FAMILY LAW

DIVORCE

  • "No Fault" Divorce - Indiana is a "no fault" divorce state which means you do not have to prove the other person did anything wrong (for example: infidelity).

  • 60 Day Cooling Off Period - Once your divorce has been filed the parties must minimally wait 60 days before a court can dissolve your marriage. The length of time differs depending on the issues, but all parties must wait the minimum 60 day waiting period after it has been filed.

  • Price of Divorce - the expense for a divorce differs for each case because the issues one couple may have are difference than others (for example: custody and/or property disputes).

Legal Separation

  • Why file for a "Legal Separation" instead of a "Divorce"? 

    • religious reasons,

    • financial reasons,

    • ineligibility to divorce due to state requirements, or

    • the possibility of reconciliation.

  • One Year - a legal separation only lasts one year, after that time the parties must determine if they wish to move toward a divorce or reconcile.

Child Custody:

  • How is custody of a child determined by a court?

    • In Indiana, the court shall consider all relevant factors when making a custody award, including the following:

      • The age and sex of the child.

      • The wishes of the child’s parents.

      • The wishes of the child, with more consideration given to the child’s wishes if the child is at least fourteen (14) years of age.

      • The interaction and interrelationship of the child with:

        • the child’s parents;

        • the child’s siblings; and

        • any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest.

      • The child’s adjustment to home, school, and community.

      • The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.

      • Evidence of a pattern of domestic or family violence by either parent.

    • In the State of Indiana the court will always be looking out for the "best interests of the children".

      • What you want or your spouse wants is not really relevant until the court says it is.

      • Many parents go to custody hearings not realizing that they must portray themselves as the best custodial parent rather pleading to the court that they simply deserve the children.

      • The court would much prefer the parents to decide who should have custody, but if they can’t, the court will do it for them. You can also read more about Indiana child custody in the Indiana state statutes located at

Child Support / IV-D Child Support

  • In Indiana child support is determined by calculating the weekly gross income of the parties, taking into consideration various additional expenses for health insurance, work related child care expenses, overnight parenting time, etc. 

  • A court could examine all the expenses however a judge has the power to deviate from these guidelines if he or she sees fit.

  • The IV-D Child Support Division of the prosecutor's office to do the following:

    • Locating non-custodial parents

    • Establishing paternity

    • Establishing child support and medical support orders

    • Enforcing payment of child support

    • The Child Support Program also reviews child support orders to insure they conform to the Indiana Child Support Rules and Guidelines, disburses child support payments to custodial parties, and assists other states, territories, and tribes in all of these activities.  Most of these activities take place through the local county prosecutor's Title IV-D child support office.

CHINNS (Child In Need of Services) Matters

  • In Indiana, abused and neglected children for whom the Department of Child Services (DCS) files juvenile court cases are legally referred to as Children in Need of Services (CHINS). The Indiana Juvenile Code contains ten categories of CHINS. These categories go beyond the traditional concept of child abuse and neglect.