Clarissa Finnell

Clarissa Finnell

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

Q. I have my daughter back with me but I still got sent a court date , do I still have to attend if I use my parental righs
A: If you have received an order to appear in court, then you need to appear at the time and place indicated on the order. I recommend that you consult with an attorney to review the paperwork and advise you on issues being presented at the hearing.
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. My 18 yr old daughter gets married tomorrow. Am I obligated to continue paying child support? If not, how do I stop it?
A: Child support in Indiana terminates by operation of law when a child turns 19. However, there are circumstances under which you can emancipate your child prior to age 19. Marriage qualifies as grounds for emancipation. However, you cannot simply stop paying support but rather need to file petition with court asking that support terminate due to your child's emancipation. I suggest you consult with an attorney to review all the facts of your particular case.
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. If we have joint legal custody of our child can she file for sole custody if I have a domestic
A: Child custody is always modifiable if there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the last order of the court. It would be your ex-wife's burden to show the substantial change. Joint legal custody means that you and your ex-wife are to make major decisions about your daughter's upbringing. The impact of having a domestic batter charge against you would really depend on how that impacts you ability to make decisions jointly with your ex and in the best interest of your child. Your employment status would not likely impact legal custody. However, it is best to discuss all the facts of your case with a competent family law attorney.
Q. What happens in a provisional order or in a initial hearing for divorce
A: The purpose of the provisional hearing is to issue temporary orders to follow while your divorce is pending. These orders may include: custody, parenting time, child support, spousal maintenance, possession of the marital residence and payment of financial obligations. It will not include a final division of assets or debts or be a final determination of custody, support, parenting time spousal maintenance.
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. My daughter just turned 19 on Oct 30. Do I have to go to court to stop paying my child support in Columbus , IN
A: Child support in Indiana terminates at age 19. You do not need a court order to terminate support at age 19. However, if your support is being paid by wage withholding; you may need an order to terminate the withholding order. Also, if your support was not current as of the date your child turned 19; you are still obligated to pay any back support that may be due.
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520 Indiana Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Telephone: (317) 262-1000