While the process of obtaining a divorce may seem overwhelming, Indiana is a no-fault divorce state, which streamlines matters somewhat. Knowing what to expect as your case unfolds can ease your mind and help you navigate through court proceedings. Let’s get started.
To file for divorce in Indiana, you and/or your spouse must be a resident of the state of Indiana for at least six months. If neither of you has been living in Indiana for at least six months, you will need to wait until this minimum residency requirement has been met prior to filing.
Additionally, either you or your spouse should be a resident of the county where you plan to file, and you should have lived there for at least three months. While it is possible to file for divorce without living in a certain county for the minimum time period, the court has the option of transferring or even dismissing your case if your spouse objects to the divorce.
Once you file for divorce, you and/or your spouse may move out of the county where you filed, and you may also move out of state before the divorce has been finalized. The court will still be able to finalize the divorce on your behalf.
Even if you haven’t been living in the state or county for the minimum amount of time required by law, you can still obtain assistance from law enforcement officials and/or the court system if you need child support or an Order of Protection in cases where abuse may occur.
Because Indiana is a no-fault divorce state, neither party has to prove wrongdoing on the other person’s part. Either party may simply state that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Circumstances such as abandonment, abuse, and/or adultery are taken into consideration by the court when deciding on issues such as child custody, child support, spousal support, and the equitable division of property and debt.
If you have an attorney, he or she will help you with all aspects of filing for divorce or responding to a petition for divorce.
If you are planning to file for divorce on your own, you may obtain the necessary forms at the county courthouse. Indiana offers online divorce forms as well. There are four different sets of divorce forms from which to choose, so be sure to select the right one:
All four sets of court documents come with specific instructions for determining whether you have selected the correct packet for your case, as well as for filling out divorce papers and filing them with the court.
The basic steps for filing your own divorce in Indiana are similar in all divorce types:
There is a 60 day waiting period before the divorce can be finalized. In Indiana, divorce is finalized after 60 days have passed and you have reached an agreement with your spouse or the court has made a decision during a final hearing.
Since court officials may not provide you with any advice about your case, it is a very good idea to consult with an attorney before you begin the process of filing for a divorce in Indiana.
While it is of course possible to file for a divorce on your own, there are some circumstances when it is even more important to seek legal assistance:
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Legal Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice on any subject matter. Consult with an attorney for more information regarding your individual situation.
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