Published in Family Law by Chris Eskew on August 29, 2022.
Whenever a couple can sit down and come to an agreement on the major issues involved in a divorce, they may be able to avoid much of the litigation that otherwise is often a part of the process.
Working out the details of a marriage settlement agreement is often the preferred approach because it makes the divorce less expensive and takes less time to finalize.
However, just because certain aspects of a divorce are agreed upon doesn’t mean that there won’t be a few speed bumps along the way.
Thus, filing for divorce in Indiana without a lawyer can invite problems.
Is Indiana a No-Fault Divorce State?
Yes, divorce law in Indiana allows for no-fault divorces.
However, under certain circumstances, spouses can file for a fault-based divorce. Of course, most fault-based divorces are contested.
How to Avoid a Contested Divorce in Indiana?
To avoid a contested divorce, Indiana spouses can work out a marriage settlement agreement.
This means a couple reaches an agreement on all the issues that a judge would otherwise need to resolve.
In some cases, you and your spouse may be able to agree on everything without help.
However, given the high stakes and emotions involved, it’s normal for the process to take some time.
To avoid all litigation in a divorce proceeding, Indiana law requires you and your spouse to agree on the following:
- Division of property,
- Allocation of debt, and
- Whether either you or your spouse will seek spousal maintenance and, if so, in what amount.
Additionally, if you have children, you must agree on issues related to child custody, parenting time, and child support.
A judge will often accept an agreement regarding child custody and support.
However, the judge has the final say because courts must do what is in the best interest of the children.
If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement on even one of these issues, then you and your spouse will need to litigate that issue in court.
How a Lawyer Can Help You Reach a Settlement Agreement
Often one or both spouses get caught up on an issue that, if unresolved, results in a hotly contested divorce.
In these situations, it is usually worth the time and expense to bring in help in hopes of reaching an agreement.
This is where an Indiana divorce attorney can be a valuable asset.
Divorce attorneys have seen it all. And when you work with an attorney, they can help you come up with negotiation strategies that you may not have thought of.
They can also explain if your expectations are realistic, should the divorce go to trial.
If both you and your spouse are able to take one or two steps toward the middle, it may bring the possibility of a settlement agreement back on the table.
Even if you agree on all issues, having a divorce lawyer review your agreement is always advisable.
They can help you determine whether the agreement you have reached is fair and adequately addresses the needs of you and your children.
Are You Interested in Pursuing a Divorce in Indiana?
At Eskew Law, our attorneys take a practical approach to divorce, and we understand that a little thinking outside the box can spare you significant time and money.
We will sit down with you and listen to what is most important to you before offering our reasoned advice about your options.