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FAQ – Divorce in Indiana

Who can file for divorce in Indiana?

In order to file for divorce in Indiana, one of the parties must be a resident of the state or stationed at a military base in the state for at least six months before the time of filing.  In order to file in a particular county within Indiana, one of the parties must be a resident of the county or stationed at a military base in that county for at least three months.

What do I have to prove in order to file for divorce?

Indiana is a “no fault” state, meaning that the filing spouse does not have to prove that the other spouse did something wrong in order to get a divorce.  Under Indiana law, most parties get a divorce based on an “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage.  In plain terms, this means that if the parties cannot resolve their differences, this is enough for a court to grant a divorce.  The law also allows the court to grant a divorce if the spouse has committed a felony, is impotent, or is judged to be incurably insane.

How do I file for divorce?

Your attorney can help you file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.  The law specifies certain information that you must include in the Petition, such as the date of your marriage, the date of separation, how long you have lived here, whether you have children, and the grounds for divorce.  The Petition must also include the relief that you are seeking – essentially, what you want to be awarded once the divorce is granted.  You have to verify the Petition, and swear under oath that the information is true.  The Petition must also be “served” on your spouse to make sure that he or she has notice of the divorce proceedings.

How long do I have to wait to get a divorce?

Indiana law provides that the court must wait at least 60 days before setting a final hearing or entering a decree of divorce.  If you cannot agree on custody and support of your children, or are contesting how your property will be divided, it is likely that the process will take longer.

If the parties can resolve all of the issues in the divorce, and sign a written agreement to that effect, they do not have to have a hearing before the court.  However, the court is still required to wait until the 60-day period expires before approving the settlement agreement and entering a decree of divorce.

How will the court divide our property?

In a divorce, the parties will typically try to determine how the property should be divided.  However, if the parties cannot agree, it will be up to the court to make that determination.  The general rule is that each party will get 50% of the assets and 50% of the debt.  However, the court can make exceptions to that rule based on the circumstances of the parties.  It is best to talk with an attorney to understand how your property could be affected in the event of a divorce.

The information above does not constitute legal advice, and you should talk with an attorney to understand how the law applies in your situation.  The attorneys at Eggers Woods can guide you and advocate for you throughout the divorce process.  If you are thinking about filing for divorce or have been served with a Petition for Dissolution, call (317) 738-9564 to set up a confidential consultation.