Published in Family Law by Chris Eskew on November 8, 2021.
If you’re facing an impending divorce, you may feel lost and unsure of what you can expect. Knowing and understanding the Indiana divorce process can help ease some of the stress.
While divorces can be tough, a skilled Indiana divorce lawyer is the perfect person to help get you through the process. Eskew Law, LLC, is ready to help you.
File the Required Forms
In order to file an action for dissolution of marriage, Indiana imposes a residency requirement, meaning that at least one of the parties must be a resident of Indiana for at least six (6) months immediately prior to the filing of the petition.
If you are able to satisfy the residency requirement and you are ready to proceed with your divorce, you will file your petition for dissolution of marriage with the court. Additionally, you will file:
● A summons directed to the other party,
● A financial declaration, and
● Any other necessary forms.
Depending on your circumstances, you may need to file other forms, including a child support obligation worksheet for divorces involving minor children.
You may find these forms online, fill them out yourself, and file them with the court. However, having your Indiana divorce attorney complete and file these forms is best.
Once the appropriate forms have been filed with the court, the petitioning spouse must then serve their spouse with a copy of the petition and summons. There are three most common ways to achieve service of process:
● A private process server,
● The local sheriff, or
● Certified mail.
Other methods include publication and waiver of service. The petitioning spouse can choose in which manner they would like service to be done.
Service of process gives the other spouse notice of the divorce proceedings and allows them the opportunity to respond.
After filing for divorce, the Indiana divorce process requires a mandatory 60-day waiting period. During these 60 days, the court will not grant your divorce.
After the waiting period, spouses may proceed to finalize their divorce. However, the process may take longer in many cases, particularly if you and your spouse have disagreements to resolve.
One of the spouses may request a provisional, or “preliminary,” hearing early on in the divorce proceedings.
Provisional hearings are held before the presiding judge and typically involve one spouse asking the court for a preliminary ruling on important details, including child support, child custody, or spousal maintenance.
The decisions made during the provisional hearing remain in effect until the final hearing or settlement. While provisional hearings are not required for every divorce, they may be necessary, depending on the situation.
While mediation is often a voluntary process, many courts in Indiana require mediation for divorcing spouses.
Mediation involves both spouses and their attorneys, if they are represented, coming together with a mediator, who is a neutral third party trained in the process of mediation.
The mediator will listen to both sides and help facilitate an agreement between the parties. Mediation aims to help spouses come together in an amicable, relaxed environment and work out any points of contention between them.
At the end of a successful mediation, the parties walk away with an agreement that addresses and resolves none, any, or all issues or concerns.
If the mediation ends in an agreement, the parties will submit the agreement to the court and the judge will likely approve it. After a mediation that ends in a settlement agreement, there is no need for a final hearing.
If the parties do not come to full agreement during mediation, there will be a final hearing.. Both parties will have the opportunity to present their case and evidence to the court, and the judge will then decide on all issues.
Decree of Dissolution of Marriage
After a settlement agreement or final hearing, the judge will sign and enter the decree of dissolution. The entry of the decree is the last step in finalizing the divorce process, not including any appeals, making the divorce official.
Consult with an Indiana Divorce Attorney
Going through a divorce can be challenging—mentally and emotionally. You may feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do. Fortunately, a divorce attorney is your best ally.
Divorce lawyers are extremely knowledgeable about the Indiana divorce process, giving you the best chance of a fair resolution.
Eskew Law, LLC, has had the pleasure of working alongside numerous clients. We understand the difficulties divorce can bring, and we’re ready to guide you through the process from beginning to end.
We aim to help get our clients through a trying time while trying to reach the best possible outcome. Contact us today, and let’s see how our firm can help you.