Stevens, Travis, & Fortin

Plymouth Indiana Attorneys at Law (574) 936-4041

119 W Garro Street, Plymouth Indiana  46563

Divorce Information

Technically divorce is "Dissolution or Marriage" in Indiana.  But we are going to call it divorce.   Divorce is controlled by state law, mainly IC 31-15 (linked below), and administered by a county court.  The procedural goal of a divorce filing is to get a court order called a "divorce decree" that dissolves the marriage and may specify child custody terms, child support terms, the division of marital property, etc.

 

 

Typical Divorce Time-line

Day 1: Initial Meeting. (Needed: Date of wedding; minor children’s names, dates of birth, and social security numbers'; spouse's name and address of where divorce papers can be delivered).

 

Day 2: Signing and Filing of Divorce, you sign, we file (Note: filing for divorce does little other than start a clock running; a divorce is not final until a judge says so; a divorce can be withdrawn and stopped at any point before we ask the judge to sign the order).

 

Day 3-10: Our divorce filing is "served" on the spouse, either by certified mail or personal delivery by the sheriff.  Spouse typically goes through three emotional stages…first they are sad; then they are mad; then they are bad. Spouse hires a lawyer or not.  We get notice when the spouse hires a lawyer and the lawyer "appears" in the case

 

Day 11: Provisional hearing (this is necessary only to secure child support, order temporary custody arrangements, provide spousal maintenance, and restrain bad conduct).

 

Day 20: Start negotiation with spouse or spouse’s lawyer; request of discovery (discovery is when we ask for all documentation related to marital assets); you do not need to participate in this at all or interact with your spouse.  That is our job.  Nothing will happen at negotiations without your approval.  You will not be bound to anything unless either you agree to it or the judge orders it.

 

Day 30: Child support and spousal maintenance payments may begin (these payments go through the state of Indiana to the recipient).

 

Day 62: First day possible to be granted a divorce.  If both people can agree on all matters, a settlement agreement can be filed without a final hearing.  The judge will ordinarily sign the divorce decree on that day.  And the divorce will be final.  If we can’t agree on all matters, we schedule a final hearing, where evidence is presented and we ask the judge to decide any matters upon which you and your spouse could not agree.

 

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Quick run-down of the divorce process….

  • Divorce takes a minimum of 60 days in Indiana.
  • Indiana divorce is a no-fault process.  Whether or not someone had an affair or was abusive is not a legal factor in the divorce (although such things may play a role in determining child custody).
  • Barring abhorrent behavior by one of the spouses, the outcome is an equitable distribution of assets and a parenting-time structure that is in the best interest of the minor children.
  • A divorce can be completed without either spouse ever stepping into a courtroom; without any vicious words exchanged, without weaponizing the children, and with no horrible memories about the divorce process.  This is the outcome we prefer to work for.
  • A typical divorce, when there are unresolvable contentions between the parties will involve at least two hearings, a provisional hearing, and a final hearing.
  • The hearings typically involve each spouse taking a seat on the witness stand and being questioned by each attorney (and sometimes by the judge).
  • These hearings can be unpleasant experiences, involving tears, profanities, acrimony, and rehashing of horrible memories.
  • About four weeks after the initial filing for divorce is the soonest to expect child support payments to begin.

 

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Quick Tips for a Speedy and Low-Conflict Divorce

During the divorce proceedings and before a final hearing or signed agreed settlement, please consider the following:

 

  1. Never tell your soon-to-be-ex-spouse about your new love interests.
  2. Do not allow your children to meet your new love interests.
  3. Don’t post social media content about your new love interests.
  4. Do not get drunk.
  5. Do not disparage your soon-to-be-ex to anyone.
  6. Tell your kids that you love them and that your soon-to-be-ex loves them.
  7. Send at least one contemporaneously taken picture of your smiling children to your soon-to-be-ex with the caption “they miss you, and are eager to see you”.
  8. Buy a gift for your children to give to your soon-to-be-ex on his or her birthday and Christmas.
  9. Offer flexibility on parenting time.
  10. Always smile.

 

If you do these things it will make it easier to achieve an agreed settlement.  If we can’t get an agreed settlement with you spouse, these things can bolster your final hearing witness stand appearance.

 

Click here to schedule an appointment.

 

Useful Divorce Links

Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines (pdf)

Indiana Child Support Calculator (here)

Indiana Code Title 31: Family Law and Juvenile Law-Article 15 Family Law: Dissolution of Marriage and Legal Separation (here)

 

 

20170308 updated 20170309

ISBA Sustaining Member
ISBA Sustaining Member

Stevens, Travis, & Fortin

Attorneys (574) 936-4041

119 W Garro Street, Plymouth IN 46563

 

ISBA Sustaining Member
ISBA Sustaining Member
ISBA Sustaining Member