Blog

  • Your Child's Special Education Rights

    || 19-Sep-2017

    A Free Seminar for Parents The laws which apply to disabled students in public schools can be complex and confusing, but many parents cannot afford to consult an attorney for advice. Please join us for a free, informal discussion of the rights of students with special needs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Indiana’s Article 7. Topics include: Evaluations IEPs ...
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  • Autism Parent Meeting this Thursday

    || 18-Sep-2017

    by Tom Blessing Special Education Attorney with Hollingsworth & Zivitz tblessing@hzlegal.com TACA (Talk About Curing Autism) is holding its monthly Coffee Talk this Thursday evening in Nora from 7-9 p.m. Look forward to seeing you there! September 21 | 2017 Equal Participation: Please contact TACA if you will require an accommodation to participate. Join us on our TACA Indiana Facebook page! ...
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  • Answers for Autism Family Fun Festival this Saturday

    || 15-Sep-2017

    by Tom Blessing Special Education Attorney with Hollingsworth & Zivitz tblessing@hzlegal.com Many of the children I represent in my special education law practice have autism, so I’m a big supporter of the non-profits who do such important work to help families who cope with autism every day. Tomorrow, Answers for Autism is having its family festival (formerly walk) in Carmel—less ...
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  • Celebrity Break Ups Highlight Potential Financial Disasters in Divorce

    || 6-Sep-2017

    Chris Pratt and Anna Faris’ recent announcement to separate after 8 years of marriage raises the potential financial disaster they, and similar high-income earning couples could face when separating without a pre-nuptial agreement. While it’s unclear whether the couple had a prenuptial agreement, Pratt is one of Hollywood’s highest paid actors and Faris reportedly makes $125,000 ...
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  • LittleStar Annual Fundraising Breakfast

    || 6-Sep-2017

    by Tom Blessing Special Education Attorney with Hollingsworth & Zivitz Office: 317/569-2200 Cell: 317/417-0809 tblessing@hzlegal.com By far the most common diagnosis I see in my special education practice is autism, so this wonderful non-profit is especially close to my heart. Celebrating its 15 th year and based right here in Carmel, LittleStar ABA Therapy (formerly Little Star Center) is ...
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  • By Thomas Blessing Special Education Attorney with Hollingsworth & Zivitz tblessing@hzlegal.com In my special education practice, I represent students with a variety of disabilities. By far the most common diagnosis I see is autism. An estimated 1 in 68 children is on the spectrum, creating tremendous demand for resources. Unfortunately, most public school districts do not provide the level of ...
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  • Special Needs Expo

    || 1-Sep-2017

    by Tom Blessing Special Education Attorney with Hollingsworth & Zivitz tblessing@hzlegal.com In my special education practice, I get to meet lots of terrific providers and volunteers who serve the special needs community. Our friends at FUSE (Families United for Support and Encouragement) are hosting their first Inspiring Abilities Expo in Shelby County. Sponsorship deadline is Friday, ...
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  • How to Get Your Child a Better IEP

    || 1-Sep-2017

    by Tom Blessing Special Education Attorney with Hollingsworth & Zivitz tblessing@hzlegal.com Parents with a child in special education are familiar with an Individualized Education Program (IEP). This is basically a contract—a legally binding document which sets forth the needs, goals, services and accommodations which your child is entitled to receive (and the school is obligated to ...
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  • Save The Date: Autism Speaks Walk September 9

    || 21-Aug-2017

    By Thomas Blessing Special Education Attorney with Hollingsworth & Zivitz tblessing@hzlegal.com In my special education practice, I represent students with a variety of disabilities. By far the most common diagnosis I see is autism. An estimated 1 in 68 children is on the spectrum, creating tremendous demand for resources. Unfortunately, most public school districts do not provide the level of ...
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  • Special Needs Carnival

    || 14-Aug-2017

    By Thomas Blessing Special Education Attorney with Hollingsworth & Zivitz tblessing@hzlegal.com Each year as part of its Fall Festival, the Zionsville Lions Club hosts a free "VIP Carnival" for kids of all ages who have special needs, their families and caregivers. I know how challenging it is to find activities for children with special needs and this is a wonderful opportunity for ...
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  • New Law Allows Victims of Domestic Abuse Access to Phone Plans, Pets Now Also Protected

    || 11-Aug-2017

    Beginning July 1, 2017, a new Indiana law will allow judges to approve the transfer of phone plans over to victims of domestic violence without an account holder’s consent. The hope is that by allowing victims of domestic violence to keep in touch with their support system, victims can make a clean break from an abusive relationship. Until now, the issue of phone plans was never addressed ...
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  • Should Your Child Be Tested by a School Psychologist?

    || 7-Aug-2017

    By Tom Blessing Special Education Attorney with Hollingsworth & Zivitz tblessing@hzlegal.com Is your child struggling in school? If you suspect your child may have a learning disability or behavior problem, it’s a good idea to have him evaluated by a psychologist who specializes in educational evaluations. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), there are generally ...
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  • Public Persona Causes Radio Host to Lose Child-Custody Case

    || 7-Jul-2017

    Can your public image affect the outcome of your child custody case? The short answer is yes—your image matters. For many, an issue of a public persona versus what actually goes on in your daily life isn’t a concern. For those like radio host Alex Jones, best known for his opinionated personality and conspiracy theories behind The Alex Jones Show, as well as the internet news website ...
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  • Same-Sex Couples May Lose Parental Rights Case

    || 3-Jul-2017

    In 2015, eight same-sex couples filed lawsuits against the State of Indiana challenging laws that only allow a birth mother, rather than two mothers, to be listed as a parent on a child’s birth certificate. In light of the landmark ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges that made same-sex marriages legal, federal Judge Tanya Walton Pratt found Indiana’s law that requires a same-sex spouse to ...
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  • Indiana Will Dish Out $25M to Settle DCS Case

    || 28-Jun-2017

    After over a decade-long legal battle, the Finnegan family finally has a clear name and a little peace of mind. In 2015, the Pulaski County Department of Child Services was found to have falsely prosecuted the Finnegans for their daughter’s death and a federal jury awarded the family $31.3 million in damages. Although the State initially appealed the verdict, Indiana has agreed to pay the ...
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  • DIVORCE - WHAT TO EXPECT: I've Filed for Divorce, Now What?

    || 22-Jun-2017

    If you’re contemplating filing for divorce, you may be wondering, “What happens next?” Taking that first step can be scary, can leave you feeling sad, can sometimes even offer forms of relief, but often it just leaves a sense of anxiety because of the unknown. If you take out all the different complexities that can convolute each individual divorce, the legal process itself can ...
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  • SCOTUS Rules Spouse Can't Have Access to Veteran's Disability Benefits

    || 30-May-2017

    Can a State increase the amount a divorced spouse receives each month from a veteran’s retirement pay to indemnify a divorced spouse for the loss caused by a veteran’s waiver to elect disability benefits? Quite simply put, the Supreme Court of the United States says, “no”. Why is this important? Because it impacts the amount of money a divorcing spouse can be awarded from a ...
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  • COA Reverses Dissolution Decree Imputing Potential Income to Mother

    || 27-Apr-2017

    Originally published on TheIndianaLawyer.com: A divided Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the terms of a marriage dissolution decree, finding the trial court erred in imputing potential income to the mother based on the fact that she should now be able to work full-time because her children are older. In Karen B. Salser v. Gregg A. Salser, 02A03-1606-DR-1308, Karen Salser was a part-time ...
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  • 8 Practical Steps to Prepare for Divorce

    || 12-Apr-2017

    Going through a divorce can be messy, both financially and emotionally, so doing everything you can to prepare for the process can help save you and your family unnecessary stress and hassle. Follow these steps to take stock of your finances, know which steps you need to take to move forward and make the divorce as quick and painless as possible. 1. Gather Financial Records Take stock of your ...
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  • How to Get a Divorce in Indiana

    || 23-Jan-2017

    Any type of divorce within the state of Indiana is referred to as a “dissolution of marriage”. When going through a divorce, couples typically choose to file for a no-fault divorce since it does not require either spouse to divulge the reasons why they are choosing to end the marriage. Fault-based complaints in Indiana provide three grounds – insanity, impotence, or felony ...
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  • Call 6: Mom settles lawsuit with district over allegations they abused special needs student

    || 17-Jan-2017

    Hollingsworth & Zivitz attorney Thomas Blessing featured in RTV6 coverage of a lawsuit involving a Jasper County mother's lawsuit against a public school district in which she accused them of repeatedly neglecting and abusing her son with special needs: Call 6: Mom settles lawsuit with district over allegations they abused special needs student
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  • Divorces Spike in March and August, New Study Reveals

    || 31-Aug-2016

    Many people dislike the month of August for its hot and humid weather. To some, it is an especially bitter time of year for another reason – divorce. According to a new study conducted by the University of Washington’s Brian Serafini and Julie Brines, divorce rates tend to spike on a seasonal basis during the months of March and August. Derived by studying divorce filings in the state ...
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  • Estate Planning Checklist for New and Expecting Parents

    || 26-Aug-2016

    Congratulations on your bundle of joy! At Hollingsworth & Zivitz, we hope for nothing but the best for you and your family. As such, we feel there are few things you should do whether you’re just starting a family or adding to it. The following tips will help ensure your family is protected and provided for in case the worst comes true. Draft a Will This should be the first item on your ...
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  • Eleven Reasons You Should Have an Estate Plan

    || 1-Aug-2016

    1. Avoiding Intestacy The main reason you should have an estate plan is ensuring your assets are distributed according to your wishes. If no plan exists when you die, your assets are distributed by the rules of intestacy. These rules can cause unwelcomed surprises for beneficiaries expecting an inheritance, and result in distributions contrary to your wishes. Many people intend for everything to ...
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  • Your Rights as a Taxpayer

    || 26-Jul-2016

    While many people are aware of the Bill of Rights contained in the United States Constitution, very few people are aware that the Internal Revenue Service has adopted its own Bill of Rights for any and all United States taxpayers titled The Taxpayer Bill of Rights. These rights were formulated from pre-existing rights in multiple sections of the federal tax code. In an effort to make these rights ...
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