Indiana Divorce Law
As you go through the divorce process, the strong emotions you're probably feeling aren't helping you to ensure that you're getting what you need out of the end of your marriage. If you're not careful, your inexperience with Indiana's divorce laws and process can hurt you more than they can benefit you.
LawInfo's Indiana Divorce Law articles can help relieve some of the stress of the process. You'll learn about the state's divorce prerequisites, how property is divided and many other divorce topics. Whether you need assistance in Evansville, Indianapolis or Fort Wayne, LawInfo can help connect you with an Indiana divorce attorney.
Indiana Uncontested Divorces
Divorce is often a long and expensive process if you need to go to court to work out the details with a spouse who's less than willing to agree with them. If you're able to file for an uncontested divorce, however, the process can move faster and cost less. An uncontested divorce is when both parties agree to all of the terms of the divorce prior to filing a petition with the court.
This means that you and your spouse have negotiated and agreed upon the division of marital property, voluntary spousal maintenance and, if children are involved, custody, support and visitation arrangements. You also have to agree on the grounds for the divorce.
Only one party may file an uncontested divorce petition. If the court finds the agreed upon terms to be fair for both parties, it may make the final divorce decree without further hearings.
Indiana No-Fault Divorces
Many states may require a petitioning spouse to file for divorce based on "traditional" fault grounds like adultery, bigamy, domestic abuse or desertion. Indiana, however, is a "no-fault" divorce state. This means that a divorce may be granted based purely on the evidence of an irretrievable breakdown in the marriage. In this way, no marital fault is assigned to either party.
Indiana law also allows for divorces based on select, non-traditional fault grounds (see Indiana Code § 31-15-2-3), including:
- One party was incurably insane for two or more years prior to filing the divorce.
- One or both parties were impotent at the time of the marriage.
- One or both parties were convicted of a felony after the marriage.
Divorce fault is often used when the court is considering how to divide marital property or how to award child custody, visitation or support.
Indiana Spousal Maintenance
In Indiana, spousal maintenance (or alimony) is awarded less often in divorce cases than in other states. In other states, spousal maintenance may be awarded if one party is placed at a financial disadvantage following the divorce despite any marital property awards. Indiana law restricts courts to award maintenance only in special circumstances. (See § 31-15-7-2.)
Indiana courts may consider awarding maintenance only if the disadvantaged spouse:
- Is mentally or physically incapacitated and unable to support themselves;
- Is caring for a mentally or physically incapacitated child full-time and lacks the assets or property to sufficiently care for the child; or
- Was employed or being trained/educated during the marriage but was forced to discontinue these opportunities for homemaking or child care responsibilities (or both) after the divorce and lacks the time or resources to continue or complete these opportunities.
The court can award maintenance in any appropriate dollar amount and length of payment time. However, a spouse may only receive maintenance for up to three years from the date of the final decree.
Speak to an Experienced Divorce Attorney Today
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified divorce lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local divorce attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.
Additional Divorce Articles
- Indiana Divorce Laws - What You Need to Know!
- What are the Residency and Filing Requirements for Divorce in Indiana?