The legal term for divorce is Dissolution of Marriage. This article provides the initial steps and different paths a divorce can take, depending on a client’s situation.
Indiana is a no-fault state. That means either party to the marriage can file for a divorce for virtually any reason–this is typically called an “irretrievable breakdown in the marriage.” Indiana law sets out the requirements for what must be included in a Verified Petition for a Dissolution for Marriage. But before a Petition is filed, one of the parties must have resided in Indiana for at least the six months before the Petition is filed and been a resident of the county where the Petition is filed for at least the three months before the Petition is filed.
The person who files the Petition is also required to serve the other party. Divorce is a civil law suit. That means the party who files the Petition (lawyers call it “initiating the action”) must provide a copy of the Petition, along with a summons, to the other party. A summons often provides the date of the first court hearing.
Indiana law requires at least 60 days go by before the divorce is finalized. Often, especially in contentious divorces that include division of valuable property or custody and child support fights, the divorce process lasts much longer than the 60 days.
Even though one party files a Verified Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, the other party can filed what is called a “Cross-Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.” This might be a good tactic if the party who files first (called the “Petitioner”) does not include all important information.
In particularly difficult situations, either party can ask the court for a protective order.
The court can also make several rulings while the divorce process is in progress. These include temporary spousal maintenance and temporary child custody and child support.
Divorce can be an extremely emotional, complicated, and difficult experience. Having an experienced divorce lawyer can help guide you through the process and ensure that your rights are protected. With almost 40 years of experience, Indiana divorce lawyer Randall Parr can help you to make sense of your situation to you and represent and protect your interests.