Ziemer Law Blog

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Creating a Medical Authorization Form for Your Child and Caregivers

4021819172_a0be315438_zAs much as you hate to think about it, you know that a medical emergency or serious injury can strike one of your children at any time. You also understand that laws designed to protect parental rights and ensure children’s safety require a mother, father, or legal guardian to approve health care procedures for youngsters.

Medical Consent Letter for Grandparents

Ensuring your child gets seen at a walk-in clinic or hospital emergency department even when you cannot be there can require officially designating another adult as a temporary health care decision maker. This does not go so far as transferring power of attorney or surrendering custody. All that leaving a signed child medical care authorization form with a grandparents, babysitter, coach, or day care provider does is prevent delays in health care delivery.

Be aware that your child will never be denied lifesaving care. Federal and Indiana state laws require doctors and EMTs to treat anyone who is at risk for dying until, at a minimum, the person is stabilized. Designating someone to approve medical treatment in your absence becomes necessary when the problem involves something like setting a broken bone, stitching up a cut, or administering medications to reduce a fever or curb nausea. None of those conditions are life-threatening, but leaving any untreated prolongs a child’s suffering. (more…)

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Post-Secondary Educational Expenses

black-and-white-restaurant-eating-sittingUnlike many other state courts, Indiana courts can require a parent or parents to pay for at least a portion of their children’s post-secondary educational expenses. The expenses may include college or technical school tuition, room and board, books, travel expenses, and other living expenses. Pursuant to Indiana law, children and/or parents must file a petition with the court requesting these contributions before the child turns 19. If this request is not made to the court before the child turns 19, the child and the parents will lose their ability to seek such court ordered contributions.

This area of the law is still developing and there is no exact formula that the courts must follow in order to grant a petition for contribution to post-secondary education. Before July 2012, if the court granted such a petition, the courts’ presumptive ruling would order each party (mother, father and child) to contribute one-third (⅓) of the post-secondary educational expenses. Sometimes, the court would cap this total amount at the full cost of a child attending a major instate college like Indiana University or Purdue University.

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The Age of Emancipation in Indiana Child Support Law

Emancipation IN Child SupportThe age of emancipation is one of the most misunderstood topics in Indiana child support law among parents. After children are emancipated, child support stops. When exactly does child support stop? Some believe that emancipation is triggered when a child turns 18 years old (which is common in many other states). Others believe emancipation is triggered when a child turns 19 years old (which is the current Indiana law), while some still assume that the age of emancipation is when a child turns 21 years old (which is the prior Indiana law).

Since July 1, 2012, Indiana children are emancipated in regards to child support when they turn 19.

Before July 1, 2012, children were emancipated at the age of 21. Now, if you are a parent who pays child support, you may file a motion with the court to stop your child support payment after your child turns 19 years old. No matter whether you have one child or multiple children for whom you are paying child support, you can file a motion on behalf of all of your children that are over 19 years old. (more…)