File for Divorce in Indiana

File for Divorce in Indiana

File for Divorce in Indiana


How to File for Divorce in Indiana



Spouses may wait for a long time before initiating divorce proceedings, but once divorce begins, it's a fairly simple step-by-step process.  This guide will be an overview of how to file for divorce in Indiana so you can better understand the steps involved in completing a divorce suit.



1.  Make Sure You're Eligible



In order to file for divorce in Indiana, you will have to meet the state's residency requirements.  Either you or your spouse must have resided in Indiana for at least 6 months prior to filing, and either you or your spouse must have been a resident for at least 3 months of the county where you file.



2.  Fill Out the Paperwork



Divorce paperwork in Indiana is called a petition for dissolution of marriage.  This petition begins the divorce process.  When you want to file for divorce in Indiana, you will obtain forms for the petition and fill them out completely to the best of your ability and knowledge.



The petition will ask personal information about you, your spouse, and your children.  While some states allow you to allege marital misconduct, Indiana's divorce laws are fully “no fault,” so you will only be able to allege that your marriage has irretrievably broken down when you file for divorce in Indiana.



You will also have the ability to ask the court for “relief,” or terms of the divorce.  You can ask for child custody, alimony, to change your last name back to a previous name, or even for a restraining order if your spouse has threatened or hurt you.



3.  File the Paperwork



After you fill out the petition, you are ready to file for divorce in Indiana.  You will take your petition for dissolution of marriage to the county courthouse and file it with the clerk of the court.  Typically, depending on your county, the filing fee for this will be between $100 and $150.



4.  Serve the Papers



Once you file for divorce in Indiana, your spouse needs to be notified officially.  Generally, this can be done quite inexpensively by hiring the sheriff's office to serve the papers to your spouse at home or at his or her place of employment.



5.  Settle or Go to Trial



After you file for divorce in Indiana and your spouse responds to your petition, you can begin to negotiate a divorce settlement agreement.  Divorce settlements require spouses to agree on all aspects of the divorce, including financial divisions and divisions of parental responsibilities if the couple has children.  You may negotiate a divorce settlement with your spouse on your own, or with the aid of divorce lawyers or trained mediators who can help you negotiate and draft the final settlement.



Most couples who file for divorce in Indiana never see their case go to trial, choosing to settle instead to save both money and time.  If your case goes to trial, it may be months or years before your divorce is complete and you are eligible to re-marry.






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