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Divorce in Indiana – main characteristics

Many couples want a divorce. Of course, this is bad, sometimes even tragic, but such is life! Some people do not know about the most effective way to terminate a marriage in Indiana. The reason for this is ignorance of the laws.

Many divorces are made through the court, and in fact, it is not difficult to file a divorce peacefully, through the registry office.

There is an article in laws which covers such concepts as divorce.

After all, marriage dissolution is a more multifaceted concept. Suppose one of the spouse’s

Divorces in Indiana- main characteristics disappeared, then the divorce in the usual way will not succeed, but there are other methods to terminate such a marriage. For example, if a person cannot be found after a specified period in the law.

To dissolve a marriage means to terminate it during the lifetime of the spouses. This legal act ends in the future legal relations that have previously arisen between the spouses. However, there may be exceptions to the legal consequences of a divorce, and the former spouses involuntarily have to interact.

An important point!

You can terminate only the marriage, which was registered officially. “Civil” unions are not terminated.

The process of ending a marriage begins at the moment when one of the spouses writes a statement.

If the spouse who wishes to divorce is declared incapable, then the statement may be written by his guardian. Most often, either the parents, or brothers (sisters), or other close relatives act as guardians. After all, it often happens that after the misfortune with one of the spouses the other spouse leaves him in the care of relatives, he arranges personal life.

No other person may apply for a divorce of a married couple. Although the mother-in-law is very often the initiators of the divorce or instigators, it is the business of the spouses whether to remain married or not.

An exception

Art. 17 states that any of the spouses may become the initiator of the divorce; however, sometimes the Law prohibits the divorcing of the couple.

Divorce will be postponed if the wife is pregnant. This refers to the requirement of separation made by her husband.

Until the child marks his first year of birth, the husband’s request for divorce will also be rejected.

Such situations do not change the conditions:

•    if the baby was born dead;

•    if he did not live to 1 year.

In the second case, lawyers advise men to patiently count a one-year term from the birth of a deceased child.

4. Again, this is a one-sided demand from the husband. If both parties are ready for a divorce, such restrictions are lifted.

Why do we need such restrictions?

The law tries, without prejudice to the civil rights of men, to perform such functions:

•    protect motherhood;

•    to keep the family if possible;

•    to preserve the power of the child to be raised in a full-fledged family.

Quite the contrary: the law pushes the spouses to take extreme steps preventing the divorce.

If the marriage was dissolved by the fault of one of the spouses, the other spouse has the right to demand from the husband responsible for the dissolution of the union to compensate him for property damage associated with the demise of the marriage, as well as non-property damage caused by the death of the marriage.

The state must pay stamp duty, the amount of which depends on the size of the claim. The claimant and the defendant must prove the circumstances to which they refer as the basis of their claims and objections.

A spouse who has filed for divorce may object and provide evidence to the court confirming that the marriage has broken up due to the fault of the claimant. The court, having considered all the circumstances of the case, can conclude that the marriage was broken not through the failure of one of the spouses, but the responsibility of both spouses.

Who can divorce a married couple?

In Art. Eighteen indicated the procedure for divorce. Exclusively the state bodies perform this procedure, but it takes into account the specific circumstances. The parties can not always decide where to divorce:

•    in the registry office;

•    in a court.

There is a list of circumstances that are highlighted in the legislation of Indiana State, affecting the mechanism of divorce.

Special position

If one of the spouses in the court was declared incompetent or he was deprived of his liberty for a term of more than three years, then property disputes arise between the spouses, which are decided in court. Such questions concern:

•    division of property (general);

•    payment of funds to the spouse if he is disabled and needs maintenance;

•    education of children, their treatment, support, training, which also requires additional costs.

Divorce in the registry office is the easiest way

According to Art. 19, spouses may submit a corresponding application to the registry office. But there is a condition: the absence of minor children.

There may be another situation. Suppose that the other spouse:

•    declared incompetent;

•    will be in custody for more than three years;

•    found to be untraceable (this issue is considered in court).

Then it is enough to apply to one of the spouses for a divorce in the registry office. It does not matter if there are minor children or not.

Completion of the procedure

The relevant act is recorded at the registry office, and the marriage relationship will end. Each of the former spouses will receive a divorce certificate, and an appropriate mark will be put on the identity cards. If at the time of the dissolution of the marriage one of the spouses is absent, then the score is made when issuing the specified certificate.

The marriage will be terminated, and a certificate will be issued after one month has passed since the application was submitted. Spouses are not required to disclose the reasons for the divorce if the procedure is carried out through the registry office.


An Overview of the Divorce Process

The situation of the parties getting divorced determines the necessary steps required to obtain the divorce. Where the parties have been married for a relatively short period of time, have no children and have little property or debts to settle, the divorce will be less involving. Where there are minor children, and the marriage has lasted for quite a long time and they have significant property or debt to divide, the divorce process will be so involving. The divorce process should also be shorter where both parties want and agree to the divorce. If one party is blind-sided by receiving divorce papers they might respond by doing whatever they can to prolong the process. Finally, the more the parties can agree on between themselves the smoother and quicker their divorce. If the couple is bogged down in fighting and disagreements over anything and everything, the process will be slower.

Filing for Divorce

Filing a petition is the first step in the process of divorce. One of the spouses will have to be the one to file a petition with the court asking for a divorce; even when both spouses have mutually agreed that they want to get divorced. The petition will state the grounds for the divorce.

The grounds for divorce will vary depending on the jurisdiction. All jurisdictions allow for some type of no-fault grounds such as “irreconcilable differences”, but only a few states still consider fault grounds for divorce, such as adultery or abandonment. Your lawyer can tell you whether fault grounds are available in your state, and if so, whether or not it makes sense to file for divorce on fault grounds.

Once the Petition is filed, it is served together with the Notice to Appear, notifying the Respondent of the case. The respondent will then acknowledge receipt, and then will be required to enter an appearance and file a defence and/ or a cross-petition.  After the respondent has filed a defence, the case is set down for hearing. This means that the petition is defended.

If the petitioner is not able to serve the respondent or the respondent has been served but has not entered an appearance or filed a defence, the petitioner will then file an application seeking a date for hearing and/ or any other directions from the court. If the court is satisfied that the petitioner made sufficient effort to serve the respondent or that the respondent was served but did not enter an appearance or file a defence, the case is set for hearing.

Temporary Orders

Temporary orders for support and custody are sought by a spouse who depends on the other for financial support or will have custody of the children. The dependent spouse asks the court for these orders. For instance, if a stay at home mother files for divorce, she will need financial support from the husband to enable her to continue paying household bills. She will also need a temporary custody order and a temporary child support order for the kids.

Normally, the temporary order is granted within a few days and remains effective until a full court hearing. If the party that seeks the temporary court order is the same party filing the petition, they should file it at the same time. If the party seeking the temporary order did not file the petition, they should file their request for the temporary order as soon as possible.

Service of Process

The party who files for divorce has to also file for proof of service of process. Service of process is a document that shows that a copy of the petition was given to the other party. It can either be very dignified or very undignified or anywhere in between. If it is a mutual agreement between the divorcing parties, the party who files the petition ill arrange for service of process to the attorney of the other party. Having a process server visit one’s spouse at his or her place of employment to serve papers can be categorized as undignified.

The party who receives the service of process needs to file a response to the petition. If a spouse was seeking a divorce on fault grounds and the responding party wants to dispute those grounds, he or she will need to address it in the response. The party responding may choose to dispute the reasons named by the party filing the petition as being the grounds for seeking the divorce, or they may choose to assert a defence to the grounds. Any disagreements regarding property division, support, custody or any other disagreement, they should state it in the response.


The parties try to negotiate their differences if they do not agree on all the issues. The court may schedule settlement conferences in an attempt to move the parties towards a final resolution of all the issues. For example, if the parties disagree on child custody and visitation, the court may also order mediation, evaluation of the children and parents by a social worker or other court employee and that a lawyer or guardian ad litem be appointed to represent the children. Other issues that may need to be negotiated are the property division and any spousal support.


Any issues the parties absolutely cannot resolve between themselves will have to be decided at a trial. However, going to trial will take longer, cost more money, and have less predictable results so it is probably best to avoid going to trial if possible.

Order of Dissolution

The order of dissolution ends the marriage and spells out how the property and debts are to be divided, custody, support and any other issues. When the parties negotiate their own resolution to all of the issues, they will draft the order of dissolution and submit it to the court. If the order of dissolution complies with legal requirements and both parties entered into it knowingly and willingly, then the judge will approve it. Otherwise, the court will issue an Order of Dissolution at the end of the trial.