Filing for divorce is a big deal and it can be a stressful and confusing time if you're wanting to file for divorce, or alternately if you’ve been served with divorce papers. The divorce process can vary widely from case-to-case, depending on the state and county where the divorce was filed, any joint assets that need divvying up, retirement accounts, dependents involved, and more. Luckily, there are several steps to take when it comes to getting your divorce in order. It's a good idea to take the time to learn the right steps to take, so that you don't end up with a default judgement*.
There are several factors to take into consideration when getting a divorce, from establishing whether this will be an agreed or a contested case, to deciding on child custody and visitation, division of property, retirement accounts or more assets. Generally, an uncontested, or an agreed divorce case will be the easiest option, as both parties would agree on all aspects of the case; they would file, respond, wait the mandatory waiting period determined by each state and sign their divorce decrees. (for Indiana, it is a mandatory waiting period of 60-days before a divorce can be finalized on the 61st day) If you want to ensure you are taking the right steps, it's a good idea to hire a family law, divorce attorney to help you through the divorce process, whether you are the one filing or the one responding to the divorce.
First and foremost, if you are the one filing for the divorce you will be known as the petitioner. You should also know that you will be required to serve your spouse with divorce papers. This can be done in one of several ways, you can hand off the papers personally, send them by certified mail or even have the Sheriff deliver them directly! This document is meant to alert your spouse, they would be referred to as the respondent, of the court's pending case and provide instructions on how to file a response to the petition. Once your spouse has been served with the divorce papers, their next step is to file a response, which is something your family law, divorce attorney will do for you if you choose to hire representation.
Having a divorce lawyer, also known as a family law attorney, can make the process much less stressful and less complicated overall. A lawyer can ensure that the divorce is performed according to the law, that your thoughts and concerns are being heard and properly addressed, and of course, that you and your soon to be ex-spouse are treated fairly. A divorce lawyer can also help you understand and educate you on the legal process and advocate for your interests.
If you're served with divorce papers in any county in Indiana, you can hire any attorney that is licensed to practice law in the state of Indiana. The attorney can be located in any county, and more often than not attorneys are able to travel for your case should, it be required. Nowadays, many hearings can be set virtually, however only the presiding judge on the case can determine if a case hearing will be set virtually or in-person at the court house, and unfortunately no one can predict the judge’s decision ahead of time.
In the meantime, it is beneficial to know some state laws that no attorney can bypass no matter how special some circumstances might be. For instance, the process of filing for a divorce in Washington State involves a 90-day waiting period before you can actually file the divorce decree. Luckily, in Indiana, you only need to have lived in the state for at least six-months, and the county from which you are filing, for at least 3-months. Once you file there is the state mandated waiting period of 60-days before the divorce can be finalized, agreed or not, it’s state law and no attorney can bypass it.
Every state, and county, has its own set of laws and regulations that people must get familiar with before filing for a divorce. Hiring an experienced family law, divorce attorney is beneficial in making the process as smooth and fair as it can be. You can always turn to The Law Offices of Eugene Mogilevsky, LLC and send us a message through our contact form at https://www.egmlegal.com/contact/ or call our office directly at (317) 743-7958 and schedule a consultation with our attorneys to learn more about how we can help you in a way that works for you!
Disclaimer: This blog post is for educational and informational purposes only and is not to be taken as legal advice in any capacity. Reading this blog does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship.
*Default Judgment – Under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 37 sates “Federal Rule 37(b)(2)(v) states a person who fails to appear as required in court can be found in default.” It is a ruling by the judge in favor of one party, due to a failure to take action by the other party. The failure to take action, can include responding to a court summons, failing to appear in court, etc.