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Looking for Divorce Advice in Indiana?

Divorce is often both challenging and emotional. It can also have significant legal and financial consequences for both spouses. Given this, if you’re considering getting a divorce in Indiana, it’s important to first understand the laws and regulations surrounding the topic. It’s also vital that you consult with an Indiana family law attorney who can provide you with sound divorce advice in Indiana, guide you through the process, and ultimately, protect your rights and interests. 

This post will address some of the main elements of divorce in Indiana and provide you with a general overview of the process. However, if you have any immediate questions or concerns regarding divorce, or any matters of family law, do not hesitate to contact the Indiana divorce attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP at 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. 

Keffer Hirschauer LLP: Indiana Family Law Attorneys

Common Questions about Divorce in Indiana 

When preparing for a divorce, it’s crucial that you do not rely on fictional depictions of divorces in TV shows or movies to understand how the legal system actually works. Instead, if you need divorce advice in Indiana, you should speak with a skilled divorce lawyer who can take the time to get to know you and explain how the law applies, given the facts of your specific situation.  

However, prior to this initial consultation, it would be wise to have a basic understanding of the general Indiana divorce process, property division, spousal maintenance, and, if applicable, certain matters related to children, like custody and child support. This will ensure that your first consultation with an Indiana divorce lawyer is prompt and straight to the point, and more centered on your own personal situation, rather than the dissolution process as a whole.  

What is the Process of Divorce in Indiana? 

The process of filing for divorce in Indiana is initiated when one party to the marriage files a petition for the dissolution of the marriage and serves a copy of the same petition on their spouse. Generally speaking, this petition seeks the court’s action in formally ending the marriage and making various determinations regarding asset distribution, debt allocation, and matters related to children, if applicable.  

As outlined in Indiana Code 31-15-2-10, Indiana courts cannot finalize the divorce until 60 days have passed since the petition’s filing. During this “waiting period,” and sometimes beyond, both parties typically exchange and submit their financial details to the court. They may also attempt negotiations to reach an agreement concerning asset division, debt allocation, and child-related directives. 

In an uncontested divorce, when both parties agree on some or all issues, they may have the option to present their agreement to the court for approval. However, in instances of a contested divorce, the court will schedule a final hearing or trial, during which each spouse is entitled to present evidence supporting their case. Following the conclusion of the proceedings, the court will review all evidence presented and issue a decree of dissolution and judgment. Most often this decree will terminate the marriage, order a division of property and allocate debt responsibilities between the spouses. In situations involving children, the decree will also issue orders regarding child custody, child support, and parenting time schedules.  

Are There Residency Requirements for Divorce in Indiana?  

Yes, anyone seeking divorce advice in Indiana should understand that there are certain residency requirements in order to get a divorce in Indiana. Under Indiana Code 31-15-2-6, one of the spouses must have lived in the state of Indiana for six months or more, or been stationed at a military base in Indiana, in order to file for divorce here. Furthermore, at the time of the filing a petition for the dissolution of a marriage, at least one of the parties must have been a resident of the county or stationed at a United States military installation within the county where the petition is filed for three months immediately preceding the filing of the petition.  

The only exception to this law is when a court has authorized a guardian to file the petition on behalf of an incapacitated person. In these situations, the guardian may file the petition for dissolution in the guardian’s county of residence, provided they have resided there for at least three months immediately preceding the filing of the petition. 

What is Considered to be Marital Property?  

Generally, marital property is any property that was acquired by one or both spouses while they were married, regardless of whose name is on the title or deed. Non-marital property, on the other hand, is any property owned by either spouse prior to their marriage. In addition, property that was received by either spouse as a gift or inheritance during the marriage may be considered non-marital property. Typically, non-marital property is usually not subject to division during a divorce. However, if non-marital property was commingled with marital property or used for the benefit of the marriage, it could be subject to division. In situations like these, it’s best to seek divorce advice in Indiana from an experienced family law attorney who understands the nuances of Indiana’s divorce laws regarding property

Property Most Commonly Divided in a Divorce in Indiana

How Property is Divided in an Indiana Divorce? 

When it comes to the division of property during a divorce, the state of Indiana practices equitable distribution. In other words, Indiana courts divide marital property between spouses in a fair and just manner. In contrast, some states practice 50/50 divorce, where the couple’s assets, as well as debts obtained by either party during the marriage, are divided equally, or 50/50. In addition to this, if the couple previously lived in an equitable distribution state and acquired property during that time, that property would also be divided equally between the two parties. 

When deciding how to divide marital property, Indiana courts consider a handful of factors. This includes each spouse’s contribution to the acquisition, preservation, or increase of the marital property; the income, earning capacity, and financial situation of each spouse; and the tax consequences of the division. Furthermore, among other relevant factors, the courts may consider the age, health, education and occupation of each spouse; the duration of their marriage; and each spouse’s conduct during the marriage.  

Can One Party Receive Alimony in Indiana? 

When seeking divorce advice in Indiana, one question many individuals ask is, “What are Indiana’s laws on alimony?” Well, generally, Indiana does not allow a spouse to collect alimony following a divorce in Indiana. The only instance where alimony may be collected by a spouse in Indiana is when alimony was a condition of the couple’s prenuptial or postnuptial agreement; and even in situations like this, courts do have the ability to refuse to enforce the terms of the agreement. 

In place of alimony, Indiana courts may award one party of the divorce, “spousal maintenance,” which is similar but much more limited than alimony. In fact, spousal maintenance in Indiana is only available in limited circumstances, for limited periods of time. Per Indiana Code 31-15-7, spousal maintenance may only be awarded if the spouse receiving the support is incapacitated, a caregiver to an incapacitated child, or needs the support to obtain to education and/or professional training in order to become employable or self-sustaining.  

It’s important to understand that while it’s often incredibly challenging to be granted spousal maintenance following a divorce in Indiana, it is possible with the help of a skilled spousal maintenance lawyer, like those at Keffer Hirschauer LLP. Our team has the experience and litigation skills, as well as the required understanding of Indiana divorce law, to ably advocate for a person’s right to be self-sustaining following a divorce. 

If you’re seeking divorce advice in Indiana relating to matters of child support, child custody, or parenting time, the Indiana family law attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP are available to help you. While the common questions answered below may prove to be helpful, matters of this kind are often much more complicated and litigious than one may believe. To speak with one of our Indiana child custody lawyers today, call 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. 

There are two types of custody in Indiana – legal and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the parent(s) that are granted the responsibility for making long-term decisions about important aspects of their child’s life. In Indiana, parents may be awarded sole legal custody or joint legal custody. When a parent is granted sole legal custody, that parent is permitted to make major decisions – like ones related to education, medical care, religious instruction, etc. – without having to consider the wishes or opinions of the other parent. In contrast, when two parents share joint legal custody, they must discuss and agree on major childrearing decisions.  

Physical custody, on the other hand, refers to the parent with whom the child is staying, according to the parenting time schedule. The parenting time schedule, or what is otherwise known as a visitation schedule, is either determined and agreed to by both parties as part of the divorce process; or is determined by the court in divorce proceedings, using the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines.  

How is Child Custody and Parenting Time Determined?  

In Indiana, courts determine child custody and parenting time using the Best Interests of the Child standard. As outlined in Indiana Code 31-17-2-8, this standard sets forth the following considerations for the court to evaluate:  

  • The age and sex of the child 
  • The wishes of the child’s parents 
  • The wishes of the child, with wishes of children 14 or older carrying more weight 
  • The child’s relationship with their parents and any siblings 
  • The child’s adjustment to home, school, and community 
  • The mental and physical health of the child and parents 
  • Evidence of violence by a parent 
  • Evidence that a de factor custodian cared or cares for the child 

On top of the standard listed above, when making parenting time order, the courts and parents must also consider logistical matters such as how far the parents live from each other and issues transporting the child between homes. 

Many individuals seeking divorce advice in Indiana wonder, “how do I best demonstrate that it is in the best interest of my child for me have sole custody or ample parenting time?” Well, the answer to this question is completely dependent upon your own personal situation. However, an experienced Indiana family law attorney knows the type of evidence courts are looking for when determining and parenting time orders in Indiana. 

What is Child Support?  

As clearly stated in Indiana Code 31-16-6-1, child support orders are an action in which the court may order either parent or both parents to pay any amount reasonable for support of a child/children, without regard to marital misconduct, after considering all relevant factors. These orders are most often made once a divorce proceeding has been initiated and then once again in the final divorce decree and judgment.   

What Does Child Support Cover?  

Child support in Indiana is intended to cover the basic costs of supporting the child/children. Basic costs can include housing, food, clothing, educational expenses, work-related childcare costs, insurance premiums, etc. In addition, extraordinary costs – such as emergency medical costs or extracurricular fees – may be factored into child support as well. However, these can be divided between the parents, often in proportion with each parent’s weekly income. 

How is Child Support Determined in Indiana?  

When Indiana courts make a child support order, they determine who must pay child support and to what extent by using the child support formula contained within the Indiana Child Support Rules and Guidelines, which considers the following factors: 

  • The number of the parties’ children  
  • Each parent’s gross income  
  • Each parent’s child support obligations to other children  
  • Spousal maintenance obligations  
  • Work-related childcare costs  
  • Health insurance premiums for the children  
  • Post-secondary educational expenses, if applicable  
  • The number of parenting time overnights allocated to each parent  

Depending on the specific costs or numbers associated with each of the items above, the amount of child support is computed by using the Guideline Schedules for Weekly Support Payments and then making a final calculation using the Indiana Child Support Worksheet.  

Need Divorce Advice in Indiana?  

Whether you’d like some background information on the intricacies of Indiana family law, or would like to better understand what to expect if you do choose to file for divorce, the Indiana divorce attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP are here to assist you. We are skilled, driven litigators and negotiators with years of experience guiding and advocating for individuals just like you.  

If you need divorce advice in Indiana call 317-648-9560 or schedule a free  consultation with a member of our team today.  

This article provides readers with a wide range of information and divorce advice in Indiana
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