Divorce In Indiana: The Basics

What steps are involved in obtaining a divorce?

Indiana has adopted the “no-fault” divorce which means the usual ground to obtain a divorce is to show the court the marriage has suffered an irretrievable breakdown that is not likely to be reconciled.

Prior to filing for divorce in Indiana, you must be a resident of the State of Indiana for at least six months prior to filing for divorce.  Divorce is called Dissolution of Marriage in Indiana.  A Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed (by you or your lawyer).  The Petition for Dissolution of Marriage asks the Court to dissolve the marriage and to provide for support (maintenance and/or child support in the event there are children of the marriage), parenting time (in the event there are children of the marriage), property division, and in some cases, attorney’s fees.  Notice of the filing of the
Dissolution Petition must be given and can be done via Sheriff or certified mail unless your spouse agrees to waive formal service.

In some cases a provisional hearing is requested.  At the provisional hearing, or in a provisional agreement if one is reached prior to the hearing, preliminary matters are decided, such as who lives where, who pays what bills, who has temporary custody of any children, and who pays what in support during the pendency of the action. 

Indiana has a sixty day cooling off period which means the Indiana court cannot grant a divorce until at least 60 days have passed following the date the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage was filed.  However, keep in mind, that the declaration of divorce by the court is only one part of the process.  Issues such as child custody, child support, division of property, and maintenance must also be resolved either through negotiation, mediation, or through the Court.

A Dissolution of Marriage can be based on an agreement reached between the parties, which is then approved and ordered by the Court, or result from a trial. 

When you need experienced counsel to ensure your best interests are protected, contact us at Fillenwarth & Stolle.

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