Many people who are considering going through a divorce imagine they will have to argue their case in court. Some of these people may want the chance to go on the stand and tell their side of the story to a courtroom. Others may dread the idea of airing their dirty laundry, so to speak, in front of strangers.
In fact, most issues in Indiana divorces today are settled out of court through an agreement between the parties, and people seeking a divorce never have to make any accusation against their ex-spouse.
Indiana has a no-fault divorce law, which means that a person who wants to dissolve their marriage must merely file notice with the court that the marriage is "irretrievably broken." One or both of the spouses must have lived in Indiana for at least six months before filing for divorce, and must have lived in the county where he or she is filing the papers for at least three months. The other spouse does not have to agree before the court can decide to dissolve the marriage.
A court can decide on how to divide the marital property, according to state guidelines on fairness. A court can also decide how to divide child custody responsibilities.
However, there are at least a couple obvious problems with letting the court decide these issues. First, it takes time, and the court fees can be high. Second, and perhaps most importantly, it takes away the spouses' power to make some of the most important decisions of their lives.
After all, who knows your children and property better, you or a judge you've never met?
That said, it isn't easy to negotiate with an ex-spouse, even in relatively amicable divorces. An attorney with experience in family law can help people reach better agreements that put them in control of their lives and leave them with the resources they need as they begin their independent lives.