Divorce Law in Indiana

How to Find an Indiana Divorce Attorney

When you're going through divorce, you will likely be given a lot of advice. Consider it all; absorb that which makes sense; and discard the rest. If you're considering divorcing and looking for an Indiana divorce attorney, this article is for you. Here is the opportunity to learn from the successes and mistakes of those who have gone before you.

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.

- Helen Keller

In this article (which is based upon Indiana divorce law), we'll discuss:

  • Indiana specific divorce law requirements;
  • What you need to know about divorce; and
  • Whether it's in your best interest to hire an Indiana divorce lawyer and, if so, how to find one and how to prepare to work with him or her.

Indiana Divorce Law Specifics

  • Either you or your spouse must have been a resident of Indiana for at least 6 months prior to the divorce filing and either one of you must have been a resident of the county where the divorce is filed for at least 3 months prior to the divorce.
  • Divorce may be filed based upon either "no-fault" or "fault" grounds.
    • No-fault means that the marriage is "irretrievably broken".
    • Indiana, fault means that your spouse your spouse was impotent when you got married, was convicted of a felony during your marriage, or is insane and has been for at least 2 years.
  • Indiana uses the terms, "petitioner" and "respondent" to describe, first, the spouse who initially filed the divorce papers, and, second, the other spouse.
  • In Indiana, divorce papers are filed in the Superior Court, Circuit Court, or County Domestic Relations Court.
  • In some cases, alimony is available.
  • In Indiana property distribution will be based upon what's "equitable" (i.e. fair) and child support will be based upon the Income Shares Model.

What You Need to Know About Divorce in Indiana

In this section, we'll highlight the aspects of divorce that will help you this most.

  • Your divorce lawyer will handle the legal aspects of divorce; a qualified therapist is best suited to help you handle the emotional aspects of divorce.
  • Like all negotiations, every divorce involves compromise; if you and your spouse create your own marital settlement agreement, you will be in control.
  • Always be thinking, "compromise, collaboration, communication, and cooperation". Your initial reaction may be to scoff at this advice and to dream of exacting revenge, but learn from all those who have gone before you.

If you follow our advice:

  • You are in a position to keep you legal fees to a minimum.
  • You can make the divorce easier on yourself and your children.
  • You can reduce the stress.
  • You can get more of what you want.

Is it in Your Best Interests to Work with an Indiana Divorce Lawyer?

Technically, you are able to represent yourself through an Indiana divorce; in practicality, it's likely a very bad idea. After all, if you give up any marital rights during divorce, you will be forever barred from asserting them in Indiana courts.

And what will one mistake cost you?

Even Indiana attorneys who go through divorce hire their own divorce lawyers. One mistake may cost you tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars and time with your children.

How to Find and Select an Indiana Divorce Attorney

Ask friends for a referral and Google "How to Find a Indiana Divorce Attorney". Make sure that potential attorneys focus their practice on divorce law, family law, or matrimonial law and are licensed to practice law in Indiana.

Select the attorney with whom you are most comfortable and who is willing to work collaboratively (no shark attorneys) to get you what you need.

Always ask whatever questions you have about fees, process, what to expect, communications, and timing.

How to Prepare to Work with Your Divorce Attorney

Here is a checklist that will help you to prepare to work with your attorney:

  • Determine whether reconciliation should be attempted. It's okay to wait to file divorce.
  • Consult with a therapist or psychologist, who specializes in helping people going through divorce.
  • Make a list of questions and concerns to address with your divorce attorney.
  • Make a "wish list" of everything you would like in the divorce (e.g. finances, living arrangements, and child related matters) and indicate which items are your top priorities and which items aren't as important.
  • Gather financial documents such as tax returns, loan applications, financial account statements, bills, expenses, income sources, and retirement account statements.

Learn from the mistakes of others.
You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.

- Author Unknown

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