Sunday, June 15, 2008

How to file for divorce

Assuming you have decided to handle your own uncontested divorce, what do you do after you have prepared your paperwork?

Go to your local courthouse with all the papers (and these depend on if you have children or not) and locate the Clerks Office. At the Clerk's Office, tell them you wish to file a Dissolution of Marriage. You will need to pay the filing fee with cash or a money order payable to the Clerk of Delaware County. (It would be a good idea to call the Clerk's office to find out what is the current cost of filing fee - the Indiana General Assembly keeps changing them).

A Deputy Clerk will give you a case number. You will need to add this number to all of your forms . Make sure you have enough copies for the court with a spare for yourself:

  1. 5 copies of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage,

  2. 5 copies of the Appearance Forms,

  3. 5 copies of the Waiver of Service of Summons.

All these forms need stamped with the Clerks the stamp. The Deputy Clerk will give you a receipt for the filing fee.

Nothing else needs filed until 60 days after your filing date. Then you will need to file the following:

  • Original and three copies of the Property Settlement Agreement;

  • Original and three copies of the Waiver of Final Hearing; and

  • Original and three copies of the Summary Dissolution Decree.

If you have children of the marriage, you will also need the following:

  • An Income Withholding Order;

  • Child Support Worksheet; and

  • Child Support Set Up Card.

Be sure that the mailing addresses shown on the orders/Decrees are still accurate. You should receive signed copies of the papers in the mail within a few days. If you don't, contact the Court to check the status.


Anonymous said...

in Indiana would i be allowed to file for "status" until the divorce is officially final? IN my case, the financial settlements will take a while..up to 3 more months they think.

Sam Hasler said...

Here is an example of a question that just confuses a lawyer. See, I know there is a difference between a divorce being filed and a divorce being filed. Status is not a phrase we know - the statutes really do use it. I wrote a piece on how long a divorce takes in Indiana - they can take as long as needed to finalize the case. One must still wait more than 60 days before finalizing the divorce. So that the law "allowing" one to file is not for status - in my mind - but to start the process. When all is ready for the Final Hearing, then the parties set the case for Final Hearing.

Put another way, Anonymous seems to think that one cannot file until everything is ready for Final Hearing. Sometimes I wish that were so! Otherwise, anonymous would wait her three months, file and then wait another 60 days before her divorce is ready for Final Hearing.

All Indiana requires before is that the person filing lives in Indiana for 6 months and 3 months in the county.