Skip to Content

Initiating a Divorce

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Divorce can be a very difficult decision which can have effects on individuals for the remainder of their lives. In order to obtain a divorce in the State of Indiana certain requirements must be met and certain steps must be properly taken. This article is a small overview of those requirements and steps needed for initiating a divorce in Indiana.

1)Residency Requirements.

In order to obtain a divorce in Indiana, the court in which you are filing must have jurisdiction over your case. This is typically achieved when at least one of the parties to the divorce has been a resident of Indiana for at least 6 months immediately preceding the filing of the petition for dissolution. If neither party meets this requirement the court may still have jurisdiction if at least one of the parties was stationed at a United States military installation within Indiana for 6 months immediately preceding the filing of the petition. If neither of those requirements are met then Indiana will generally not have jurisdiction to grant the divorce.

In addition to the Indiana 6 month residency requirement, at least one of the parties must have resided for at least 3 months immediately preceding the filing in the county in which the petition was filed.

2)Legal Grounds For Divorce.

An Indiana Court must find legal grounds for the divorce before the court will grant it. The following is a list of all the grounds that Indiana recognizes:

(1) Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage;

(2) The conviction of either of the parties, subsequent to marriage, of a felony;

(3) Impotence, existing at the time of the marriage; or

(4) Incurable insanity of either party for a period of at least two (2) years.

Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage is by far the most common ground for dissolution.

3)Verified Petition For Dissolution.

A verified petition for dissolution must be filed with the court. The petition needs to consist of certain information for it to properly be filed and accepted in the court. The petition must include: the residence of each party and length of residence in the state and county; the date of the marriage; the date on which the parties separated; the name, age, and address of any child under 21 years of age and any incapacitated child of the marriage; whether the wife is pregnant; the grounds for dissolution; and the relief sought.

4)Common Issues in Divorce Proceedings.

Some of the common issues that arise in divorces include: child custody, child support, property division, parenting time (visitation), and spousal maintenance. If the parties are cooperative, then a divorce agreement could be reached to conclude any of the issues that arise in the divorce. Any agreement reached in respects to property division will not likely be final and not be modified by a court. Only in very rare circumstances will a court modify the agreed upon property division.

If an agreement cannot be met or cannot be met on specific issues of the divorce, then the parties will be heard in a final hearing. At the final hearing the court will hear the evidence and then determine the parties’ rights. There is a mandatory 60 day waiting period from the time of filing before a party can be heard in a final hearing.

Don’t feel that you must go about this difficult process alone. The lawyers at Vanderpool Law Firm are here to represent your rights and interests. We understand the issues that can arise in divorce proceedings and we are here to help you determine the best approach to take to address your concerns. Call us today to schedule an appointment. (574) 268-9995.