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Divorce in Indiana
If you're thinking about filing for divorce in Indiana, it's useful to understand the divorce process and the state's legal requirements. This article explains what you can expect when divorcing in Indiana and guides you through the process of hiring an Indiana divorce attorney.
The Basics of Filing for Divorce in Indiana
Indiana Residency Requirements: Indiana law requires either you or your spouse be a state resident for at least six months prior to filing for divorce. You'll also need to reside in the county in which you're filing for at least three months. (Members of the military can file for divorce in Indiana after they've been stationed in the state for at least six months.)
Filing for Divorce: To officially begin the divorce process, your Indiana divorce lawyer or your spouse's lawyer will file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the county trial court and pay a filing fee. Your divorce can be finalized in as few as 60 days after filing.
Grounds for Divorce in Indiana: Indiana offers what is known as a "no-fault" divorce, meaning neither spouse is to blame for the end of the marriage. In your divorce petition, you'll need to provide a reason (known as "grounds") for your split. Typically you would state that the marriage is "irretrievably broken," but impotence at the time of the marriage, a felony conviction after the marriage and long-lasting mental illness are also acceptable grounds for divorce.
Dividing Property and Debt: In Indiana, a couple's property and debt should be split "equitably," but that doesn't necessarily mean the property is divided evenly. No trial is necessary if you and your spouse have come to an agreement on how your property and debt will be divided. If you and your spouse, with the help of your Indiana divorce lawyers, are unable to reach agreement, you'll have to appear at a hearing before a judge, who will make a decision for you.
Alimony in Indiana: The divorce court may order one spouse to pay alimony (also known as "maintenance") to the other spouse. Maintenance is intended to help a spouse who is unable to work or needs to return to school or develop skills before he or she can get a job and earn an income.
Learn more about some other frequently asked questions about divorce in Indiana.
Indiana Child Custody & Child Support
- Legal custody refers to which parent has authority to make major life decisions on the child's behalf.
- Physical custody refers to where the child lives.
Parents may have sole custody or joint custody, meaning custody is shared by both parents. If one parent has sole physical custody, the other parent is typically awarded visitation (known as "parenting time" in Indiana). In determining physical and legal custody, the judge will try to determine what is in the best interests of the child or children.
Indiana Child Support: Child support is calcuated based on each parent's monthly income, the child's typical expenses and how much time the child spends with each parent. After the court awards child support, it can be modified if either parent has a significant change in finances or if the child's typical expenses change dramatically.
Things to Consider When Hiring an Indiana Divorce Attorney
Before hiring an Indiana divorce lawyer, you should schedule a brief meeting (known as an "initial consultation") to become better acquainted with the attorney and decide if you want to hire him or her. Most lawyers offer these meetings free of charge.
Come to the meeting with writing materials and a list of questions you'd like to ask the attorney. These questions should focus on things that are important to you when making a hiring decision. For example, many people will ask about the lawyer's education, experience handling divorce cases in Indiana, working style and approach to representing divorce clients, and cost.
Find & Hire Indiana Divorce Lawyers
If you're ready to hire an Indiana divorce lawyer, Attorneys.com can connect you with lawyers in your area. To use our free service, fill out the form on this page or call us at 877-913-7222. We'll ask you a few easy questions, then we'll quickly put you in contact with a local divorce attorney.