Indiana Divorce Laws

Divorce residency requirements in Indiana

If you wish to apply for dissolution of marriage in the state of Indiana then you must meet certain requirements. These are as follows:

  1. At the time of applying for dissolution of marriage at least, one of the spouses must have been a resident or stationed in Indiana if in the military for a period of 6 months at least at the time of applying for the dissolution of marriage.
  2. The application is usually made in whatever county the spouse applying for divorce resides in

Grounds for divorce in Indiana

Dissolution of marriage may be granted the courts if one of the specified grounds of either no-fault based grounds or fault-based grounds is met:

No-fault based grounds

  • An irretrievable breakdown of the marriage from which there can be no reconciliation

Fault-based grounds

  • A felony conviction
  • Impotence which existed at the time of the marriage
  • 2 years of incurable insanity Indiana Code – Title 31 – Article 15 – Chapters: 2-3

Property division factors

Under the marital settlement agreement, spouses can divide property as they see fit. However if they cannot do it amicably then it will be down to the Domestic Relations Court to divide the property. They will do this equitably and first they will decide which property is classed as marital property. A value will then be put on the marital property and this is divided equitably with the following in mind:

  • The contribution of each of the spouses towards the property
  • The extent to which the property was acquired by each of the spouses (A) before the marriage or (B) as a gift or inheritance
  • The economic circumstances of each of the spouses at the time of properly distribution
  • The conduct of the spouses in consideration to division of the property
  • The earnings or the earning ability of the spouses Indiana Code – Title 31 – Article 15 – Chapters: 7

Child custody factors in Indiana

If the courts are making a custody award, they consider the following factors along with any other relevant information:

  1. The sex and age of the child
  2. The wishes of the spouses
  3. The wishes of the child and in particular if the child is above the age of 14
  4. The interaction and relationship of the child with their parents, siblings, any other person related to the child or anyone who may significantly affect the best interests of the child
  5. The physical and mental health of all parties involved
  6. Evidence of domestic or violence in the family of any type
  7. Evidence that the child in question has been cared for by de facto custodian Indiana Code – Title 31 – Article 15 – Chapters: 17-2-8, 17-2-8.5 and 17-2-15

Child support guidelines

When considering a child support order the court provides “at a glance” guidelines to what laws are taken into consideration.

  • Income share model – yes
  • Percentage of income model – no
  • Available worksheet – yes
  • Medical expenses which are considered extraordinary – yes
  • Childcare add on – yes
  • Secondary education support – yes
  • UIFSA – yes

* The income shares model: In Indiana the amount of child support is calculated by estimating the amount of support that the child would have if the divorce had not occurred. This amount is then divided by the courts according to the income of the spouses. This is done with the help of the worksheet with income proof being substantiated with proof of past earnings. As a rough guide, the parent with the substantially lower income would be asked to pay the least amount of child support.