Friday, February 16, 2007

Indiana Uncontested Divorces

Uncontested divorce means you and your spouse have settled all of your differences before filing the divorce petition. This procedure allows you and your spouse to part ways in a more friendly manner than if we let a judge decide all the issues. Judges may not decide to divide things the way you and your spouse may like.

An uncontested divorce allows you and your spouse to avoid the time and stress of appearing in court. One of the documents we prepare at the start of a case is called a Waiver of Final Hearing. That means both sides agree that there is no need for a hearing because all issues have been agreed to by you and your spouse.

A document called a Property Settlement Agreement contains your agreement with your spouse. Another document prepared for you is a Waiver of Summons. This is so that your spouse does not need to have a summons served on them. The Decree will approve the Property Settlement Agreement and include the terms of the Agreement into your Decree. Essentially, your Property Settlement Agreement becomes your Decree of Dissolution of Marriage.

Sixty days after filing the Petition and the other documents, a Decree of Dissolution gets taken to the court for signing by the judge. This ends the case.

It is possible for you and your spouse to do these things on your own. The Indiana Supreme Court has the forms for divorces online. However, these forms are not geared towards an uncontested divorce as outlined above.

Should you hire an attorney for an uncontested divorce? Here are the situations where I think you must get an attorney:

  1. There are minor children with child support and Parenting Time issues.
  2. You have real estate.
  3. There are pensions or other retirement issues.
  4. Any and all combinations of the above.
Why should you hire an attorney? Putting the matter bluntly - you can pay a little now or pay a lot later when something you did needs fixed. Err with a deed in real estate and the costs will surprise you. Some courts will not approve a Decree unless the child support issues are dealt with properly. Financial prudence is a good thing, but being penny wise often leads to being pound foolish. I suggest that you take a look at my fees for uncontested divorces here.

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