Divorce is a process that legally terminates a marriage. According to statistics, the number of marriage dissolution in the country is increasing every year. Spouses do not want to live in troubled relationships, so they decide on litigation. Divorce is different; it could be complicated or straightforward, everything depends on the circumstances of termination. But at the same time, before you decide on dissolution, it would be nice to know at least the main provisions of divorce.
The procedure of divorce varies depending on the circumstances. So, in Indiana distinguish uncontested and contested divorces. Naturally, the simplest is an uncontested dissolution of marriage, which is also called amicable. Its essence lies in the fact that the judge grants a divorce on the basis of a settlement agreement, which the spouses concluded. The settlement agreement regulates the resolution of all controversial issues that have arisen in the pair in the process of termination: grounds for divorce, division of property, separation of custody of common minor children, alimony, etc. Therefore, before going to court, the spouses must solve all their controversial issues together and find a compromise. In an uncontested divorce in Indiana, it’s not needed to attend court sessions; this is simply not necessary since the spouses already have a settlement agreement. An amicable divorce in Indiana takes an average of 3 months to be final and also does not require the participation of lawyers.
The contested divorce lies in the fact that all contentious issues that have arisen between the spouses must be decided by the judge, based on Indiana legislation. This means that a divorce will be granted after the court has dealt with all the disputes of the spouses. Depending on the complexity of a case a contested marriage dissolution takes from three to six months, and in rare cases even longer. In a contested divorce, the presence of lawyers who defend the interests of the parties is mandatory.
Grounds for divorce
Indiana law allows you to file for divorce for one of the following reasons:
1. Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage;
2. Conviction of a felony for either party;
3. Impotence which existed at the time of the marriage;
4. Incurable insanity of at least two years.
It is worth noting that the first reason (irretrievable breakdown) is also considered to be no-fault, and means that neither the husband nor the wife is to blame for the destruction of the marriage. When filing based on this reason, the plaintiff does not have to provide evidence to the court, it is also well suited for uncontested divorces.
All other reasons are a fault. If the plaintiff files for divorce on the basis of one of them, he or she must provide the court with proof of the guilt of his/her spouse.
In Indiana, only residents of this state are allowed to file for divorce. Thus, before filing a lawsuit with a court, a husband or wife must reside in Indiana for at least six months before filing a petition. There is also a county requirement. The claimant has the right to file for divorce in the desired county, provided that either the claimant or the defendant lived in this county for at least three months before the filing of the claim.
Where to file for divorce
Indiana divorces are under the jurisdiction of The Indiana Supreme Court. A list of all courts by districts can be found on the Indiana Judicial Branch website. For filing a petition for divorce, it is needed the originals of all documents for divorce, as well as their copies. The court clerk will stamp all copies, after which papers must be delivered to the defendant so he or she can review it. The court also charges a fee for filing a claim; it varies depending on the county but does not exceed $160.
Indiana courts are not immediately beginning to consider the divorce case. The standard waiting period is 60 days before the judge takes over the case. However, this period may be more extended, depending on the workload of the court.
Finalizing a divorce
The decision on divorce will be made at the last court session. In the case of uncontested divorce, the first meeting may be the first and the last one. However, in order for the decision to take effect, it must be stamped by the court clerk, which means that the divorce decree has entered into force. After that, the spouses have the ability to remarriage next day.