The dissolution of a marriage may be a very emotional and difficult process for all those involved, and often times the process of divorce is found to be very daunting. However, with the right legal representation and ongoing negotiation a divorce need not be a belabored process.
Generally, there are three steps to a divorce case. First, a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage must be filed with the court. The second stage is the provisional stage in which temporary issues are resolved such as child support, temporary spousal maintenance, which spouse will retain the residence, temporary custody of the children, and other like issues. During this stage of the marital dissolution process, the parties can move for a provisional hearing or they may submit an agreed order if the parties agree.
Between the provisional order stage and the final hearing, the parties to the marital dissolution will have to exchange information in the form of discovery. This process serves to give information to the opposing party, usually in the form of a financial declaration form so that both parties to the dissolution are informed about all the property to be divided.
According to Indiana law, a divorce cannot be final any earlier than sixty days after filing the petition. This time period serves to give the parties time to work on reconciliation. However, after the sixty day period, the dissolution has reached the stage of the final hearing. Similarly to the provisional hearing, the parties may move for a hearing or can submit an agreed order. At this point, a final order is issued which is similar to the provisional order, except it is not temporary. The court will order a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage which dissolves the marriage and resolves all the issues in the case. At this point, the couple is divorced, however, there still may be ongoing issues, especially if the couple has children. However, if the couple does not have children and the couple is happy with the court’s decision, this point will mark the end of the case.