Divorce Lawyers in Kokomo, Indiana
Making the decision to pursue a divorce is never easy. The dissolution of a marriage often has far-reaching effects on family dynamics, leaving individuals with feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can lighten the burden that typically accompanies divorce by choosing to work with a skilled and compassionate divorce lawyer, who will be able to capably guide you through the entire divorce process and protect your best interests.
If you are currently facing the life-altering choice of divorce, we encourage you to consult with Keffer Hirschauer LLP’s experienced divorce lawyers in Kokomo, Indiana. Renowned for delivering strong legal representation, our team is well-equipped to handle even the most intricate divorce matters. Take the first step towards understanding your options by requesting a complimentary case evaluation by calling 317-857-0160 or completing our online contact form.
The Role of Divorce Lawyers in Kokomo Indiana
Given their expertise in Indiana family law, divorce lawyers who practice in Kokomo, Indiana, can provide you with invaluable support and guidance throughout the process of dissolving your marriage. Furthermore, they can provide sound legal counsel as you navigate the divorce proceedings. For example, since Courts don’t practice 50/50 divorce in Indiana, one of your divorce lawyer’s primary responsibilities will be to assist in negotiating fair settlements. Additionally, your divorce lawyer may also act as a mediator and/or facilitator, working to resolve conflicts as they arise. In the end, this will help tremendously when it comes to reducing both the emotional and financial strain that typically accompanies a divorce in Indiana.
As a whole, navigating a divorce is a challenging task. However, with experienced litigators from Keffer Hirschauer LLP by your side, you can face the divorce process with confidence. Our Indiana family lawyers understand Indiana’s divorce laws inside and out and can offer sound advice tailored to your unique situation. From initiating the divorce to navigating divorce proceedings to ironing out details related to child custody, parenting, and the division of assets, our attorneys can stand ready to represent you.
Initiating the Divorce Process
In Indiana, a divorce begins when one of the parties prepares and files a petition for dissolution, often with the help of a divorce lawyer who practices in Kokomo, Indiana. This petition, basically, is asking the court to legally end the marriage. Since Indiana is a no-fault divorce state, the party seeking divorce is not required to show bad acts by the other party in order to be entitled to a divorce. Instead, in the petition for dissolution, the petitioner must allege one of the four legal grounds for divorce set forth in Indiana Code 31-15-2-3, which include:
- The conviction of one of the parties of a felony after the date of the marriage
- One party’s impotence, which existed prior to the marriage
- Either party’s diagnosis of incurable insanity that lasts at least two years
- Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage
Handling Divorce Proceedings
Once the petition is filed, the clock for the divorce proceeding begins ticking. In Indiana, the waiting period for divorce is 60 days following the filing of the petition. This means that Courts cannot grant the divorce until this period of time has concluded. During this time, your divorce lawyers can work on a variety of things related to the dissolution of your marriage. They’ll often begin helping you understand your rights and obligations during and after the divorce proceeding; identifying and preparing for potential areas of dispute, and helping you gather any records that may prove to be helpful during negotiations on child custody, property division, and financial matters, among other common elements of a divorce.
When the divorce proceedings begin, your Indiana divorce lawyers will be there to represent you in court and/or mediations. During this time, they’ll work towards protecting you and your best interests. They’ll also assist in making or defending against allegations of contempt and/or seek modifications to prior orders or decrees.
Assisting in the Division of Assets
Most divorce proceedings begin by determining marital assets and liabilities. Put simply, what the parties own and how much the parties owe. Furthermore, in addition to identifying the marital assets, the parties will also need to provide the court with values for each asset. For some assets this is an easy task, but for more complicated assets like business interest or retirement accounts, it can become more complicated and require professional valuation.
In Indiana, anything that is owned by either party or by the parties jointly is considered a marital asset and thus is subject to division in the course of the divorce. So, once these assets have been identified and valued, they’ll need to be divided up between the parties. The parties may provide the court with an agreed division of property, which the court is free to accept or reject. When the parties disagree on the division of assets or debts, the court may need to hold an evidentiary hearing.
While the prospect of a home purchased or a business started prior to the marriage being part of the marital assets may sound scary, a good divorce lawyer in Kokomo, Indiana should be able to successfully argue that a particular asset (or assets) not be included in the marital pot and subject to division.
Tackling Matters Related to Child Custody and Parenting Time
In Indiana, courts must determine each parent’s rights and obligations. So, if both parties are in agreement on all custody, support, and parenting time matters, that’s fantastic. They may simply submit their agreement for the court’s review and approval. However, if there are any disputes during the course of negotiations over these topics, the Court may then require a hearing to make their determination
If you and your former partner don’t completely agree on custody matters, or if you anticipate a difficult custody battle, engaging a skilled divorce lawyer in Kokomo Indiana is critical. They can help you understand what to expect in a custody dispute, determine whether you should engage your own third-party evaluator, and decide how best to move forward to achieve your child custody and parenting time goals.
It’s vital to understand that when it comes to custody orders in Indiana, courts are required to make a decision that is best for the child, not the parents. To make this determination, courts use Indiana’s Best Interest of the Child Checklist, which considers several factors including:
- The child’s age and gender
- The wishes of the parent or parents
- The child’s wishes, although more consideration is given to the wishes of children age 14 and higher
- How the child interacts and relates with each parent, sibling, or other person who could significantly impact the best interests of the child
- The child’s adjustment to the current home, school, and community
- The mental and physical health of the parents, the child, and other involved individuals
- Evidence of domestic or family violence by either parent
- Evidence that the child has been in the care of a de facto custodian
- The designation in a parent’s or de facto custodian’s power of attorney
Prior to entering a custody hearing, your divorce lawyer will help you create and present the best argument regarding the best interest of the child and your parental rights in Indiana. They will prepare you on which questions the judge may ask about your lifestyle, financial stability, and personal life, as well as help decide which witnesses to bring to court. Finally, your divorce lawyer from Kokomo, Indiana will ensure that you have all the necessary forms and documentation, limiting the risk of having your case thrown out for procedural violations.
Spousal Maintenance in Indiana
Spousal maintenance, often confused with alimony in Indiana, is financial support that is paid by one spouse to another spouse, who lacks the means to obtain employment that is sufficient for self-support following the divorce. Spousal maintenance orders, however, are only awarded in very limited circumstances. Per Indiana Code 31-15-7, spousal maintenance can only be awarded by a trial court in one of three scenarios:
- When a spouse is incapacitated;
- When a spouse is a caregiver for an incapacitated child; or
- When a spouse requires support in order to acquire education or training to get a job
If you worry that, in the wake of your divorce, you’ll be unable to support yourself or your children, your divorce attorney will pursue every avenue provided by the spousal maintenance laws to help you obtain some level of spousal support and advocate for your right to become self-sustaining.
Need to Speak with a Divorce Lawyer in Kokomo, Indiana?
Whether you’re going through a divorce with numerous, complex assets and property, or one that may require contentious child custody or parenting time proceedings, you will need an attorney with extensive experience in family law to guide you. Keffer Hirschauer LLP employs a team of divorce lawyers serving Kokomo, Indiana who stand ready to be your advocate. Our litigation-focused firm is dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients and capably steering them through the divorce process, so they can move forward and begin the next chapter in their life. To speak with a compassionate and skilled divorce attorney today, call 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation