Divorce is often cited as the second most stressful event in an individual’s life, only behind the loss of a close family member. If you have to go through a divorce, however, being educated on how the dissolution process works can help you through this difficult time. When you know what to expect during your divorce, you can begin to take control of your future. At HOLLINGSWORTH & ZIVITZ, P.C., we pride ourselves in providing our clients the knowledge and tools to cope with the process of a divorce. We would like to provide you with the same opportunity by introducing you to part one of an eleven part series entitled “Divorce – What to Expect.” Over the next year, we will discuss various aspects of the divorce process, including the following topics: What Happens Immediately After Filing, Child Custody and Parenting Time, Child Support, Property Division, Maintenance/Alimony, Options to Resolve Your Case Prior to Trial, Going to Court, Modification of Custody, Modification of Child Support, and How Much Will My Case Cost.
We begin our series with “Filing.” Filing a Verified Petition for Dissolution is the first step in the legal process of getting a divorce. The filing fee – the cost paid to the county to open a divorce case – is presently $137.00. The Petition includes the name of the parties, when they were married, if there were children born of the marriage, and other basic information. In the Petition, the reason for the dissolution is often cited as the marriage has been “irretrievably broken and should be dissolved.” The Petition typically does not contain a listing of complaints or specific allegations concerning the non-filing spouse. The filing party must have resided in Indiana for six months and the county where the Petition is to be filed for three months prior to the filing of the dissolution proceeding. Upon filing, the case is assigned a “cause number” and all future proceedings will take place in the same court, with limited exceptions.
After the Petition has been filed, the next step is to “serve” the non-filing spouse, which means providing formal notification that the Petition has been filed. This can be completed via Sheriff, certified mail, or a voluntary acknowledgment by the non-filing spouse. Once service has been completed, it is customary to establish the “ground rules” which will govern certain aspects of the parties’ conduct during the pendency of the divorce, such as custody of children, parenting time, possession of the marital residence, payment of marital expenses. These issues are referred to as “provisional Issues” and will be the subject of our next column.
At Hollingsworth & Zivitz, P.C., our team has the experience, the understanding, and the compassion to assist with your family law needs. If you have questions or concerns regarding divorce, custody, support, or any other family law concerns contact our firm at 317.569.2200 or hzlegal.com
Stay tuned for the next installment of “Divorce-What to Expect” by HOLLINGSWORTH & ZIVITZ, P.C.