Attorney Oaks fiercely advocates for her clients while holding a sincere understanding for familial concerns. She assists her clients and their families by providing counsel on a variety of familial issues.

FAMILY LAW SERVICES

  • Children in Need of Services (CHINS) representation:

    • CHINS proceedings are actions brought by the Department of Child Services (DCS) against a parent. Prior to adjudication, these proceedings consist of an initial hearing, facilitation, and fact finding. Parents have the right to representation at these hearings. After an adjudication of CHINS, the court will hold status hearings until permanency is necessary. Permanency is required after twelve (12) months. Permanency should always start with reunification of the child and the parents.

    • Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) proceedings terminate the parent and child relationship. TPR requires DCS to prove through clear and convincing evidence that: 1) this is the least restrictive means possible; 2) the parents are unwilling and/or unable to provide for, or protect, their child; 3) termination of the parent child relationship is in the best interest of the child; and 4) there is a reasonable probability that the conditions leading to removal will not change.

  • Divorce:

    • In Indiana divorce is also known as the dissolution of marriage. Indiana observes a no-fault ground for divorce resulting from the irretrievable breakdown of marriage. The divorce decree will often determine the distribution of property, spousal maintenance awards, and child custody matters.

    • Indiana is considered an all property state. This means that the all of the property owned by either spouse prior to marriage, earned by one spouse during the marriage, or gained by both spouses during the marriage is considered part of the marital pot. Courts will presume that division of the martial property in half is an equitable distribution of the property. There are certain factors the court may consider when deviating from that distribution.

Wills:

Indiana requires that all wills be in writing, signed by the testator (person who creates the will), and signed in the presence of two witnesses. The testator must have the necessary intent to create a will, and the testator must be of sound mind. Testamentary capacity means that the testator understood the document he or she is signing, he or she knows the extent of his or her property, and he or she knows the extent of his or her familial relations.

Power of Attorney:

There are different types of powers of attorney. Generally, a power of attorney requires the name of the principal, the name of the attorney in fact, a statement of the power intended to be given to the attorney in fact, a signature in front of a notary public, and for the document to be in writing. Once a power of attorney is executed it must also be recorded with the county recorder.

Living wills:

A living will, while named a will, is not actually a will. A living will is a directive notifying those administering medical assistance whether or not the patient wishes to receive life preserving treatment regardless of futility.

Small Estate Administration:

Once a loved one has passed on, it becomes necessary to distribute his or her estate. The first step in estate distribution is opening an estate with the court. This requires filing a petition with the court to receive the necessary testamentary letters, appointing an executor/executrix, and notifying potential creditors. Allow our firm to assist you in this legal process and make you grief just a little easier.