Clarissa Finnell

Clarissa Finnell

Schultz & Pogue LLP
  • Divorce, Family Law, Arbitration & Mediation
  • Indiana
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&ASocial Media

Clarissa Finnell is an attorney with Schultz & Pogue. 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 twenty-two (22) 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, Boone County Bar Association, Hamilton County Bar Association, and Indiana State 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
Placeholder image for jurisdictions.
  • 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
Placeholder image for education.
Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Logo
Rising Star
Super Lawyers
2011 and 2012
Professional Associations
American Bar Association
Placeholder image for professional associations.
Central Indiana Association of Collaborative Professionals
Placeholder image for professional associations.
Indianapolis Bar Association
Activities: ADR Executive Committee Member
Placeholder image for professional associations.
Hamilton County Bar Association
Placeholder image for professional associations.
Indiana State Bar
Activities: Member Public Relations Committee
Placeholder image for professional associations.
Collaborative Solutions Practice Group
- Current
Placeholder image for professional associations.
Boone County Bar Association
- Current
Placeholder image for professional associations.
International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
- Current
Placeholder image for professional associations.
Websites & Blogs
Schultz & Pogue, LLP
Collaborative Solutions
Legal Answers
24 Questions Answered

Q. In the state of indiana do you have to fill out a financial worksheet for support even if you are doing joint custody?
A: If you are asking if you will be required to file a child support worksheet in cases where you share joint physical custody then the answer is most likely "yes". It is not necessarily the case that neither party pays support when they share equal time with their children. Indiana utilizes an income share model to determine each parent's support obligation. If parties have fairly equal income and equal time, then the recommended support may be $0 or close to $0. However, if one party has higher income than the other party there may be a support obligation even if you share time. Even if both parents agree that neither will pay support to the other, the court will still want to see what the recommended support obligation is for each parent. If it is recommended that one parent pay the other and the parties still wish for a $0 support order, they will need to demonstrate why a deviation is in the child's best interest. Support is not for the benefit of the parent receiving it but for the benefit of the child. Therefore, a parent cannot simply waive support as it is not their money to waive.
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.
Click here to see all answers
Contact & Map
520 Indiana Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Telephone: (317) 262-1000