Getting a divorce in Indiana requires specific filing documents, service of process, and financial disclosures.
Filing for an Indiana Divorce
Indiana courts refer to a divorce proceeding as a “dissolution of marriage.” To obtain a legal divorce, courts require a process that establishes the state of residency, proper filing forms, serving forms to a spouse, and financial disclosures. Indiana divorce lawyers can oversee the legal process required under Indiana laws.
State of Residency
Regardless of the type of divorce, Indiana law requires that at least one spouse lived in Indiana for a minimum of six months and lived in the county of filing for at least three months before filing for divorce.
Grounds for Divorce
Although Indiana is known as a “no-fault divorce” state, there are certain grounds for divorce. Indiana includes four grounds for divorce: (1) Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, (2) felony conviction after the marriage, (3) impotence (if it existed at the time of the marriage), and (4) incurable insanity for at least two years. If spouses choose a limited non fault-based divorce, the divorce is considered “irretrievably broken,” indicating no chance of reuniting.
Although divorce circumstances may determine specific individual forms required, Indiana law requires the following forms for all divorces: (1) Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, (2) Summons, (3) Financial Declaration, and (4) Child Support Obligation Worksheet (for minor children). Indiana divorce lawyers can provide legal guidance through the process of discovery.
Filing Proper Forms
When required forms are completed, they must be filed with the county clerk’s office in the county of residence. In Indiana, each county has its own rules regarding the required number of filed copies. State law also requires documents containing confidential information to be filed consistent with the Access to Confidential Records Rules. Confidential information includes:
- Social Security Numbers
- Bank Account Numbers
- Personal Pin Numbers
- Tax Records
- Medical Records
- Child Abuse Records
Serving Forms to a Spouse
Once all forms are filed with the County Clerk’s Office, they must be served on a spouse through a “Service of Process” which notifies the spouse that divorce papers were filed and gives the spouse an opportunity to file an answer, counterclaim, or both. Indiana laws allow service to a spouse through certified mail, a private process server, or a local sheriff. Once documents are served, divorce lawyers can help with issues regarding alimony, division of debt and property, child custody, and child support.