INDIANA DIVORCE MADE EASY. DOCUMENTS DONE RIGHT!
INDIANA 3STEPDIVORCE TM - KEEPING YOUR UNCONTESTED DIVORCE SIMPLE
This easy to use online divorce is a "do it yourself (without a lawyer)"
solution for any uncontested divorce (with or without children) that
will be filed in the state of Indiana. An uncontested divorce is one in
which you and your spouse are in agreement and eliminates the stress and
expense of settling your divorce in court.
With 3StepDivorce TM you can complete and print your Indiana divorce forms (including a marital settlement agreement) instantly. Follow our step-by-step filing procedures to file for divorce in Indiana in a timely, professional, and hassle free fashion. The online software is designed to give you full control of your divorce and also avoids the use of third party data entry, thus helping protect your personal information and privacy. If you're not ready to file for divorce, learn more about getting your Separation Agreement or learn more about the basics of divorce in Indiana and how to do your own divorce in Indiana . Also, If you have any questions try visiting our Indiana Divorce Online Help Center .
Online Divorce FAQ: Indiana
Filing for divorce can seem overwhelming. Like starting almost any other legal proceeding, it takes finding the right forms, filling out the forms properly, and understanding the court’s requirements for the next steps you’ll need to take.
Traditionally, most people have hired a lawyer to take care of all the legal matters in their divorce. But more and more couples are turning to a much cheaper option that’s still easier than figuring out everything on their own: filing for divorce online.
If you want to know more, read on for answers to some of the most common questions about online divorce in Indiana.
How Does Online Divorce Work in Indiana?
Indiana 3StepDivorce™ takes care of the divorce paperwork for you. Once you sign up for the service, you’ll answer some questions about your situation. Based on your responses to the questionnaire, Indiana 3StepDivorce™ will fill out the forms the state requires to start the divorce process, along with instructions for adding any further information that’s needed. You’ll be able to print out the forms yourself immediately or, if you prefer, get hard copies by mail.
Can I File for Divorce in Indiana?
Indiana has two basic requirements to file for divorce in the state: a residency requirement, and a legally recognized reason (“grounds”) for ending your marriage.
What Are the Residency Requirements for Divorce in Indiana?
Before you can file for divorce in Indiana, at least one spouse must have been:
- either a resident of Indiana or stationed at a military base within Indiana for the six months immediately before filing the divorce petition, and
- either a resident of or stationed at a military base within the county where the petition is filed for three months immediately before filing.
(Ind. Code § 31-15-2-6 (2022).)
What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Indiana?
Indiana allows both “no-fault” and “fault-based” divorces. A no-fault divorce is one in which the court doesn’t require either spouse to prove that the other committed the bad act that caused the marriage to end. In a fault-based divorce, one or both of the spouses must show that the other’s actions caused the marriage to fail.
To get a no-fault divorce in Indiana, the filing spouse must state in the complaint that there has been an “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage. (Ind. Code § 31-15-2-3(1) (2022).) As long as there is no reasonable possibility that the spouses will reconcile, the court will grant the divorce.
A fault-based divorce in Indiana is based on a claim that your marriage is ending because your spouse was convicted of a felony, was impotent at the time of marriage, or is incurably insane. (Ind. Code § 31-15-2-3 (2022).)
Fault-based divorces are almost always more expensive and lengthy, because the spouse accused of misconduct is sure to fight the allegations. That’s why most Indiana couples who are getting divorced choose no-fault divorce based on the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage–and why Indiana 3StepDivorce™ currently provides services only for couples who are getting divorced on that ground.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File for Divorce in Indiana?
Many Indiana residents are finding that they can file for divorce and get through the process without the expense of hiring a lawyer if they’re filing for an “uncontested divorce” in the state. That means that they’ve agreed with each other about all of the legal issues in their divorce, including:
- how to divide their property and debts
- alimony, and
- child custody, visitation, and child support (if they have minor children).
If you still have disagreements with your spouse about these or any other issues involved in ending your marriage, you’ll have to file for a traditional, contested divorce. Because that will involve legal battles and presenting evidence and arguments at court hearings, it would be risky to pursue a contested divorce without a lawyer to navigate the process for you—especially if your spouse has an attorney.
Can I Use Indiana 3StepDivorce™ in My Situation?
You may use Indiana 3StepDivorce™ as long as you have an uncontested divorce (called a divorce “with agreement” in Indiana) and meet the state’s residency requirement. You’ll need to have a written marital settlement agreement, signed by both you and your spouse, that covers all of the issues in your divorce. Indiana 3StepDivorce™ will guide you through the process of creating this agreement, based on your answers to the questionnaire.
Indiana 3StepDivorce™ can also help if you aren’t ready to file for divorce, but you want a separation agreement with your spouse. For instance, you might want to work out arrangements for support, custody of your children, who has to move out of the family home, and how to take care of the bills while you’re separated but still legally married.
What If My Spouse and I Can’t Agree on the Issues in Our Divorce?
Just because you haven’t been able to agree with your spouse about everything in your divorce, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go through an expensive and time-consuming contested divorce. You could try divorce mediation. If you’re able to resolve your disagreements with the mediator’s help, you can then use Indiana 3StepDivorce™ to prepare the written settlement agreement, along with the other divorce paperwork.
Can I Get an Online Divorce in Indiana If I Have Children?
Generally, you can use Indiana 3StepDivorce™ even when you have minor children with your spouse, as long as you agree on all of the issues related to your kids, including legal and physical custody, a parenting (visitation) schedule, child support, health and dental insurance, and tax deductions. Indiana 3StepDivorce™ will allow you to address these issues in your settlement agreement. We provide a standard parenting schedule, but you’ll have an option of customizing the schedule to meet your individual needs.
However, you won’t be able to address custody-related issues with Indiana 3StepDivorce™ if the affected child or children don’t meet the “home state” requirement. Usually, that means the child must have lived in Indiana with a parent (or a parent figure) during the entire six-month period before you file for divorce (or since birth if the child is younger than six months old). (Ind. Code § 31-21-5-1 (2022).) If you don’t meet the six-month rule, you should speak with an attorney to find out whether you might qualify for one of the complicated exceptions to this rule.
How Will My Online Divorce in Indiana Deal With Child Support?
In Indiana, both parents have an obligation to support their children. And like all states, Indiana has child support guidelines for calculating how much support the parents should pay, based largely on their incomes and custody arrangements.
3StepDivorce™ provides the Indiana Child Support Guideline Worksheets, so you can easily calculate the state's guideline level of support. You and your spouse may agree to an amount of child support that differs from the guideline amount, but the judge will review your agreement to determine if the amount of support is in your children’s best interests.
In your settlement agreement, you and your spouse may include child support provisions that aren’t legally required, such as a parent’s contributions to private school tuition or the cost of a child’s college education. You may also agree on some specific questions like which parent will claim the children as dependents on tax returns.
Will We Be Able to Change the Amount of Child Support After Divorce?
After your divorce in Indiana is final, you (or your spouse) may request a change in the amount of child support, but you’ll need to show that your circumstances have changed significantly. The judge will review your request based on the same legal requirements for an original child support order.
If you want to save the time and expense of a court battle over a request to modify child support, you and your spouse may agree to a modification on your own. As a general rule, you’ll need to submit your agreement to a judge or child support agency.
Indiana Legal Help provides the instructions and forms for:
- changing child support with an agreement, and
- changing child support without an agreement.
You can also learn more about child support in Indiana on the Indiana Department of Child Services’ website.
How Will Online Divorce Handle Property and Debts From Our Marriage?
When you fill out your questionnaire for Indiana 3StepDivorce™, you’ll answer a series of questions about your separate and marital property and debts, including how you’ll divide your marital property and allocate responsibility for payment of the marital debts.
What About the Family Home?
If you own a home with your spouse, your agreement can spell out what will happen to it when you get divorced. Here again, the questionnaire will include a few questions about the property and how you’ve chosen to deal with it, such as:
- selling the house and splitting the proceeds
- transferring ownership to one spouse, with the other spouse receiving money or other assets in exchange for that spouse’s share, or
- continuing to own the property together while allowing one spouse to stay in the house for a period of time (and, if so, how you’ll handle paying the mortgage and other ongoing costs).
What About Retirement Accounts?
In your Indiana 3StepDivorce™, you may also agree on whether and how you’ll divide any retirement accounts that you and your spouse have, including 401(k)s, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and defined-benefit pensions.
If you started contributing to the retirement plan before you were married, you’ll start by figuring out how much of its current value is marital property and how much is your separate property. There are experts and firms that will do this for you (for a fee, of course). The service is usually known as a pension appraisal or valuation. You’ll almost always need this kind of expert help when you’re dealing with a defined-benefit pension.
Once you know the marital value of your work-related retirement accounts, the easiest way to handle the division of the assets is not to split them but to transfer other assets as an offset. Here’s how that works: Say you have a 401(k) through your job, and the marital portion of the account is worth $100,000. If you and your spouse agree to divide that portion down the middle, and you have other marital assets to divide (such as a regular savings account), your spouse could receive an extra $50,000 from those assets while you keep the entire 401(k). That way, you don’t have to hire another expert to prepare the kind of special order that’s needed to tell the 401(k) administrator how to divide the account.
The rules are different for IRAs. You may simply agree to have your spouse’s share transferred to another IRA account in that spouse’s name. (You’ll have to submit a special form to the bank, along with a copy of your divorce decree.)
Can I Get Alimony With an Online Divorce in Indiana?
You and your spouse may waive any right to alimony in your Indiana divorce, or you may agree on the specifics of alimony payments: who will pay, how much, and for how long. Your agreement may also state whether a court could modify alimony at any time in the future, and it could cover related issues like health insurance and life insurance.
How Do I File My Divorce Papers in Indiana?
When you get your completed forms with Indiana 3StepDivorce™, your next step will be to make three copies of each document and file them with the court clerk in the county where you are filing for divorce. (One spouse must currently live in the county and have lived there for at least three months.)
How Much Is Indiana’s Filing Fee for Divorce?
As of 2022, the filing fee for a civil case (such as a divorce) is $157. Your cost might be different if you pay to have the divorce papers served on your spouse or if the clerk of the court assesses other fees. Contact the clerk in the county where you will file your divorce to find out the current filing fee.
What If I Can’t Afford to Pay the Divorce Filing Fee?
If you can’t afford to pay the filing fees, you can ask the judge to waive the fees. You can request a waiver by filing a Verified Motion for Fee Waiver (make sure you use the fee waiver form for family law cases). If the court grants your request to waive fees, you won’t have to pay any court costs–such as filing fees or fees for issuance of service of process–during your divorce.
How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Indiana?
Indiana courts can’t schedule a hearing on your divorce with agreement until at least 60 days have passed from the time you file your petition. (Ind. Code § 31-15-2-10 (2022).)
You can speed up the process a bit by asking the court for a “summary dissolution,” in which you waive the final hearing. To get a summary dissolution, you file the documents for a divorce with agreement, as well as:
- a written waiver of final hearing signed by both parties, and
- a written and signed settlement agreement (or a statement that there are no contested issues)..
The court must wait at least 60 days after the petition is filed to enter the summary dissolution decree. (Ind. Code § 31-15-2-13 (2022).) With a summary dissolution, however, you can avoid having to wait for (and attend) a hearing.
Other than the required 60-day waiting period, the court’s schedule will determine how fast you’ll be able to get your final divorce.
How Can I Get More Help With Indiana Online Divorce?
Indiana 3StepDivorce™ provides unlimited, live, person-to-person support for customers. If you have any questions about how uncontested divorce works, call our Indiana Divorce Online Help Center at (888) 665-6782 (toll free), Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm (Pacific Time).
Please keep in mind that we are not lawyers and so cannot give out legal advice. If you have questions about Indiana law or need legal advice, we recommend that you contact an experienced family law attorney in your area.