Divorcing couples in Indiana can file a petition for the dissolution of their marriage under no-fault or fault-based grounds. Although most divorces in the state are no-fault, citing an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, Indiana also recognizes felony conviction, impotence, and incurable insanity as fault-based grounds for divorce.
Hoosier couples do not have to assign blame to either spouse or give proof that marital misconduct occurred to get divorced in Indiana. Rather, state law permits divorcing couples to cite an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” as the grounds for divorce. In such cases, couples need to demonstrate that their relationship is irreparably damaged and there is no chance for reconciliation. They do not have to provide specific details regarding the cause of the breakdown.
The judge can delay the divorce trial if there is reason to believe that the relationship can be repaired, however. Although not common, the judge can suggest counseling or a cooling-off period prior to granting the request for divorce. In most cases, when one or both of the spouses state that there is no chance of reconciliation, doubt is eliminated and the no-fault divorce is ultimately granted.
Under specific circumstances, people may use fault as the grounds for their divorce filings. Often, fault-based reasons are tied to actions on the part of one spouse or the existence of situations that make continuing the marriage impracticable. Indiana provides the following reasons as permissible fault-based grounds for divorce:
- The incurable insanity of either spouse for at least two years
- The conviction of a felony offense on the part of either spouse after the marriage
- The presence of impotence during the marriage
To have their divorce petitions granted based on one of these causes, however, people must provide proof of their allegations. While fault is not necessary for a couple to seek the dissolution of a marriage, the court may consider these reasons when making decisions regarding the division of the marital property, spousal support awards, and child custody.
There is a 60-day mandatory waiting period from the time the petition is filed until the divorce will be finalized. If the divorce is contested, however, it could take many months for the marriage to be dissolved.