How Does The Court Decide Which Parent Should Get Custody Of The Children
The Court must decide the issue of custody based on the “best interests” of the child. The Court can consider many things, including:
How Do I File For Divorce In Indiana Without An Attorney
While individuals can file for divorce in Indiana without an attorney, in order to achieve the best outcome, it is key to work with an experienced attorney. The outcome of each dissolution case is dependent on the many factors and issues involved in each individual case. An attorney familiar with family law and skilled in domestic litigation should analyze each case and the strategy that should be employed to meet your desired goals on a case-by-case basis.
Does It Matter Who Files For Divorce First In Indiana
From a legal standpoint, there are no implications for who files for divorce first in Indiana. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to submitting a divorce petition first. While it can provide the filing party with the upper hand to properly prepare legal representation and documentation, being the individual who sets forth the dissolution of the marriage must often list their desired demands first within the petition and be confident in their decision that divorce is the right option for their marriage.
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How Much Child Support Will The Non
Indiana has child support guidelines that the Court uses to decide how much the child support order will be. The guidelines use the parents’ income, child care expenses and other factors to come up with the child support amount. If a parent is not working, the Court will often assume that the parent could earn at least a minimum wage. In almost all cases, support must be paid through the clerk’s office. The support order can also require the non-custodial parent to provide health insurance coverage for the child. You can see the child support guidelines at Child Support Guidelines.
Can You Date While Separated In Indiana
But that doesnt mean its a good idea to date someone who is in the process of filing for divorce. In fact, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled that it is illegal for a spouse to engage in sexual relations with another person while the divorce proceeding is pending.
In other words, if your spouse is seeking a divorce, you cant have sex with him or her while he or she is trying to get a judge to declare your marriage null and void.
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Serving Your Spouse With Divorce Papers
Once your forms are filed with the court, your spouse must be notified of the pending action by serving them with a copy of the legal documents.
You cannot personally give these documents to your spouse. They must be served either by a county sheriff or by a paid process server.
Service of process can also be completed by certified or express mail. The county clerk will mail the documents with a return receipt requested and records the facts of the mailing on the appearance docket.
If the spouse cannot be found after a diligent search, then the petitioner can ask the court to serve that person by publication. The clerk prepares a summons which is then published in a local newspaper for a specified amount of time.
Does Indiana Require Separation Before Divorce
Indiana does not require legal separation before a divorce does not mean that legal separation will not be required in the event of divorce. In fact, in some states, such as New York, New Jersey, and California, divorce is a prerequisite to the filing of a petition for dissolution of marriage.
If you have been married for at least one year, you may be able to file for divorce without the need for a court order. However, if your marriage has lasted less than two years, or if you and your spouse have lived apart for more than six months, then you will need to obtain a separation order from the court.
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Requirements For Divorce In Indiana
Indiana is a no-fault divorce state however, the state also allows divorce on limited fault grounds.
You need to live in Indiana for at least six months before filing for divorce
You need to file for divorce in the county you or your spouse lives in, and the person filing needs to live there for at least three months
There is a 60-day waiting period before the court will grant you a final decree which will end your marriage.
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Do I Need An Attorney To File A Divorce
It is best to have an attorney help you file a divorce. Some attorneys will handle your divorce without charging you a fee because the court can order your spouse to pay your attorney fees. If you don’t know any attorneys who handle divorces, you can contact your local bar association to get the names of some attorneys who handle divorces.
If you can’t get an attorney, you can file for a divorce on your own. You will have to follow the same rules an attorney has to follow.
Last revised: 10-2005
How Can You Reduce The Cost Of Your Divorce
If you want to reduce the cost of your divorce as much as possible, its a good idea to talk to your spouse and handle as many of your disputes and negotiations as possible outside court. If you are able to settle your case outside court, you may be able to save hundreds or thousands of dollars. Your attorney will work with you to try to make this transition as smooth as possible and to guide you through divorce in an efficient way.
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How To File For Divorce In Indiana
Filing for divorce in Indiana is simple. There are just a few steps and a waiting period involved. Unless there are children involved, it can become a little more complicated. The spouse requesting the divorce or dissolution of a marriage doesnt need to provide proof of any misdeeds of the other spouse, only that the marriage is irrevocably broken. Unlike in other states, once the divorce has begun, the other spouse can do nothing to stop the divorce.
What Else Adds To The Cost Of Divorcing In Indiana
There are several things that add to the cost of divorcing such as:
- The overall cost of child support, if you have to pay
- The cost of mediation or arbitration, if you use alternative dispute resolution
- The cost of hiring an attorney
- The cost of issuing summons
- The cost of spousal support, if you are ordered to pay
- Fees associated with travel to get to or from court
- Fees to work with professionals such as medical providers or psychologists speaking on behalf of you in your case
- The cost of forensic accounting support
As you can see, these costs do add up. There is also a potential to lose some financial support when you divide your assets and have to consider the cost of living on your own if your spouse contributed to the household costs.
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Mediation As A Divorce Alternative
Not all divorces need to be drawn out battles in the courtroom. Instead of hurrying to the courthouse to file for divorce when you have unresolved issues, mediation might be a less contentious and cheaper way to divorce.
Divorcing spouses can choose to mediate on their own with a private mediator. Some states’ laws require divorcing spouses to attempt mediation while a divorce is pending in court. This is known as “court-ordered mediation.” Indiana judges have the power to require parties to mediate. .)
In mediation, both spouses meet with a trained and neutral third party called a “mediator.” Mediation sessions are confidential, and each spouse will have the opportunity to list their issues and suggest resolutions. The mediator will not make any decisions in the caserather, a mediator’s job is to guide the negotiations in a way that will help the spouses settle their divorce without court intervention.
If you agree on some or all of the issues during the mediation, the mediator can draft a divorce settlement agreement for you to present to the court.
Any remaining issues that you and your spouse can’t agree on will be decided by the court. Even if you’re able to agree on one or two issues, mediation is usually much less expensive than going through a complete divorce trial, and can help you and your spouse create a foundation for continuing communication after your divorce.
The Grounds For Divorce In Indiana
You can get either a “no-fault” or “fault-based” divorce in Indiana. In a no-fault divorce, you don’t have to prove that your spouse’s bad acts caused the end of the marriage. In a fault-based divorce, though, you’ll have to demonstrate to the court that your spouse’s actions caused the marriage to fail.
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Fill Out The Required Forms
The exact forms you will need to complete and file will be determined by the specific circumstances of your divorce. At a minimum, you will need to file:
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
- Financial Declaration
If you have minor children, you will also need to file a Child Support Obligation Worksheet.
You can download the forms from the Indiana Judicial Branchs Self-Service Center. If you are working with an attorney, they will guide you through this process.
How To Serve Divorce Papers
For the divorce to actually proceed, the court will need proof that your spouse was served with the petition. Serving the paperwork is the crucial step that gets the divorce process started. The court CANNOT proceed without proper service. To learn more, please see our section on Obtaining Proper Service.
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What Does The Average Divorce Cost
The average divorce cost is a relative term. Different factors determine whether the cost of divorce will be on the high or low end of the spectrum. Things that factor into the cost of a divorce include:
- Where you’re getting divorced
- Whether you’re using a lawyer for your entire divorce or only part of it
- Whether you have children
- Whether you’re doing your divorce online
- Whether you’re using mediation or collaborative divorce
- Whether you agree with your spouse about major issues
- Whether you need to go to trial
Can You Get Divorced For Free
With your court fees covered, DIY is the only method of obtaining a free divorce, but its only viable if you and your spouse agree to the divorce and agree on the terms of the settlement. If you dont want to go through the hassle of filing for divorce yourself, you can hire a divorce attorney to help you with the process.
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What If My Spouse Is In The Military
You can file for a divorce if your spouse is in the military. However, it may take you longer to get the divorce finalized if the military spouse is on duty and is unavailable for court hearings. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act allows the military member to ask the court to delay court proceedings while the military member is unavailable due to military service.
How Much Does A Divorce Cost By State
While many factors can change the overall cost, it is typical for each spouse to spend $10,000 or more to complete their divorce.
Keep in mind it is not just divorce attorney fees. You may also need to pay for things like:
- Filing at your county courthouse
- Education classes on the divorce process or co-parenting
- Psychiatric evaluations for adults or children
- Refinancing a mortgage
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Requests To Access Or Delete Household Information
We will not comply with a request to know specific pieces of information or a request to delete household personal information unless the request is made by the account holder or all consumers of the household jointly request access to specific pieces of information or deletion, we can individually verify all members of the household and we can verify each is currently a member of the household. If a member of a household is a minor under 13, we must obtain verifiable consent before complying with a request for specific pieces of information for the household or deletion of household personal information.
Q: What Is The Law Regarding Child Custody In Indiana
A: Indiana recognizes three primary forms of custody. The first is legal custody. This is a reflection of who will make decisions for the children related to health, education, and religion. For the most part, most judges are likely to order joint legal custody at the conclusion of a divorce unless the non-custodial party demonstrates a complete inability to communicate with the party exercising custody of the child or the non-custodial party demonstrates a complete inability to make sound parenting decisions.
The second kind of custody is physical custody. This is a reflection of who has the child more than 50% of the time. In other words, who does the child live with more than half the time. This is form of custody that is most often litigated and leads to long drawn out divorce proceedings. The physical custodial parent is the parent that receives child support. It is possible for a non-custodial parent to receive child support, but extremely rare.
The third type of custody is shared physical custody. People often refer to this as âjointâ or âsplitâ custody. I believe the use of the words joint and split are confusing because, as I stated earlier, judges often order joint legal custody. Therefore, I prefer the use of the word âshared.â Essentially, this reflects a 50/50 division of the physical custody of a child. For example, one week with Dad and one week with Mom. This is the rarest form of custodial arrangements ordered by the court.
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No Children No Agreement
The court will send your spouse and you the date and time of your provisional hearing. Since your spouse and you do not have an agreement regarding property division, at the provisional hearing, the judge issues temporary orders which will be in place until the divorce is pending. Both parties can present testimony and evidence on your behalf.
After 60 days of your initial filing, you can file for the motion and notice for the final hearing with the court clerk. Again, you must serve your spouse the copy of the motion just as the initial filing was served. You will receive the details of the location, time and date of your final hearing from the court, where you must present all the details of your case. The judge may make a decision immediately or your final decree may be sent later by mail.
Attorney Fee Factors In Divorce Costs
In every state, a variety of factors will change the hours required to negotiate and find a divorce agreement such as:
- Child custody
- Tax advice
Consider how complex your divorce is when estimating how much it might cost. If you and your spouse own a lot of property and don’t agree on its division, for example, you are looking at a longer and more costly divorce. The same is often true in divorces with children.
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No Children With Agreement
While the judge can enter temporary orders, the divorce cannot be finalized until 60 days after the filing of the initial petition. Once the waiting period is over, you can file the waiver of the final hearing and the dissolution decree and file them with the court clerk, who will send the decree to the judge for signing. When the decree is signed, the court will retain a copy and one copy will be given to your spouse and you by mail.
How Is Spousal Support Or Maintenance Determined During A Divorce In Indiana
The court will make an award of maintenance from one spouse to the other in three circumstances. The first is if the court finds a spouse to be physically or mentally incapacitated to the extent that the ability of that spouse to support himself or herself is materially affected.
The second circumstance is when a court finds that a spouse lacks sufficient property to provide for the spouses needs and the spouse is the custodian of a child whose physical or mental incapacity requires the custodian to forgo employment.
Finally, if a spouse has had an interruption in their education, training, or employment as a result of homemaking or child care responsibilities, the court may find that rehabilitative maintenance for that spouse is necessary in an amount and for a period of time that the court considers appropriate, but not to exceed three years from the date of the final decree.
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