Monday, December 3, 2007

New Family Law Cases

Last week, the Indiana Supreme Court handed down an opinion on health insurance for children in college and over 21 years of age and the Court of Appeals handed down an opinion on reimbursement of of medical expenses in paternity cases. Not having had time to read the cases in full but wanting to get the news out, I am relying on the following from the Indiana Lawyer:

Child support can include medical costs:

"Parents can be ordered to pay medical expenses for college students as part of child support obligations, even past age 21, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today."

All five justices agreed in Michael Cubel v. Debra Cubel, 32S04-0707-CV-283, which is authored by Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard and involves two conflicting rulings from the state's appellate court on this issue.

Unwed father must reimburse Medicaid:

"An order for an unwed father to pay back Medicaid at least 50 percent of birthing expenses for the mother and baby does not violate the father's rights under the U.S. Constitution, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled."

In In the Matter of the Paternity of A.R.S.A.; Alberto S. Meneses v. Rudit A. Legunes, 79A04-0706-JV-323, Meneses appealed the trial court order that he has to pay Medicaid 50 percent of the birthing expenses incurred during the birth of his son. Meneses is not married to the mother, Legunes, but does live with her.

Meneses argues that Indiana Code 31-14-17-1 only pertains to the reimbursement of the mother's medical expenses, not the expenses of the infant. He also argues his rights are being violated under the Equal Protection Clause and Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment, contending that married fathers are not required to reimburse expenses to Medicaid and the court never allowed him an opportunity to show if he could pay the amount ordered in the judgment.

Details as soon as possible.

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