton County, Hancock County, Madison County, Johnson County. Cities in which he practices include: Zionsville, Lebanon, Whitestown, Carmel, West Clay, Westfield, Noblesville, Fishers, Lawrence, Beech Grove, Speedway, Greenwood, Southport, Franklin, Plainfield, Avon and Danville, Indiana.