Divorce can be a difficult process for a number of reasons. However, some parties part on amicable terms that allow them to reach an agreement with little to no argument. This is what werefer to as an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce is a divorce in which the parties have reached an agreement on all terms of their divorce and do not wish to have their case heard by a judge. Uncontested divorces are generally less expensive, take less time, and are less emotionally taxing than contested divorces.
The main areas of concern when negotiating a divorce settlement are the division of debts and assets and, if you have children, child custody, parenting time, and child support. In Indiana, the divorce process begins with either party filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. If both parties agree on the dissolution terms, they may enter into a written settlement agreement, which is a binding contract that outlines the terms the parties are agreeing to. This agreement, once signed, is incorporated into the final divorce decree by the court.
The court has authority to review the agreement for issues such as fraud or duress. If no issues are found, the court will sign the agreement and adopt it as an order of the court, which then gives the court enforcement authority for any future violations of the agreement. Indiana is a no-fault state, which means that the court does not review the reasons that either party is seeking divorce before finalizing the divorce. All marital property must be included in the marital pot for division, but depending on the circumstances, certain pieces of property might be set aside for one party or the other without impacting the value distribution of the assets. Marital property includes assets owned by either spouse before they were married, and assets acquired during the marriage before the final separation.
While uncontested divorces are generally easier to navigate, it is still important for the parties to each have attorneys. Attorneys ensure the process is as smooth as possible while meeting the legal requirements necessary to finalize the divorce. If you and your spouse have decided to divorce and are in agreement with the terms of the divorce, call the Family Law Attorneys at McNeelyLaw LLP to help finalize your divorce.
This McNeelyLaw LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion of any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.