Facing Divorce? See what steps you can take to protect what's yours.
Divorce Home » Divorce Laws in Your State » Indiana

Indiana Divorce Law


Indiana has established its own set of laws covering the divorce process. Many state divorce laws are complex. If you have questions or need legal advice about filing for divorce in Indiana, speak to a local Indiana divorce lawyer.

For your convenience, the chart below summarizes a few of the key concepts of Indiana's divorce laws:

Indiana State Laws

  • Fault/No-Fault: No-Fault
  • Property Distribution: Equitable
  • ADR Available: Yes
  • Parenting Plan Required: No

Indiana Grounds for Divorce

When filing for divorce, couples in Indiana may file under no fault or fault grounds for divorce.

In a no fault divorce, neither spouse is deemed responsible by the court for the end of the marriage, and the couple files under the ground of an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. During a no fault divorce, the couple will need to recognize any Indiana divorce waiting periods set by state divorce laws.

When one spouse is at fault for the divorce, the filing spouse may choose to file for a fault divorce on the fault-based grounds accepted by the court. Indiana divorce courts accept the fault-based grounds of felony conviction, impotence or incurable insanity for at least two years.

Indiana Residency Requirement

Before filing divorce in Indiana, divorce laws require that one of the spouses must meet the divorce residency requirement.

Under state divorce laws, at the time the divorce petition is filed, one spouse must either be a resident of Indiana or stationed at a US military base in Indiana for six months immediately preceding the filing.

The state of Indiana also require one spouse to be a resident of the county or stationed at a military base in the county for three month before filing for divorce. The divorce petition is usually filed in the county where the filing spouse lives.

State residency requirements and other divorce requirements may affect the length of your divorce.

Indiana Divorce Waiting Periods

In Indiana, there isn't a divorce waiting period before filing for divorce, as long as one spouse meets the Indiana residency requirement. After filing divorce, there is a 60 day waiting period before divorce proceedings can continue.

Once the divorce is final, neither spouse has to wait to remarry.

Indiana Legal Separation

If you aren't sure about filing for divorce, Indiana allows couples for file for legal separation.

This divorce alternative doesn't terminate the couple's marriage, and gives the couple a chance to understand the realities of divorce.

Indiana divorce courts may grant legal separation on the grounds that it is currently intolerable for the spouses to live together. State divorce laws require one spouse to be a resident of the state for six months and of the county for three months immediately prior to filing for legal separation.

Indiana Property Division

Divorce laws in Indiana follow equitable property distribution principles, meaning the divorce court will divide the marital property by what is considered fair and reasonable.

When making property division decisions, the Indiana divorce court will consider certain circumstances, including:

  • Each spouse's contribution to the acquisition of the property, regardless of whether the contribution was income producing
  • Property that was acquired by each spouse before the marriage or through inheritance or gift
  • Economic circumstances of each spouse at the time of property distribution, including the desire to award the family home to the custodial parent
  • Conduct of the spouse during marriage
  • Earnings or earning ability of the spouses as relating to the final property division and final determination of property rights of the spouses

Indiana Alimony

Divorce laws in Indiana allow spouses to negotiate alimony.

If the couple isn't able to come to an agreement, the divorce court will order alimony on a case-by-case basis depending on the following:

  • A spouse is considered physically or mentally incapacitated to the extent that he or she is unable to support himself or herself. Indiana divorce courts may order alimony for the length of time the spouse is incapacitated.
  • One spouse lacks sufficient property to provide for his or her needs, including any from the Indiana property division.
  • A spouse was awarded Indiana child custody of a child who is physically or mentally incapacitated to the point that the spouse must forgo employment.

The Indiana divorce court may also award alimony after considering:

  • Educational level of each spouse at the time of marriage and divorce
  • Whether an interruption in education, training or employment of the seeking spouse occurred during the marriage for homemaking or child care responsibilities
  • Earning capacity of each spouse
  • Time and expenses needed to acquire sufficient education or training for the seeking spouse to find appropriate employment - rehabilitative maintenance will not exceed three years

Indiana Child Custody

State divorce laws set the key factor as the best interest of the child when determining child custody.

Typically, the divorce court will allow the couple to negotiate child custody and then approve the agreement. If the spouses aren't able to come to an agreement, the divorce court will consider the following circumstances:

  • Age and gender of the child
  • Wishes of the child's parents
  • Child's wishes, with extra weight being given to the child's wishes if the child is at least 14 years old
  • Interaction and relationship of the child with the parents, siblings and other people who significantly affect the child's best interest
  • Ability of the child to adjust to home, school and community
  • Mental and physical health of everyone involved
  • Evidence of domestic violence
  • Possibility that child has been cared for by someone other than the parents

Indiana Grandparent Visitation

Indiana state divorce laws don't automatically grant grandparents visitation rights during divorce.

In Indiana, grandparents will need to file a petition with the court requesting child visitation. The divorce court will then decide if grandparent visitation is in the best interest of the child and award visitation rights in the following circumstances:

  • If either the child's parent in deceased
  • Parents file for divorce in Indiana
  • Child was born out of wedlock

If the couple file for divorce in another state, the grandparents may seek visitation if the child custody decree doesn't bind the grandparent and an Indiana court has jurisdiction. Grandparent visitation rights terminate unless the adoption is by the child's stepparent or a person who is biologically related to the child as a grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew.

When determining child visitation, the Indiana divorce court will consider what in the best interest of the child, including:

  • Age and gender of the child
  • Wishes of the parents and child
  • Interaction and relationship between the child and parents, siblings and other significant people
  • Child's ability to adjust to home, school and community
  • Mental and physical health of all people involved

Indiana Child Support

If it is possible for a couple to work together with their divorce attorneys to negotiate child support, the Indiana divorce court will allow the spouses to come to an agreement.

When it's not possible for a couple to come to an agreement, the Indiana divorce court will determine child support.

Under state divorce laws, child support is calculated by estimating the amount of support that would have been available to the child or children if the family had stayed together. The estimated amount is divided proportionally between the parents, according to each spouse's income.

The Indiana divorce court will consider the following factors to calculate child support:

  • Standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the marriage hadn't been ended
  • Physical, emotional and educational needs of the child
  • Financial resources, needs and obligations of both parents

When making child support decisions, the Indiana divorce court may include medical, hospital, dental and educational support in the support order.

If you are considering filing divorce, connect with a local divorce attorney to learn more about child support decisions in Indianan divorce. Get legal advice on how much you can expect to pay as a noncustodial parent or to receive as a custodial parent.

Indiana Child Support Enforcement in Divorce

State divorce laws help collect unpaid child support in cases where parents default on payments. Indiana child support enforcement methods include:

  • Withholding of income from the employer
  • Interception of
    • Federal and state income tax refunds
    • Unemployment compensation benefits
    • Lottery winnings
  • Credit bureau reporting
  • Suspension of professional and driver's license
  • Financial institution data match
  • Cross matching new hire reporting
  • Passport denial
  • Suspension of hunting and fishing license
  • Federal loan data matching
  • Computer automation of child support operations
  • Liens on personal property

Please understand that this information is provided for illustration purposes only and is not legal advice. Speak to a local Indiana divorce lawyer about the circumstances of your divorce today by calling 877-349-1310 or filling out an Indiana divorce case review form. Get legal advice about your divorce so you can protect you and your family.

Case Evaluation

The above synopsis of Indiana divorce laws is by no means all-inclusive and has been adapted from applicable state laws. These laws may have changed since our last update and there may be additional laws that apply in your situation. For the latest information on these divorce laws, please contact a local Indiana divorce lawyer in your area.

Note: Keep in mind that all divorce laws are complex. If you need legal divorce advice or want to fully understand how these laws affect you, please speak with a local divorce attorney.