How do I file for divorce in Indiana?
Emotions ride a roller coaster as spouses determine whether it’s time to divorce. Those who decide to go forward face the next overwhelming challenge–the legal system.
Just entering a courthouse intimidates most. Knowing what to take with you helps.
Petition for Dissolution–All couples will file a Petition for Dissolution. This form names the Petitioner (the person initiating a legal case) and the Respondent (the person receiving the action).
Couples can file a Joint Petition for Dissolution which recognizes the joint decision to divorce but still requires the designation of Petitioner and Respondent.
The Petition notes:
- where the couple resides. Couples must have lived in Indiana at least six (6) months to file for divorce.
- when the couple was married.
- when they separated. (The date of filing can be used if couples still live together.)
- names, dates of birth, and age of any children of the marriage. The Petition also notes which children would be under the jurisdiction of the Court (any child under the age of 18) and whether Mother is now pregnant.
The Petition then asks the Court to–
- dissolve the marriage,
- divide the marital property, and
- determine custody, parenting time, and child support (if there are children).
Pro Se Appearance–If either party is not represented by an attorney, they must file a pro se appearance informing the Court that the person intends to represent him/herself.
Waiver of Process–Courts notify parties that a lawsuit has been filed through service of process. A representative of the Court “serves” the other party official notice of the suit. If both spouses know the Petition will be filed, the Waiver of Process tells the Court that no service on the other party is needed.
Notice of Mediation–If the parties intend to pursue mediation, they file a Notice of Mediation. This informs the Court that the couple has engaged a professional to help them resolve the issues of the divorce. If mediation is chosen, the couple will also file a Waiver of Initial Hearing.
Waiver of Initial Hearing–for couples relying solely on the Court to resolve the issues, the Court will set an initial hearing to create interim financial and parenting plans. These govern the couple’s interactions until final agreements are reached. When the spouses are in mediation (or represented by attorneys), preliminary issues are usually settled outside of court. The couple files a Waiver of Initial Hearing to inform the Court that no hearing is needed.
For model forms go to–http://www.in.gov/judiciary/selfservice/2351.htm.
Filing the proper paperwork is merely the first of many steps in divorce. At The Resolution Center, we help couples with the entire process. We educate couples on:
- the complexity of issues they face,
- the options for resolving those issues, and
- the pros and cons of each option.
We then work with clients to create agreements that mesh the top priorities of each spouse into a workable long-term plan.
Most importantly, we help couples with children learn to co-parent effectively. Often better than when married.
If you would like protection, predictability, and privacy for your divorce–please call 317-344-9740 or email info@TheResolutionCenterIndy.com. We can answer your questions about the paperwork. . .and all the other questions of divorce. We stand ready to serve you.