Most people who get married don’t plan on divorcing. As a result, it’s rare for a person getting a divorce to know the applicable divorce laws and procedures. Most people learn on the fly as they undergo the divorce process. In Indiana, divorce laws are complicated and convoluted. Trying to navigate your changing lifestyle and emotions brought on by divorce is hard enough without also taking on a complex legal system.
At Webster & Garino LLC, we understand the stress and emotional hardships that can come with even the most amicable divorces. Serving clients in Westfield, Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Fishers, Indiana, with more than 45 years of combined experience, our divorce attorneys are highly knowledgeable in Indiana divorce law and have the skills to help you understand and navigate your divorce. To maximize your convenience and ensure we’re accessible throughout all of your divorce challenges, we also offer all of our family law services virtually from initial meetings to in-depth negotiations.
Our team of experts has compiled everything you need to know about divorce in Indiana in 2023 to help you understand the basics. Contact our qualified litigators at Webster & Garino LLC today for more information and access to our compassionate and comprehensive divorce and family law services.
Preparing for Divorce in Indiana
In 2023, almost unlimited amounts of information are available on the internet. But when it comes to getting a divorce in Indiana, the sheer amount of laws, procedures, and materials can be overwhelming and nearly impossible to navigate without professional guidance. As a result, many people often file for divorce without proper knowledge and preparation. This can lead to avoidable issues and roadblocks that further complicate and delay the finalization of divorce.
Having an awareness of the basic divorce laws in Indiana will help you understand your options and allow our team of skilled divorce attorneys at Webster & Garino LLC to better assist you in reaching your goals and an amicable resolution. The top three aspects of divorce you should know about before filing in Indiana include financial records, residency requirements, and the different types of divorce.
Gathering Financial Information
When you get a divorce, you and your spouse will have to disclose the details of your finances. Our litigators recommend that you prepare for this by fully educating yourself on your and your spouse’s financial status before filing for divorce. You can save time later on in the process by already having access to all of your financial records.
Completing this step ahead of time also protects you if your spouse refuses to provide their financial information. Eventually, the court would likely force them to produce their financial statements, but that action would only cost you more valuable time and energy.
You should gather records from all of your financial institutions, including:
- Bank accounts
- Loans and credit card debts
- Retirement accounts
- Investment accounts
- Life insurance policies
- Tax returns
To file for divorce in Indiana, state law dictates that you must meet certain requirements. You must have lived in Indiana for a minimum of 6 months dating immediately before filing for divorce. You also need to be a resident of the county in which you intend to file for at least 3 months. For military personnel, being stationed at a U.S. military base in Indiana for these lengths of time also meets the residency requirements.
Let the team of divorce attorneys at Webster & Garino LLC help you determine which Indiana county has jurisdiction over your divorce. Take advantage of our complimentary consultation and 100% virtual family law services today.
Types of Divorce in Indiana
The next step in preparing to file for divorce is determining what kind of divorce you are filing. In Indiana, there are two types of divorce – no-fault divorce and fault divorce.
Indiana is a no-fault divorce state. This means that you can get a divorce for any reason without either party having to prove that the other did something wrong. On the petition for dissolution of marriage, the reason for the divorce is simply listed as “irreparable breakdown.”
Filing for a no-fault divorce with guidance from Webster & Garino LLC’s professional divorce attorneys ensures that your personal marital matters can remain relatively private. It also speeds up the divorce process as you won’t have to spend time proving that the other party committed a specific action that led to the divorce.
Fault divorce is still allowed in Indiana, but it is much rarer as it is harder to prove specific fault on one party. This leads to longer and more costly litigation and court proceedings. In Indiana, there are only a few limited circumstances that could call for a fault divorce, including:
- One spouse has a felony conviction
- One spouse is impotent at the time of marriage
- One spouse has been declared incurably insane for a period longer than 2 years or has a diagnosed physical or mental incapacity.
At Webster & Garino LLC, our divorce attorneys are specially trained to handle both no-fault and fault divorces. No matter the circumstances behind your divorce, we’ll help you reach the fairest, most agreeable resolution in accordance with all Indiana divorce laws.
Process of Divorce in Indiana
Getting a divorce in Indiana isn’t as simple as filing a petition and standing in front of a judge. The process can be drawn out by various factors including a contentious party or incorrect filing of paperwork. Having a divorce attorney from Webster & Garino LLC do the heavy lifting will ensure that your divorce process goes as swiftly and smoothly as possible from start to finish.
The 7 main steps of getting a divorce can vary in necessity and timing based on your divorce’s unique needs and circumstances. At Webster & Garino LLC, our qualified divorce attorneys are experienced in every step of the Indiana divorce process.
1. File a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
Since most divorces in Indiana are no-fault divorces, filing a petition for dissolution of marriage is a fairly quick process. A knowledgeable attorney can help you file for divorce with your county court to start the divorce process. In the case of fault divorce, the process of proving fault will come with additional steps and difficulties, but filing the petition itself will be a fairly similar process.
2. Notify the Other Party
Once your petition is verified and filed with the court, your spouse must be served or presented with divorce papers for the process to progress. The petition can be handed to the party in person, sent through certified mail, or delivered by the sheriff’s office.
3. Undergo a Waiting Period
In Indiana, all divorces must go through a minimum 60-day waiting period. Also known as a “cooling off” period, this time is meant to give you time to ensure you want to go through with the divorce. During this period, the next 3 steps of the divorce process can start taking place.
4. Receive a Response
Before any other steps take place, the party that’s been served may submit a response. There are two types of responses this spouse could have.
In an uncontested divorce, both you and your spouse mutually agree to the divorce and matters involved, such as custody of children and the division of marital property. These divorces are the quickest and simplest option and are often settled without any formal court proceedings.
A contested divorce is when the parties do not agree on the terms of the divorce. In this case, your divorce may be resolved in court. Most court hearings can’t start until after the mandatory waiting period is over, whereas negotiations between you and your spouse’s divorce lawyers could take place during this period.
5. Discovery & Negotiations
The discovery phase describes a step in the divorce process where evidence such as financial records and other related documents are collected. This information will be used by our attorneys to aid in the negotiations between you and your spouse about the division of marital assets, child support, spousal support, and child custody. This information may also be used in court hearings.
In most cases, both parties bring information to the table voluntarily. But if your spouse refuses to disclose financial records or criminal history, or even tries to conceal information to avoid paying child support or splitting certain assets, your divorce attorney can use this time to uncover those deceits or file a motion in court to force the uncooperative party to comply.
6. Court Proceedings
If you have a combative spouse or can’t seem to reach an agreement in negotiations, your divorce attorney can litigate the divorce in court. Going through your divorce in court is much more time-consuming and expensive for both parties, but it can be beneficial if you’ve hit a wall with your spouse or need court orders for the discovery phase.
7. Final Hearing
If your divorce is uncontested, your final divorce decree will likely be drawn up in the negotiations phase. Your attorneys will submit the appropriate paperwork to the court once the mandatory waiting period expires and your divorce will be finalized. But if you have a contested divorce that is consistently contentious, the fate of your divorce will be determined in a final hearing.
Similar to a trial, the judge will hear evidence from both parties and lay out the final terms of the divorce that are as fair and unbiased as possible to both parties. At this stage, it is crucial to have an experienced divorce litigator on your side to help reach a satisfactory outcome. If your final hearing ends in an unsatisfactory decision, you can appeal the judge’s orders within 30 days.
No matter how long or confrontational your divorce is, having our divorce litigators from Webster & Garino LLC on your side will streamline each step of the process to maximize the chances of a successful outcome.
Timeline of Divorce
Every divorce is different, so of course there is no set number for how many months, or even years, it could take to finalize your divorce. But on average, a divorce case in Indiana takes at least 6 months. Part of this time is the 60-day cooling-off period mandated by the State. If you have no children, an agreeable spouse, and a small number of assets, your divorce could be finalized in as little as 2-3 months with help from a trained divorce attorney. But even with professional aid, your divorce could take years if you have shared children, a contentious party, or a high-net-worth divorce.
At Webster & Garino LLC, we can expedite tedious divorce proceedings and tasks to get your divorce finalized as quickly as possible, while still fiercely advocating for your interests.
Cost of Divorce
Again, there is no set monetary amount for the cost of a divorce. The cost to file a divorce in Indiana is approximately $180. This amount can vary based on service fees, and other court costs that arise throughout the process. Additionally, hiring an attorney will cost you some money. But if you hire an expert litigator, you can save money on lengthy court proceedings, drawn-out negotiations, and asset division and child support on the back end.
At Webster & Garino LLC, we offer our divorce and other family law services at a fair cost. And before you decide to get help from our experienced team, you can receive a complimentary consultation to get to know our team and how we can best help you reach your goals.
Getting a Divorce with Children
If you don’t have children, you can skip over the issues of child support and child custody. But if you and your spouse have children together, you will need to address these issues no matter how amicable your divorce is. In Indiana, there are family law standards that the court will mandate if you and your spouse cannot come to terms with these details in negotiations.
Our divorce attorneys are seasoned in negotiations surrounding custody, visitation schedules, co-parenting plans, and child support. We can help you protect your children and their economic futures and avoid default decisions that might not fit your parenting goals and desires. In the case that your divorce outcome does fall into the hands of the court, an experienced litigator can help keep your child’s best interests at the top of mind.
In Indiana, custody of children is determined only after considering a host of circumstances, including:
- Parental Wishes
- Age and sex of children
- Wishes of children aged 14 or older
- Child’s existing relationship with parents
- The ability of each parent to provide a stable home
- Parental physical and mental health
- History of domestic violence or abuse
- Any other relevant factors
Indiana has established child support guidelines. You and your spouse’s income will be measured and compared to the required child-related expenses, including health insurance, and time spent with each parent overnight. Based on these calculations, the court will decide who pays child support and how much they pay. Indiana does not deny visitation to non-custodial parents for failing to pay child support to the custodial parent.
Let our detailed-oriented team of experienced litigators at Webster & Garino LCC handle all of your child support and child custody litigation so that you can focus on your children and their needs.
Understand Your Legal Rights
Every aspect of your divorce in Indiana could benefit from the expertise and kindness of our highly skilled divorce attorneys at Webster & Garino LLC. We provide helpful, informative, and insightful legal services as well as thoughtful, sensitive support to guide you through each stage of your divorce. Whether you need in-person aid for laborious court hearings or want quick, concise advice virtually, the team at Webster & Garino LLC has the resources and knowledge to finalize your divorce with ease and speed. Call us today for a consultation, or contact us online for a comprehensive list of all of our family law offerings.