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How Do I Begin the Divorce Filing Process?

Couples do not walk down the aisle on their wedding day expecting that they will eventually consider divorce, but the topic may come up when the marital relationship has broken down. When that time comes, one of the first questions to cross your mind is how to begin the divorce filing process and get the case underway. As with any legal proceeding, there are requirements and strict rules to follow. Errors and omissions could affect your rights, potentially leading to delays and hassles with a process that you probably want to get over with quickly.

Considering the complexities, you can probably guess what a smart first step will be: Retaining an experienced Indiana divorce lawyer to advocate on your behalf. Even if you get along and believe you can agree on details, you still have important rights to protect. Keep your future and post-divorce life on track by getting legal help with the following steps to start the divorce process.

 Preparing to File for Divorce

Indiana’s divorce statute states the requirements for a petition for dissolution of marriage, so you will need to provide information on:

  • The residence of both parties;
  • The date of the marriage;
  • The date you separated;
  • Information regarding minor children; and,
  • The grounds for dissolution, such as irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

Though you do not need specifics when filing the petition, your preparations should also include an assessment of assets, debts, and other financial matters.

File the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage

After you complete the petition and attach essential documents, you must file it in the Indiana county where you reside. There will be a filing fee, and make sure you have enough copies for yourself and to serve upon your spouse. The date stamped on your petition by the court clerk is the official beginning of the divorce case.

Service of Process

Indiana divorce laws require you to serve a copy of the petition in the same manner as other civil actions. It is common practice to have a police officer or special process server handle service of process, though you might be able to work out a waiver if you and your spouse are on amicable terms.

Prepare for Next Steps

Once initial filings are complete and you have made arrangements for service of process, you can turn to the key issues that you will be addressed in divorce. They include:

  • Property Division: Indiana law requires equitable distribution of all marital assets and debts.
  • Alimony: Either party can request spousal support, and a judge may award it based upon statutory factors.
  • Children: Parents of minor children must consider arrangements for child custody and visitation, and the nonresidential parent will usually be required to pay support.

An Indiana Divorce Attorney Will Guide You Throughout the Process

You can trust The López Law Office, P.C. to tackle these and other tasks for beginning a divorce case in Indiana. To learn more about the proceedings, please call (317) 634-9484 or go online to set up a consultation with Attorney Vanessa López Aguilera. After reviewing your situation, we can advise you on additional stages of the divorce process. Hablamos español.

Vanessa López Aguilera

Attorney Vanessa López Aguilera represents clients in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Area