Friday, May 9, 2008

Uncontested Divorce: Comparing Nevada and Indiana

I know of the old reputation of Nevada as a destination for quickie divorces and I have to wonder if that explains what I found on the Ciciliano Law Blog. Indiana makes a big deal about promoting agreements settling divorce cases but Indiana does not specifically recognize a joint divorce petition and still requires the 60 day cooling off period - even if the parties have agreed to everything including the divorce. (See IC 31-15-2-13).

Reading UNCONTESTED DIVORCES shows things are a bit different in Nevada:

...The Joint Petition is the document in which the parties lay out the terms of divorce that they have agreed upon (including all financial and child custody issues). A Decree of Divorce can be submitted to the Judge for signature once the Joint Petition has been filed....
IC 31-15-2-5 does not forbid a Joint Petition, but I have held the opinion that representing both parties in a divorce creates a potential for a conflict of interest.

When I have an uncontested divorce, I prepare the following documents: Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, Waiver of Summons, Waiver of Final Hearing, and the Property Settlement Agreement. My client signs the Petition only, the client's spouse signs the Waiver of Summons, and both parties sign the other documents. I then file all of them with the County Clerk. After the sixty day cooling off period ends, I file a Decree of Dissolution. The Nevada procedure sounds like I can file the Decree as soon as I file the Petition and my other documents.

It would be interesting to know how this works with children. Madison County and other counties have their parents-going-through-divorce seminars. Non-attendance by the parents can result in penalties. On the other hand, delaying the Decree until the seminar is completed makes more sense with uncontested divorces than the sixty day cooling off period,


Ciciliano & Associates, LLC said...

If there are children involved the parents must attend a counseling class called "COPE," which takes a few hours. The Joint Petition and the Decree typically get sent to the court house togther, the JP gets filed and the Decree and a file stamped copy of the JP get dropped off at chambers for signature (which usually takes 1-2 days). The only requirement is that one of the parties reside in Nevada for six weeks; the State Supreme Court has noted Nevada's "strong interest" in maintaining it's liberal divorce requirements.

Sam Hasler said...

It sounds like your COPE programs takes less time to schedule than most of our similar programs in Indiana. Thanks for the information.