Divorce in Indiana is legally referred to as Dissolution of Marriage.
To file for a divorce or legal separation, either party must be a resident of Indiana or stationed at a U.S. military installation within the state for six months immediately preceding the filing of the petition. At the time of filing either party must be a resident of the county or stationed at a U.S. military installation within the county where the petition is filed for three months immediately preceding the filing.
A Petition for Dissolution of Marriage may be filed in Domestic relations court in the county where the party is a resident.
At least 60 days after a Petition for Dissolution is filed, the court may enter a summary dissolution decree without holding a final hearing if the Petition (filing spouse) has filed verified pleadings signed by both parties with the court containing the following:
A woman who desires the restoration of her maiden name must set out the name she desires to be restored to her in her Petition for Dissolution as part of the relief sought. The court shall grant the name change upon entering the decree of dissolution.
The statutory grounds for divorce in Indiana are as follows:
The following void marriages, prohibited by Indiana law:
The following are voidable marriages:
An incapable party due to age or mental capacity, and an alleged victim of fraud may file an action to annul the marriage in a court that has jurisdiction over the action. However, to file for annulment, after the discovery of the alleged fraud, the alleged victim must not have continues to cohabit with the other party.
A circuit or superior court has jurisdiction over actions to annul voidable marriages.
Indiana is an equitable division state. In an action for dissolution of marriage, the court shall divide the property of the parties whether owned by either spouse before the marriage, acquired by either spouse in his/her own right after the marriage and before final separation of the parties, or acquired by their joint efforts.
The court shall divide the property fair and reasonably in the following manner:
The court will generally show a preference towards equal division of the marital property as being just and reasonable. However, consideration of the following factors may overcome the court's presumption:
If the court finds there is little or no marital property, it may award either spouse a money judgment not limited to the property existing at the time of final separation. However, this award may be made only for the financial contribution of one spouse towards tuition, books, and laboratory fees for the postsecondary education of the other spouse.
A court may consider the following factors when determining an award of maintenance:
The court may award maintenance for a set period of time, as the situation warrants, or may find in favor of rehabilitative maintenance for a period of time that the court considers appropriate, but not to exceed three years from the date of the final decree.
The court shall determine custody and enter a custody order in accordance with the best interests of the child. When making this determination, there is no presumption favoring either parent. The court shall consider all relevant factors, including the following:
If evidence that the child has been cared for by a de facto custodian is sufficient, the court shall also consider the following factors:
The court may award legal custody of a child jointly if the court finds that an award of joint legal custody would be in the best interest of the child. An award of joint legal custody does not require an equal division of physical custody of the child.
In determining whether an award of joint legal custody would be in the best interest of the child, the court shall consider it a matter of primary, but not determinative, importance that the persons awarded joint custody have agreed to an award of joint legal custody. The court shall also consider the following:
Indiana's Parenting Time guidelines are based on the premise that it is usually in a child's best interest to have frequent, meaningful and continuing contact with each parent.
A parent not granted custody of the child is entitled to reasonable parenting time rights unless the court finds, after a hearing, that parenting time by the noncustodial parent might endanger the child's physical health or significantly impair the child's emotional development.
Parenting time and domestic or family violence:
If a court finds that a non-custodial parent has been convicted of a crime involving domestic or family violence that was witnessed or heard by the non-custodial parent's child, the court shall order that the non-custodial parent's parenting time with the child must be supervised for at least one year and not more than two years immediately following the crime involving domestic or family violence or until the child becomes emancipated, whichever occurs first.
In an action for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, the court may order either parent or both parents to pay any reasonable amount for support of a child without regard to marital misconduct, after considering all relevant factors, including the following:
A child support order must require either parent or both parents to provide medical support for the child through health insurance coverage if available to the parent at a reasonable cost.
The child support order or an educational support order may also include the following, where appropriate:
If the court orders support for a child's educational expenses at a postsecondary educational institution, it shall reduce other child support for that child that is duplicated by the educational support order and would otherwise be paid to the custodial parent.
The court shall order a custodial parent who receives child support to obtain an account at a financial institution unless the custodial parent files a written objection before the child support order is issued and the court finds that good cause exists to exempt the custodial parent from the account requirement.
Indiana uses the Income Shares Model for calculating child support. The formula uses the weekly gross income of the parents and the number of children for whom support will be ordered, with deductions for child support paid to other children and maintenance paid to other spouses. Acceptable adjustments include obligations for post-secondary education, work-related child care expenses, children's health insurance premiums and parenting time credit.
The child support obligation terminates when the child becomes 21 years of age unless any of the following conditions occurs:
If the 18 year old child is only partially supporting or is capable of only partially supporting him/herself, the court may order that the support be modified, rather than terminated
Proceedings for Legal Separation must comply with the Indiana Rules of Civil Procedure. A decree for legal separation may be entered if the conditions in or circumstances of the marriage make it intolerable for both parties to live together, yet the marriage should be maintained.
In an action for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, either party may file a motion for any of the following:
The court may require the parties to seek counseling for themselves or for a child of the parties under the terms and conditions that the court considers appropriate if either of the following occurs:
The court may not require joint counseling of the parties without the consent of both parties or if there is evidence that the other party has demonstrated a pattern of domestic or family violence against a family or household member.
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