In this article, we discuss the legal requirements for a divorce in Indiana. We answer questions surrounding:
Indiana law refers to divorce as a Dissolution of Marriage. To file for a dissolution of marriage in Indiana, you or your spouse must have lived in Indiana for at least 6 months. You or your spouse must have lived in the county you filed for 3 months.
Statutory Grounds for Dissolution of Marriage in Indiana
There are four possible legal reasons for dissolution of marriage in Indiana. The first, irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, is the most common because it can be proven by testimony of either of the parties. The three others are highly specific. They are: a felony conviction by either of the parties during the marriage; impotency existing at the time of the marriage; or Incurable insanity of either party for at least 2 years.
Property Division in Indiana
The goal for Indiana Dissolution of Marriage is fair division of marital property. Exceptions to marital property include property acquired by either party prior to the marriage, inheritance, and separate gifts. The court looks at what each person contributed to the marriage, either financially or through other means such as taking care of the home or children. Both parties need to fully disclose all finances and assets in their possession. If there are children of the marriage, the marital home might go to the home of the primary caregiver.
Legal Custody, Parenting Time and Child Support in Indiana
All court decisions regarding children are based on the best interest of the child. Indiana law is based on the belief that the child should have a strong relationship with both parents. Divorcing parents will be subject to orders for legal custody, parenting time and child support as part of their dissolution of marriage.
Indiana allows for maintenance of a spouse for a maximum of 3 years, or possibly longer if the spouse is incapacitated or caring for an incapacitated child. The maintenance order is dependent on the relative earning potential of each party and considers the parties’ educational level and how long a party has been away from the workplace. The goal is to help put the party receiving maintenance in a position to support themselves in their new life.
If you are unable to continue married life but not sure you want to end your marriage, Indiana allows parties to file for legal separation when the couple’s current circumstances make it intolerable for them to live together, but they would like to maintain the marriage. Legal Separation allows for temporary allocation of assets and debts so the parties can live independently of one another. The parties can end a legal separation or convert it to a dissolution action at any time.
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