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Clarissa Finnell

Clarissa Finnell

Schultz & Pogue LLP
  • Divorce, Family Law, Arbitration & Mediation
  • Indiana
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Summary

Clarissa Finnell is an attorney in Schultz & Pogue's Family Law Practice Group. Ms. Finnell practices exclusively in the area of family law, representing clients with cases including legal separation, divorce, child support, child custody, paternity, parenting time, modification and contempt issues. She also represents clients in stepparent adoption and guardianship matters.

She has been practicing for nineteen (19) years and has extensive litigation experience managing heavy volume caseloads in complex, contested family law matters. In addition to her work as a divorce and custody litigator, Ms. Finnell is a trained collaborative attorney and can assist clients who are seeking to resolve their family law cases without going to court.

Ms. Finnell is a graduate of Indiana University, where she completed her undergraduate degree in criminal justice before earning her Juris Doctor from IU's School of Law-Indianapolis in 1997. For eight years, Ms. Finnell worked for the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society and was with another Indianapolis area family law firm where she represented clients primarily in divorce, custody and paternity cases involving father's rights. Ms. Finnell is also a Registered Domestic Mediator.

A member of the Indianapolis Bar Association, Hamilton County Bar Association, Indiana State Bar Associationa and American Bar Association.Ms. Finnell also sits as judge pro tempore for the Marion County Circuit Court-Paternity Division, usually hearing cases involving child support enforcement and paternity matters. In 2011 and 2012, Ms. Finnell was named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers magazine, an honor for attorneys under 40 that lists her as one of the top up-and-coming attorneys in Indiana.

In addition to her legal practice, Ms. Finnell volunteers her time to various pro bono and legal services including the IBA's Ask a Lawyer and "Legal Line" programs.

Practice Areas
  • Divorce
  • Family Law
  • Arbitration & Mediation
Additional Practice Areas
  • Collaborative Law
  • Registered Domestic Relations Mediator
  • Parenting Coordinator
  • Guardian Ad Litem
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Indiana
Languages
  • English
Professional Experience
Of Counsel
Schultz & Pogue LLP
- Current
Partner
Harden Jackson Law
-
Associate
Jocham Harden Dimick Jackson
-
Senior Attorney
Cordell & Cordell
-
Staff Attorney
Indianapolis Legal Aid Society
-
Education
Indiana University
undergraduate degree | criminal justice
Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
J.D.
Awards
Rising Star
Super Lawyers
2011 and 2012
Professional Associations
American Bar Association
Member
Current
Central Indiana Association of Collaborative Professionals
Member
Current
Indianapolis Bar Association
Member
Current
Activities: ADR Executive Committee Member
Hamilton County Bar Association
Member
Current
Indiana State Bar
Member
Current
Activities: Member Public Relations Committee
Collaborative Solutions Practice Group
Member
- Current
Boone County Bar Association
Member
- Current
International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
Member
- Current
Websites & Blogs
Website
Schultz & Pogue, LLP
Website
Collaborative Solutions
Legal Answers
23 Questions Answered

Q. I am filing pro se divorce do I need to list my house and car since I owned them before I was Married
A: All property owned at the time you file for divorce is included in the marital estate. It is included no matter how it is titled or when it was purchased. When dividing marital assets the court can consider value of assets brought into the marriage. There are many factors that may impact how the marital estate may be divided. I recommend that you consult an attorney who practices family law to discuss what factors may apply in your particular case.
Q. State of Indiana
A: Child support terminates in Indiana at age 19 unless you have a disabled child. If your support is being paid by income withholding you may need an order from the court to terminate the withholding order when your child turns 19. I recommend consulting with a family law attorney in you area to review the facts of your particular case. If you owe back support, then you cannot merely stop paying support when your child turns 19. Also, payment of college expenses can extend past the age of 19.
Q. If mother has sole physical and legal custody, and father has visitation, can she move across town ~25 miles?
A: If a parent wishes to relocate, the non-relocating parent is required to file a notice of intent to relocate with the court and serve the notice on the non-relocating parent. This applies to both the custodial and non-custodial parent. The requirement to file this notice applies to ALL relocations no matter the distance moved. If the non-relocating parent objects to the relocation they may file their objection with the court. The relocating parent has the burden of proving that the relocation is being done in good faith and for legitimate purpose. If the relocating parent meets this burden, then the non-relocating parent has burden of showing that the relocation is not the child's best interest. Relocation cases are vey fact sensitive. If you wish to object to a relocation, you should consult an attorney to evaluate your case. There are also time limits for filing an objection or you will waive your right to do so.
Q. Is there a way I can find out if child support payments are behind in payment without going through my attorney?
A: If payments are made via the County Clerk, then you should be able to obtain a record of all payments made from the Lake County Child Support Clerk. Then you would simply subtract payments made from total payments due to determine if any back support is due.
Q. What are the chances my daughters father would get more than joint legal custody after 7 years?
A: It is unclear from your question as to whether you are truly asking about legal custody (decision-making power) or physical custody (where the child resides). If you have joint legal custody with the father of your child that means that you both are to make major decisions jointly with respect to religious upbringing, medical treatment and education. If you have joint physical custody, it means your child spend roughly equal time with both of you. Assuming your daughter's father has asked to modify either legal or physical custody, he will have the burden of proving that there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the court's last order regarding custody and that the change he is requesting is in your daughter's best interest.
Q. I am told that visitation is the child's right. And is not situational on child support payments is that true.
A: I believe you are asking if parenting time (visitation) is contingent on payment of child support then the answer is "no". Child support and parenting time are both viewed by the court separately. Non-payment of support will never justify the withholding of parenting time. Nor can you stop paying child support if the custodial parent withholds parenting time.
Q. Can I change my visitation schedule?
A: Child related provisions are always modifiable. In order to modify the existing order, you would have the burden of proving there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the last order of the court warranting change you are requesting. I recommend that you have a family law attorney review your Decree and facts of your case to assist you in determining possible outcomes of a modification.
Q. Am I entitled to my husbands 401k/pension even though he had it prior to our marriage?
A: In Indiana all property owned by the parties at the time of legal separation (time divorce is filed) is included in the marital estate. As long as pension and or 401(k) are vested they will be included in the marital estate. However, your husband may argue to deviate from the presumptive 50/50 division of marital assets based upon fact that some or part of his pension were brought into the marriage. There are several factors the court considers that may lead to a deviation from a 50/50 division. I recommend you seek the advice of a family law attorney to review all the factors that may determine how your marital estate is divided.
Q. Does my child have to be in school for me to recieve child support
A: Child support can be ordered from birth until a child turns 19 years of age or is otherwise emancipated. There are circumstances under which an 18 year old may be emancipated for child support purposes if not in school or enrolled to be in school. If you believe your child may qualify for emancipation, contact a family law attorney to review the specific facts of your case.
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520 Indiana Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46202
USA
Telephone: (317) 262-1000