A New Beginning

Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce

When clients come to our family law firm for help, they often have many questions about their divorce, or the family law issues they are experiencing. In order to provide a broad view of concepts and some general information for you to use as a starting point, we have compiled the following list of FAQs:

How long does a divorce take in Indiana?

Every divorce is unique, and the time it takes divorce cases to be completed can vary significantly. There is a mandatory waiting period of 60 days from the date the petition for divorce is filed, so the soonest your divorce can be finalized is 60 days. However, depending on the specifics of your case, it could take much longer. If both spouses commit to resolving things quickly and amicably (with or without mediation), your divorce can definitely be finalized after that 60-day window. However, if parties are unable to reach a quick resolution of all issues, your divorce could take many months or longer.

How are assets commonly divided in a divorce?

You may have heard, “Indiana is a 50/50 state.”  What that actually means is, absent you and your spouse entering into a prenuptial (or postnuptial) agreement, Indiana law starts with a presumption that all assets (and liabilities) will be equally divided. The great news is, if you and your spouse agree to how to divide assets, you can enter an agreement rather than asking a Court to divide your assets for you. If, on the other hand, you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement on property division, the court must start with the presumption of a 50/50 split. The presumption is rebuttable, which means you have an opportunity to argue that you should receive more than 50% of your net marital estate. In making a determination, the Court is allowed to consider many factors in deviating from a 50/50 split, including things like: financial and non-financial contributions of each spouse, the annual income of each spouse, the earning potential of each spouse and even the conduct of each spouse during the marriage (i.e. issues of dissipation, etc.). While we always encourage agreement if at all possible, if it is necessary to go to Court, we will gather the appropriate information and prepare you to create your strongest possible position.

Is Indiana a “no-fault” divorce state?

Yes, Indiana is a “no-fault” state, which means that you do not need to site a specific allegation of fault in order to pursue a divorce. In fact, the most common ground for divorce is an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.”

How is child custody determined in a divorce?

Custody arrangements are usually determined on several typical factors surrounding the best interests of the child(ren), with consideration given to factors such as the age and sex of the child, the wishes of the child’s parent(s), the child’s adjustment to home, school and community, and the mental and physical health of all individuals involved. You can rest easy knowing I will help you present all of the available information to pursue the outcome your family deserves.

Will I have to go to court for my divorce?

Absolutely not!  In fact, as a result of our firm’s approach, Divorce Done Differently, most cases do NOT go to court. When couples agree can negotiate and collaborate to make decisions for their family’s future, whether through settlement negotiations or mediation, it is not necessary to go court. Our process, Divorce Done Differently, encourages you to stay in control of your destiny by reaching agreements outside of court. Additionally, our firm offers divorce mediation services that can help you and your spouse reach an agreement without the need to fight in court.

Can prenuptial or postnuptial agreements affect my divorce?

Yes, if you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it can affect the outcome of your divorce. If you have one or both of these documents, we can review them to ensure you are protecting your best interests in accordance with the requirements of these agreements, and we can advocate for you under the protections of such agreements, or challenge the legitimacy of such documents if appropriate.

To get answers to your specific questions, contact Hollingsworth Law Group at 317-DIVORCE (317-348-6723) or reach out via email.