Divorce cases often cover the entire spectrum of law, ranging from complex financial transactions to lengthy custody trials. For this reason, Indiana’s divorce law is very comprehensive to give attorneys, litigants, and judges the ability to “untangle” a relationship that has been years in the making in incremental steps.
As such, the parties can agree to terms even a divorce court could not order, so long as it does not agree to waive child support or have terms that are not in the children’s best interests. For this reasons, a divorce may be finalized in several ways.
First, in cases of professionals or others who need or desire a divorce to have a legal order effectuating the severance of the union, the parties and court can bifurcate and divorce the parties. This means all other issues may remain for final decision by the court, such as custody and property. It is sometimes the case where custody is highly contested, the parties may resolve property and be divorced by a bifurcated agreement. If ordered, this is the end of the matters it decides.
Second, the parties may remain married, but settle property issues alone. This would leave the divorce and custody issues for the court. This is perhaps the least common type of final partial division of a marriage. However, in the right case, this is a remedy available under Indiana’s divorce law. This might free up much needed assets and make them clear as to ownership for acute financial needs.
Third, the parties may agree on custody matters in whole or in part and make that part of the divorce final. For instance, parties who do not disagree about legal custody, such as educational or religious decisions, might agree to joint legal custody as a final order of the court; at a later date the physical custody and parenting time may be decided.
While most divorces are finalized at the same time, this blog is aimed at sharing the great flexibility the law has to be fair and just and meet the children’s best interests. However, all agreements are subject to review and approval by a court to ensure they comply with the law. This is the role of a neutral fact finder. If you can agree, which court and lawyers prefer, there is probably a legal provision to get the case to that point.
This blog post was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. It is intended as general educational material and not specific legal advice or a solicitation for legal services. It is best viewed as an advertisement. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. advocates practice Family Law throughout the greater Indianapolis area and the State of Indiana.