Seven Common Questions About Filing for Divorce in Indiana
- Is Indiana a “no-fault” divorce state? Yes, it is. However, the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage must declare the grounds upon which the dissolution is being sought. In most cases, it will simply be declared that there is an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.” However, other legal grounds may also apply, such as a felony conviction of either party or “incurable insanity” for a period of at least two years.
- When can I file for a divorce in Indiana? In order to file for a divorce in Indiana, at least one party in the marriage must have been a resident of the state of Indiana for at least six months immediately prior to the filing. If you moved to Indiana less than six months ago, you must file in the state of your prior residence.
- What do I do if I want a divorce but my spouse does not? The first step in seeking a divorce in Indiana is to file your Petition of Dissolution. The court will then attempt to serve divorce papers to your spouse. If your spouse cannot be located or refuses to accept the papers, you can petition the court to place a public notice in the local newspaper. If your spouse still does not respond, you will be able to proceed with divorce proceedings, even if your spouse claims to not have been notified.
- How much does a divorce cost? This is not an easy question to answer. Divorce cost will vary widely based on the complexity of your legal situation, whether or not you own property with your spouse, if you have children and how amicable both parties are. Most divorce attorneys will offer you a free consultation. Take advantage of this and be honest and forthcoming with your potential divorce attorney about your whole situation. He or she is a professional, is on your side and will listen without judgement.
- Do I have to go to court in Indiana to get a divorce? If you and your spouse are not in complete agreement on the terms of the divorce (which is often the case), you will likely be ordered to try mediation first. If you’re able to come together on everything during mediation, or your spouse is not contesting any of your terms, you can avoid a hearing in court altogether. However, if there are outstanding issues that must be resolved, you’ll need to go to court to get them settled prior to a Decree of Dissolution being issued.
- How long does it take to get a divorce in Indiana? After you file a Petition of Dissolution in Indiana, a 60-day waiting period begins. At the end of the waiting period, the final hearing can occur. However, depending on the court’s schedule and whether or not you still have outstanding issues to resolve with your spouse, it could take several more months, or longer, for your divorce to be final. Every case if different.
- Do I need to hire a divorce attorney, or can I file myself? You absolutely need a divorce attorney. Divorce and family law is complex, and you need to protect yourself. Your home, your children (if you have them) and all your marital assets are on the line. While you may feel that you and your spouse are on amicable terms and don’t need attorneys at the outset, things can quickly change as emotions start to run high. It’s imperative that you have an experienced, compassionate and dedicated attorney by your side to protect your interests.
Going through a divorce is emotional and stressful. You should never try to face it alone. In addition to a support network of family and friends, make sure you have a trusted advisor and advocate. Find a divorce attorney who will work to protect your interests and ensure a fair and expedient settlement of your case so you can move on with your life as soon as possible.About Miller Law
Zach Miller is a private practice attorney in Brownstown, Indiana who serves southwestern and central Indiana communities including Indianapolis, Seymour, Bloomington, Columbus and Jeffersonville and other cities and towns throughout Jackson County. Zach serves clients in family law and personal injury cases as well as other areas, including criminal law, probate law, business litigation, real estate law and general legal counsel. Zach prides himself on creating personal relationships with his clients and delivering one-on-one service. He lives and works in the community he serves. Keep up with the latest news from Zach by subscribing to his newsletter.