Practice Areas

Experienced family law attorney in the Indianapolis area

Unlike other law firms, the Law Office of Melinda O'Dell deals exclusively with family law matters.  Melinda O'Dell puts her 15 years of family law experience to work to achieve one goal — divorce with dignity. 

The Law Office of Melinda O'Dell represents clients in a wide range of family law cases — from simple and straightforward matters to the most delicate and complex issues.  Melinda O'Dell helps clients with all kinds of family concerns, including the following:

Divorce

Melinda O'Dell represents families in Indiana in both contested and uncontested divorces, and she tailors her approach around each client's individual needs.  When it is time to dissolve your marriage, she explains the laws related to custody, support and the division of property and debt.  She helps assemble the facts needed to determine the best course of action for you.  This includes the most effective solutions to address the financial repercussions of divorce and the best way to positively co-parent with your former spouse.

Child custody and visitation

Melinda O'Dell represents both mothers and fathers—as well grandparents and other third parties—in child custody and visitation matters. Trained as a parenting coordinator, she deals with the custodial arrangements and visitation — or parenting time — each parent has with the children.  She does not focus on unproductive labels like "physical custody."  Instead, she finds the reasons and realties that are at the root of your issues.  Once these underlying issues are identified, she works with you — and with the other party, if possible — to find a solution that is in the children's best interests.

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Child support

Indiana child support laws have changed so much over the years that parents are confused about how child support works and what amount is fair for them to expect or to pay.  Confusion over child support often leads to anger, frustration and ultimately conflict between the parents.  Melinda O'Dell takes the mystery out of the child support laws.  She explains what the laws are and how they apply to your situation. She also helps make sense of the laws related to college contributions, child emancipation and termination of child support.

Paternity

Some rules are different when a child's parents are not married.  Melinda O'Dell makes sure that you understand those rules, whether you are a mother or father who is not married to the other parent.

Modification of prior orders

Sometimes circumstances change and the agreement or order establishing the parties' obligations no longer works for you or your children.  Modification of an order may be required in many instances.  For example, your children's needs may have changed because they have gotten older, or one of the parents may work new hours, may have gotten married or may have some other life change that requires modification.  Melinda O'Dell ensures that any required modification is accurately reflected in a newly negotiated agreement or order filed with the court.

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Relocation

Under Indiana law, parents of children under the jurisdiction of the courts must file a specific notice before they move.  If you are looking to relocate, Melinda O'Dell discusses how to comply with the law and attempts to resolve any necessary changes to the parenting schedule with the other parent.  If the other parent is looking to relocate, she explains what information the other parent must disclose before relocating and attempts to negotiate the best resolution to any disputes over custody or parenting time.

Adoptions

Melinda O'Dell is there to help when a stepparent is ready to take on the role of a biological parent.  She explains the required steps for adoption, including properly notifying the necessary parties, completing all the required forms and arranging for home studies.  She also negotiates and prepares any required post-adoption visitation contracts.

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Guardianships

Increasingly restrictive privacy laws have made it even more important for third-party custodians, relatives taking care of other people's children or parents of dependent adult children to get court orders that are recognized and honored by healthcare providers and schools.  Melinda O'Dell initiates guardianship proceedings for you and your dependent family members.  Having been trained as a guardian ad litem, she also helps you understand your rights and responsibilities as a legal guardian.

Protective orders

If you fear for your safety or the safety of your family members due to the actions of an intimate partner or former intimate partner, Melinda O'Dell seeks legal protection from further harassment through the courts.  We assist you with all the paperwork to ensure that your application is properly filed and that proper notice is given to the defending party.  We also represent you in any hearings requested by the defending party or required by the facts of your case.

Appeals

You may appeal from the court's decision if you believe that an error of law or fact has occurred in the trial of your case.  When it comes to appeals, Melinda O'Dell represents both clients who she has represented at trial and clients who were represented by other attorneys or who represented themselves at trial.  The timeframes for appeals are very strict, so it is important to get advice as quickly as possible to preserve your right to appeal.  Melinda O'Dell explains the appellate process to you, reviews the facts that were presented at trial and gives you a realistic expectation of the result.  She fully researches the applicable law and drafts a brief that advocates for your position and requests an appeal.

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Contact us for compassionate support and assistance

When you are ready to tackle a difficult family law issue in your life, or when another party has brought a legal action affecting your family, the Law Office of Melinda O'Dell is here to help.  Call us at 317-834-9800 or contact us online to arrange for a private, confidential consultation.