Divorce

Every state’s law is different, so it is very important that you first determine what state you qualify for jurisdiction in for divorce purposes.

Divorce is the dissolution of a marriage due to irreconcilable differences in Indiana which is a no-fault divorce state.  In other words, it makes no difference whose fault the divorce is because it is irrelevant with regard to the ability of either party to get a divorce. 

The general issues that have to be settled in a divorce where children are under 19 or going to college is which party has custody, principal physical custody of the children, what the visitation rights are of the non-custodial parent, who pays what child support, and other related child expenses, who gets what property and who gets what debt.

Once you enter into an agreement and the court approves this agreement, it is very difficult to get this court order changed especially with regard to custody, visitation, and child support without a showing by a preponderance of the evidence a significant change in circumstances.  This is usually very difficult to prove for the moving party.

Child support is non-dischargeable in bankruptcy.

A pre-nuptial agreement is enforceable in Indiana as long as it is agreed to and signed before marriage.  The Indiana law and the courts favor pre-nuptial agreements as long as they are not too one-sided.

If there are no children, then the major issues revolve around only who gets what property and who gets what debt.

The general rule in Indiana is that each party is to receive 50% of the marital property which includes all property owned net of debt at the time of the filing for divorce.  However, if it can be proven with evidence that one party intentionally removed property from the parties marital property right before filing for divorce that such property can be brought back as marital property.  For example, where one party removes a large amount of property from a retirement plan right before filing for divorce.

The 50/50 rule has many exceptions, but I do not have room to go into all of these here.  For example, if one party brought the property into the marriage and kept that property with only their own name on the property and the marriage was of short duration, then the court is more apt to allow that party to keep that property at the time of dissolution notwithstanding the 50/50 rule.

Or if a person received a large inheritance during marriage and kept that property separate in their own name until the time of dissolution or could track that property during the selling and buying other property only with funds from that inheritance then it is likely that they would be able to keep such property at time of dissolution without the application of the 50/50 percent rule.

There is no alimony in Indiana unless one spouse is disabled.  In that case, it will depend on the ability of the other spouse to pay support and their own living expenses in determining what alimony is appropriate.  One party’s social security income might be considered in this calculation.

There are many other possible scenarios, so it is important that you consult with an attorney before agreeing to anything with your spouse to see what your rights are in your specific circumstances.