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Indiana Divorce Process
Preparing the Divorce Papers

All Indiana divorces require the following forms:

  • Petition for Dissolution of Marriage,
  • Summons,
  • Financial Declaration, and
  • Child Support Obligation Worksheet (if the couple has minor children).

There are also forms based on the type of case. These include:

  • Divorce with Children and with an Agreement on All Issues
  • Divorce with Children and without an Agreement on All Issues
  • Divorce without Children and with an Agreement on All Issues
  • Divorce without Children and without an Agreement on All Issues
Read more about Indiana divorce forms


Filing the Paperwork with the Court

The petitioner files the divorce paperwork with the clerk of court's office in his or her county. Each county has its own rules regarding how many copies must be filed; however, a statewide rule requires any documents containing confidential information to be on light green paper. Indiana defines confidential information as Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, tax records, PIN numbers, medical records, and child abuse records.

Read more about Indiana divorce facts


Serving the Documents

After filing, the petitioner serves the respondent with copies of the divorce paperwork. Service of process gives the other person an opportunity to file an answer, counterclaim, or both. Indiana law permits service via certified mail, private process server, or sheriff's service.

After service, the spouses can try to work out an agreement.

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Disclosing Financial Information

In the period between the initial filing and the final hearing, both sides must exchange financial information, including a list of all income, assets, and debts.

Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is generally much less expensive than seeing a case all the way through to trial.

Spouses who handle the issues file a settlement agreement with the court. The agreement addresses all the items in the divorce petition, including the distribution of assets and debts. If there are children, the spouses must also file a parenting plan that designates which parent will have custody and how each side will exercise visitation.

Finalizing the Divorce

Whether or not the spouses reach agreement or go forward with trial, Indiana imposes a 60-day waiting period before a court grants a final decree ending the marriage. However, it could take longer than 60 days, depending on the issues and the court’s schedule.

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Courts in Indiana make custody determinations in the best interests of the child. While the court makes no presumption that one parent is better than the other based on gender, it is required to consider certain relevant factors before awarding custody, including the age and gender of the child and the child's and parents' wishes (special consideration is given to the wishes of a child who is 14 years of age or older), parental and family interaction, and the child's home, school and community adjustment. The mental and physical health of both child and parents will be taken into consideration, as well as any evidence that domestic violence occurred in the marriage.

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