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How Do I Know If I Am Eligible to File for a Divorce in Indiana?

In our mobile society, people relocate for work or move much more frequently than in the past. When new to the State, sometimes it coincides or hastens a rock marriage to divorce. This often presents us with questions about what it takes to file for divorce.

There are four major requirements or considerations. The first is that one of the parties lives in the State for at least six months and the county for three months. Where this is not the case, a divorce filing is unavailable to that party, at least until the time passes for this connection to Indiana. This is logical to prevent someone from just moving to a state with a more favorable divorce law for their particular situation and filing divorce, such as to a state with stronger alimony (called maintenance in Indiana) laws.

The second requirement is that the marriage be irretrievably broken. In the 1970s most states moved away from fault based divorce, whereby a divorce was only legally possible if wrong-doing had occurred. An example was an affair. That had to be proved in the evidence. Now so long as one party believes the marriage is so broken that it cannot be repaired and puts on that statement as evidence, it is sufficient. However, if the other party does not want “divorced,” he or she may be able to take several legal steps to slow down the process; sixty days is the minimum waiting period for a divorce to be granted in Indiana once filed.

The third is to disclose the date of marriage and separation. Separation can be as of the filing date or earlier, such as when a party moved out or expresses his or her view the marriage was over and wanted a divorce. This is important information for the trial court, in part, in determining how to divide the marital property (assets and liabilities) in a very short or long-term marriage.

The fourth requirement is the names (initials to protect identity) and dates of birth (partial to protect identity) to the court, with age and sex generally noted. This can have an impact on child custody and components of child support.

In today’s complex world, a divorce is a major emotional, business and life transaction that is governed by numerous statutes, cases, policies, rules and regulations. We hope this blog post helps provide you with some understanding of the divorce process in Indiana so you can be better legal consumers and help your attorney help you if a divorce is in your future. This blog was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C., who practice domestic relations throughout the State of Indiana. This is not intended as specific legal advice for your situation or a solicitation for legal services.

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