The answer is, “yes.” Indiana courts, like most states, will grant a dissolution of marriage so long as one party attests that the marriage has suffered an irretrievable breakdown. The trend, called “no fault divorce,” has been adopted in the states since the 1970s. Therefore, if one party does not want a divorce, it does not legally matter. The party who does not desire to be divorced cannot stop it, but only slow the process down.
Ultimately, after a divorce is filed and the parties determine the assets and liabilities and legal issues surrounding child custody (if there are children of the marriage) and the case tried, an order of dissolution of marriage Indiana by an Indiana trial court is issued. Most cases, however, resolve by mediation or other negotiations of the parties. In this case, a marital dissolution agreement is drafted, signed by the parties, and sent to the court for approval.
The marital dissolution agreement is reviewed by the trial court, and typically, even if the trial court disagrees with the parties’ division of the marital estate, it will be ordered and the parties divorced. The adult parties are free to reach any division of the assets and liabilities, even if the trial court does not agree or have authority to order the agreement on its own (without the parties agreement).
Where there are children of the marriage, however, the trial court will provide a more detailed level of review of the agreement as it relates to child custody, parenting time, and child support. As it relates to child custody, trial courts are charged with ordering agreements in the children’s best interests, even if the parties do not account for it in their agreement. The trial court may not order, and must reject or refuse to approve, the marital dissolution agreement and divorce for the parties if it is not in the children’s best interests.
If approved, the court will order the marital dissolution agreement as its order and issue a decree of dissolution of marriage, which returns the parties to unmarried status.
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