How to Get a Divorce in Indiana Without an Attorney

By Wayne Thomas

Navigating the legal process in a divorce can be overwhelming. In Indiana, divorces are referred to as dissolution of marriage actions and require you to pay strict attention to many applicable laws and procedural rules. Although you are not required to hire an attorney, court officers are not allowed to provide you with legal advice. Knowing the basics of filing and how each stage of the dissolution process operates may help ensure that you are fully prepared if you decide to represent yourself in Indiana.

Navigating the legal process in a divorce can be overwhelming. In Indiana, divorces are referred to as dissolution of marriage actions and require you to pay strict attention to many applicable laws and procedural rules. Although you are not required to hire an attorney, court officers are not allowed to provide you with legal advice. Knowing the basics of filing and how each stage of the dissolution process operates may help ensure that you are fully prepared if you decide to represent yourself in Indiana.

Residency Requirement

The first step in getting a divorce in Indiana is to determine whether you are eligible for divorce in the state. This is referred to as the residency requirement and it is met if either you or your spouse have lived in the state for at least six months prior to filing for divorce.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Determine Grounds

If you are eligible to file in Indiana, the next step is to determine the grounds for divorce. This simply refers to the reason why you wish to end the marriage and can be based on the fault of your spouse or under the no-fault ground that your marriage has suffered an irretrievable breakdown. The state allows divorce based on fault grounds if your spouse committed a felony, has been incurably insane for at least two years or was impotent at the time of marriage.

Paperwork

Once you have determined the appropriate divorce grounds, you may then obtain a Petition for Dissolution from the court clerk. The petition initiates the divorce and contains any specific requests you have regarding how property, spousal support and child custody matters should be decided. The document must also include information about your children and financial matters, and indicate that you are proceeding without an attorney. Once complete, the petition may be filed with the Circuit Court in the county where either you or your spouse has resided for the previous three months.

Service of Process

After the petition has been filed, the court clerk will "serve" your spouse with the divorce paperwork. Service means that she is furnished a copy of the petition by certified mail or hand delivery. Unlike some states, your spouse may, but is not required to, file a written response to your petition.

Next Steps

No divorce will be granted in Indiana until at least 60 days have passed since the date you file. If you and your spouse are in total agreement, you may submit a written settlement and the court will typically grant the divorce without a hearing after the waiting period. If you and your spouse disagree, the court may hold preliminary hearings to temporarily resolve property and child-related issues while the divorce is pending. As the case progresses, you will have an opportunity to exchange information with your spouse and the matter will head to trial. At trial, you and your spouse may present witnesses and other evidence to support your claims. The court will then issue a ruling settling the divorce matters and declare you divorced.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
What Happens After Filing for Divorce in Oregon?

References

Related articles

How to Do Your Own Divorce in Ohio

Either spouse may legally file for divorce in the state of Ohio. If your divorce is uncontested or no-fault, you can likely do it yourself without the assistance of an attorney. If your spouse contests the divorce or you anticipate a complex process, you should consider consulting a family attorney for advice. Ohio law allows you to end a marriage in one of two ways, either by divorce or dissolution of marriage. The dissolution of marriage procedure is cheaper and less bureaucratic, but requires each spouse to agree on all essential issues.

How to Fill Out Divorce Paperwork in Alaska

The process for filling out divorce paperwork in Alaska depends on whether you and your spouse agree. In cases where there is no dispute regarding property division, spousal support and child custody and support, Alaska courts refer to the matter as "uncontested." In uncontested cases, much of the time-consuming aspects of divorce can be avoided. If there are areas of dispute, the matter is deemed contested and your case must proceed under the formalities of a traditional divorce action. Understanding how agreement affects the paperwork you need to file will help you avoid delays in the Alaska divorce process.

Alabama Divorce Via Default

Whether you cannot track down your spouse or he is completely unresponsive to your divorce complaint, you may still ask courts in Alabama to grant you a divorce without your spouse's input. A default divorce is granted when one spouse files for divorce but the other spouse does not file any documents with the court and does not show up to the final hearing. However, you must ensure that you properly notified your spouse about the divorce, or he may ask the court to void the default judgment.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to Start a Divorce Process

Divorce is governed by state law, and the exact process for starting a divorce can vary from one state to the next. ...

Indiana Divorce Laws

Dealing with the unknown can be one of the most difficult aspects of divorce, but if you live in Indiana, it’s ...

Can You Contest a Divorce in Florida Without a Lawyer?

Sometimes a divorcing couple can only agree on one thing: that they want a divorce. In Florida, if you and your spouse ...

Paper Work for a Divorce in the State of Indiana

Filling out and filing paperwork is a large part of the divorce process in Indiana. The exact forms required depend on ...

Browse by category