If you’re thinking of beginning the divorce process, contact Hollingsworth Roberts Means, LLC Attorneys at Law at (888) 211-3888 for a consultation with our Carmel divorce lawyers to learn how we can help guide you toward the next (and best!) phase of your life.
Carmel Divorce Lawyer
Understanding Your Options with Help from Our Family Law Attorneys in Indiana
Based in Carmel, Indiana, our law firm represents couples throughout Indiana with their divorces, whether they are contested or uncontested.
You Can Trust Our Seasoned Professionals
- We are a full-service divorce and family law firm.
- We are proud to serve Carmel, Indianapolis, and all of our surrounding neighbors.
- We are real people with diverse backgrounds, who know just how to work through difficult legal family issues.
- We have worked with a wide range of clientele from all walks of life.
- We offer professionalism and results, with compassionate and understanding.
Contact Our Divorce Lawyers in Carmel for Experienced Guidance and Compassionate Support. Call Our Law Firm Today or Reach Out to Us Online to Schedule a Consultation.
Our Carmel divorce attorneys can walk you through the entire divorce process, from filing the petition to negotiation, mediation, or litigation of your divorce conflict. We are focused on providing effective and personalized solutions tailored to you.
What are the Ways to Dissolve a Marriage in Indiana?
Many people who decide to end their marriage think that getting a divorce is the only way to do so. In reality, there are several different methods to dissolve a marriage. Learn about the different methods you can take to separate from your spouse and understand Indiana’s specific laws regarding marriage dissolution.
Three Ways to End a Marriage in Indiana
In Indiana, the three ways to end a marriage include divorce, annulment, and legal separation. Each method has different requirements and legal ramifications. Review the three methods below to determine which is best for you and your situation.
Divorce - A divorce is a legal decree that ends a marriage before the death of either spouse. Divorce proceedings in court may determine issues of child custody, child support, and division of assets. After a divorce is finalized, the two parties do not have any legal ties to one another and are free to remarry.
Annulment - An annulment declares that a marriage was null and void. While a divorce ends a legally valid marriage, an annulment treats the marriage like it was invalid from the start and, therefore, never existed. The end result of an annulment is the same as a divorce -- each party is single and free to remarry.
Legal separation - A legal separation is a judicially recognized separation between spouses. This does not officially end the marriage and as a result, parties are not allowed to remarry. In most states, it’s not sufficient for parties to simply live apart to constitute a legal separation. Typically, spouses must go to court to obtain a legally valid separation.
Can you get an annulment without the other person in Indiana?
In Indiana, both parties generally need to participate in an annulment proceeding. If one party is not present, the court may allow for alternative service, such as service by publication, but only after certain conditions are met.
Additionally, there may be specific requirements or limitations for when alternative service is allowed. It's recommended to consult with an experienced family law attorney in Indiana for guidance on the specific circumstances of your case.
What are the Divorce Requirements?
In Indiana, divorce is legally referred to as “dissolution of marriage.” In order to obtain a divorce or dissolution of marriage in Indiana, spouses must have been a resident of the state for six months immediately preceding the filing.
To file for divorce in Indiana, one of the following criteria must be met:
Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
A felony conviction by either party after entering into the marriage.
Impotency existing at the time of marriage.
Incurable insanity by either party for a time period of at least two years.
If spouses wish to obtain an annulment in Indiana, their marriage will be voided if it meets one of the following requirements:
Either individual is younger than 18 years of age, with a few exceptions.
Either party was mentally incompetent when the marriage was solemnized.
The marriage was brought about through fraud.
Spouses may obtain a decree of legal separation in Indiana if the conditions of the marriage make it intolerable for both parties to live together, yet the marriage should be maintained.
In an action for legal separation, either party may file a motion for any of the following:
Temporary support or custody of a child of the marriage.
Possession of property.
A protective order.
While there may be additional forms depending on your case, there are some forms required to file regardless of your particular circumstances. This includes:
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
- Financial Declaration
- For those who have minor children, you must fill out a Child Support Obligation worksheet
Given that these documents may contain confidential information such as social security numbers, bank account numbers, tax records, and medical records, Indiana law requires that such documents are printed on light green paper.
After the forms are filed, the next step is to serve your spouse with a copy, notifying them that the divorce case has been filed. Your spouse may counterclaim, but an uncontested divorce is generally less costly, which is why it is best to work out an agreement.
How Long Does a Divorce Take in Indiana?
The timeline for a divorce in Indiana can vary depending on the case's
Generally, a divorce can take anywhere from six weeks to several months.
The divorce process begins when one spouse files for divorce and serves the other spouse with paperwork. The responding spouse then has thirty days to file an answer or appear in family court. After that, the parties may proceed with discovery, which is the pretrial process of gathering information pertinent to the dispute. Depending on how much information needs to be gathered and how cooperative each party is, this phase can take anywhere from several weeks to several months.
Once discovery is completed and all relevant documents have been exchanged, either party may request a trial date. After the trial has concluded, usually within a few hours or days, the family court will issue its decision which will become final once it has acted upon all motions to reconsider.
Indiana Property Division
Property division is the legal splitting of assets between two spouses. Indiana follows an equitable distribution policy, which means courts split property between spouses in what is determined to be fair given the circumstances of the marriage.
Factors that can impact the equitable distribution of property include:
- Although Indiana is a no-fault divorce state, the grounds of a dissolution may impact property division and other aspects of a divorce.
- Economic misconduct is when someone misuses money to fuel an unhealthy habit (alcoholism, drugs) or hobby (gambling). Judges will consider the financial misconduct of a spouse and award them a lower percentage of the marital property.
Income and earning capacity:
- If one spouse has a significantly lower earning capacity than the other, the spouse with a low income earning capacity may receive a larger percentage of the estate.
- One spouse’s full custody of the couple’s children may result in a higher likelihood of him or her receiving a higher percentage of the estate.
- Judges must account for nonmonetary marital contributions such as household chores, cooking, homemaking, and childcare when splitting marital assets.
Clearly, many factors impact the determination of the equitable distribution of property in a divorce. However, property division isn’t the only divorce outcome impacted by several variables.
Skilled in Negotiation, But Always Ready to Litigate
If you are considering filing for divorce, it is vitally important that you are as prepared as possible. Our Carmel and Indianapolis divorce attorneys believe it is in every client's best interest to be equipped with solid legal advice as early as possible. As we say in our Indianapolis family law firm, "knowledge is power" and it is far better to learn your rights and options, and never have to use that knowledge, than to be ill-prepared if / when a legal action becomes reality.
Our Carmel divorce lawyers proudly offer our clients the following:
- Strong litigation advocacy
- Compassionate representation that is tough when necessary
- Attention to detail regarding every single aspect of your case
It is imperative to try your best to remain calm and level-headed throughout your divorce. Making rash decisions in the heat of the moment could lead to regrettable consequences in the future. Protect your rights and interests from the start by seeking the help of Hollingsworth Roberts Means.
Our law firm proudly serves Carmel, Indianapolis, and beyond, and we are proud to be an award-winning divorce lawyers in Indiana and we have the know-how and resources to guide you through this difficult time.
Minimize Conflict & Stress with Mediation & Collaborative Law Services
Our divorce lawyers in Carmel, Indiana can also provide you with mediation and collaborative law services as viable alternatives to traditional litigation of divorce and family law matters. These are perfect alternatives for divorcing couples and families who wish to settle their divorce outside of family court.
This provides clients with more privacy and a comfortable environment to amicably come to an agreement regarding property division, custody, child support, and spousal support, to name a few factors. We remain at your side during all proceedings so that your rights and interests are safeguarded.
Hire Qualified Legal Representation with our Divorce Lawyer in Carmel, IN
The divorce process can be confusing, complicated, and emotionally draining. Deciding to end your marriage is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make, and it’s never an easy one. During this time of stress, it’s important to hire a qualified and knowledgeable Carmel divorce attorney who can help you navigate the legal process.
Since 2004, Hollingsworth Roberts Means, LLC has compassionately helped couples find effective solutions and assistance in understanding Indiana’s divorce laws. Our Carmel family law attorneys can walk you through the entire divorce process, and we’re focused on providing effective and personalized solutions for you.