Once you have found an attorney to hire to represent you in your divorce, there are a few things you need to know about where and how to file for divorce in Indiana.
Where do I file for divorce?
In Indiana, you typically are required to file the divorce in the county where you live. Indiana requires that you be a resident of the state for 6 months and a resident of the county you reside in for 3 months before you file. This means that you cannot move to Indiana and file the next day.
What is filed?
The petition that is filed and that you must sign outlines some basic information about your marriage, including the date you were married, the counties where each of you reside, and whether you have any children (and if so, their ages and names). In this petition, you can also request the court to set your case for a preliminary hearing. We will discuss preliminary hearings in our next blog.
Does it cost money to file for divorce?
In addition to attorney fees, all counties charge a filing fee. This fee is only paid by the party that files the divorce. If you are the filing party, most attorneys will require you to pay this filing fee upfront in addition to your retainer. Here are the current filing fees for the central Indiana counties:
· Marion: $161
· Hamilton: $141
· Hendricks: $161
· Johnson: $161
· Boone: $161
· Johnson: $161
How does my spouse find out about my filing?
One of the decisions you and your attorney will need to make before you file is how your spouse will be notified of the divorce. The easiest method of service for most is achieved by having your spouse sign a waiver; to do this, you would tell your spouse you have filed for divorce, give your spouse the paperwork that you have filed, and your spouse would sign a waiver of service (your attorney would then file the waiver with the court). If this is not possible, the other avenues for service are by certified mail, by sheriff, or by private process. Service by certified mail is the most affordable method of these options but can be tricky if you and your spouse still reside together. Be sure to discuss with your attorney the best way to serve your spouse.