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Divorce in Howard County
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Online Divorce in Howard County
Please note: OnlineDivorce.com in Howard County, Indiana, is not eligible to provide legal advice. Being a document preparation service, not a law firm, Online Divorce provides the information below for informational purposes only.
The easiest and fastest way to terminate the marriage in Howard County is to get a divorce by yourself, without a lawyer. This option is available for the spouses who are not going to contest the case. Thus, they need to reach an agreement concerning the essential terms of their separation and write up a Settlement Agreement. After that, they have to select, fill out, and file the divorce documents with the court.
Although an uncontested divorce may seem like a simple procedure, it has its pitfalls. That is why many divorcing spouses in Howard County use OnlineDivorce.com to avoid the bureaucratic red tape and make the process of divorce as quick, cheap, and easy as possible.
OnlineDivorce.com offers only relevant Indiana divorce forms customized according to your particular case based upon the information provided by you in an online interview. This service takes into account the Family Law of the state, as well as Howard County local rules, and completes the paperwork in just two days. The customer receives a printable petition for divorce and other required forms via email, along with step-by-step instructions through the filing process. With OnlineDivorce.com, arranging an uncontested divorce becomes straightforward and comfortable.
Using this inexpensive online service helps save time and effort and ensures that the papers are completed correctly and approved by the court with no problems or delays.
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Valid grounds to get divorce in Howard County
Indiana courts can decree dissolution of the marriage upon one of the grounds established by Indiana Family Law. In Howard County, Indiana, both no-fault and fault-based grounds for divorce are recognized.
Fault grounds for divorce point out the misconduct of either spouse as a reason for a breakup. Each of the fault-based grounds must be proved before the court to be considered valid. According to the Indiana Family Code, Sec. 188.8.131.52, they are:
The conviction of either of the parties, subsequent to the marriage, of a felony
Impotence, existing at the time of the marriage
Incurable insanity of either party for at least two years
A no-fault divorce in Howard County can be obtained under the ground of "Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage." This ground means that there is no need to allege or prove the wrongdoing of the other party; it is enough just to testify that the marital relationship cannot be fixed.
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In Howard County, in a divorce proceeding with a minor child involved, the court shall enter a custody order. According to Indiana Code, Sec. 184.108.40.206, while determining the custody, the court is guided by the child's best interests, considering the following essential factors:
the age and sex of the child;
the wishes of the child's parent or parents;
the wishes of the child, with more consideration given to the child's wishes if the child is at least fourteen years of age;
the interaction and interrelationship of the child with each parent, siblings, and other significant family members;
the child's adjustment to the child's home, school, and community;
the mental and physical health of all individuals involved;
the history of domestic violence by either parent.
Generally, there are two types of custody - physical and legal custody. Physical custody typically determines which parent will provide the home, physical care, and supervision of a child. Legal custody refers to decision-making power concerning the child's upbringing (education, medical care, travels, religion, and other matters).
The court may award joint legal custody if it is concluded that joint legal custody is in the best interest of the child. When determining how to award custody, the judge usually takes into account the parents' fitness and suitability, their will and ability to communicate and cooperate, and their relationship with the child.
In the case of an uncontested and rather amicable divorce in Howard County, the parties are required to file a parenting plan that designates the custodial parent, visitation schedule, and other relevant issues, then submit it for approval by the court.
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Rules for child support in Howard County
Both parents are in charge of the child's welfare after the separation. Still, typically, just one of the parents (who does not have physical custody) is obliged to pay a periodic fixed amount as child support after a divorce in Howard County, Indiana.
To determine the amount of child support, Indiana follows the Income Shares Model. This means that an amount of support that would have been available had the dissolution of marriage not occurred is estimated. Then this amount must be divided proportionally between the parents. An amount of child support is typically calculated by using a Child Support Worksheet.
In a divorce in Howard County, Indiana, alimony is neither a tool to punish nor a way to favor either spouse. The purpose of spousal support is to provide decent living conditions for the party who cannot become self-supporting immediately after the dissolution is final.
One of the spouses is physically or mentally incapacitated, so he/she cannot be financially self-sufficient. Such spousal support may be appointed until the conditions change.
One of the spouses lacks property even after the marital property was divided, and this spouse is a custodian of a child with special needs (who has a mental/physical incapacity and therefore can’t work outside the home). The court may order this type of support for whatever time it considers fair in a particular divorce lawsuit.
The court may award rehabilitative alimony for a period of no longer than three years. It’s purpose is to give the supported spouse an ability to find decent employment. Education or retraining may be needed if this spouse had left his/her career to care for children or in favor of education and professional improvement of another spouse.
In Indiana, there is no specific alimony calculator, so the duration and amount of spousal support is calculated on a case-by-case basis, following numerous factors and personal circumstances of the couple.
Uncontested Howard County divorce with children
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Property division in Howard County
To get a divorce in Howard County, Indiana, the spouses are encouraged to settle the most disputed terms of their case on their own. The courts generally accept a fair property division if it is agreed on by both parties. Still, if the parties cannot agree, the Domestic Relations Court shall divide assets at its discretion within the Judgment of Divorce.
To understand how property is divided in a divorce in Howard County, it is worth knowing that Indiana belongs to the equitable distribution states. This means that all the marital property of the spouses should be distributed fairly in a divorce proceeding. However, "fair" does not always mean "equal."
According to Indiana Code, Sec. 220.127.116.11, when deciding the property division, the court usually considers several factors to determine the fair division of property:
each spouse's contributions to the acquisition of the property, regardless of whether the contribution was income producing;
each spouse's financial condition;
each spouse's income and earning ability;
the fault of any spouse in the disposal or dissipation of property;
the desirability of awarding the family home to the party who is the primary custodian.
Since only the marital property is subject to division, it is essential to determine the marital and the separate property correctly. Separate property includes anything acquired before the marriage, as well as personal gifts and inheritances which were given only to the one spouse (before or during the marriage).
Mediation support in Howard County
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution that may be suitable for the couples who want to file for an uncontested divorce in Howard County, Indiana, and settle the terms of the separation out-of-court.
Mediation is committed to facilitating an open and honest discussion and helping the parties to make their Settlement Agreement or Parenting plan.
Divorce mediation is not mandatory in Howard County, though in some divorce cases, the judge may require the spouses to attend at least one session. Usually, court-ordered mediation is used when couples have disagreements about child-related issues, such as child custody or visitation schedule. Parenting classes are also at the discretion of the judges in Indiana.
How to file for divorce in Howard County | Step-by-Step
The couple has to meet Indiana residency requirements to be eligible to apply for divorce in Howard County. According to Indiana Code, Sec. 18.104.22.168, either party must have been a resident of the state of Indiana for at least six months before filing for divorce. Additionally, at least one of the spouses must currently live in Howard County for the petition to be filed there.
To start a divorce procedure in Howard County, the plaintiff has to draft the petition and other necessary divorce forms and file the completed divorce papers with the court. Depending on the county, in Indiana, dissolution cases are heard by the Superior Court, Circuit Court, or Domestic Relations Court.
At the moment of filing, the plaintiff shall pay a court filing fee.
The next step is to decide how to serve divorce papers to the other party (called the respondent). In Howard County, Indiana, the procedure of serving divorce papers can be accomplished by certified or registered mail, personal service by the sheriff, or private service. Unlike other states, there is no requirement in Indiana that the second spouse must file a response. In Indiana, the allegations contained in the Petition for Dissolution are not automatically accepted as true if the respondent fails to answer.
Getting a divorce in Howard County implies a mandatory 60-day waiting period after the date of filing. Therefore, even if both parties agree to terminate the marriage, it cannot take less than 60 days.
After the 60-day waiting period has expired, the judge can issue a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage, meaning that the divorce process is final. In Howard County, Indiana, a court hearing typically is not required for uncontested cases. Most couples choose to file a Verified Waiver of Hearing document to avoid it, though the judge still may schedule the final court hearing in a divorce with children involved.
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Filing fees for divorce in Howard County
The court filing fee, which is between $132 and $152 in Indiana, is mandatory for every couple. The spouses should check with the local Court Clerk's Office to find out the exact amount.
Those plaintiffs who cannot afford to pay a court fee can file the Indiana Verified Motion for Fee Waiver form. After checking their financial information, they may be exempted from paying the charge.
How long will it take?
How long it takes to finalize a divorce in Howard County mainly depends on the type of dissolution.
An uncontested divorce is typically fast and takes on average between 60 to 90 days to finalize the process.
The length of a contested divorce in Howard County is hard to predict since such a procedure includes a divorce trial on disputed issues. Often a case that goes to trial takes a year or even more to reach an agreement.
Filing for divorce in Howard County | Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a divorce cost in Howard County? How much a divorce can cost in Howard County depends on many factors, including attorney fees, parenting class, or mediation support. The cost of any dissolution of the marriage in Howard County starts with a court filing fee and the fee for parenting class if the spouses have minor children. The other costs vary and will depend on whether the parties seek the help of attorneys or other 3rd party assistance. Since attorneys charge high fees, the cost of their services usually make up the lion's share of the total expenses. Thus, DIY divorce is the most affordable option for arranging the process.
How do you file for divorce in Howard County without a lawyer? In Howard County, Indiana, the spouses are eligible to represent themselves in a dissolution case. They may use the self-help section provided by the Indiana Courts website or prepare the necessary legal forms with the help of OnlineDivorce.com to make the filing process more smooth and comfortable. However, arranging a dissolution without a lawyer is more appropriate when the dissolution is uncontested.
What forms are required for an uncontested divorce in Howard County? The legal paperwork the plaintiff has to file with the court to start the case in Howard County, Indiana, includes:
Verified Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and for Provisional Orders
Notice of Provisional Hearing
Verified Order for fee Waiver and Order on fee Waiver
Child Support Obligation Worksheet
Verified Waiver of Final Hearing
Settlement Agreement and Decree of Dissolution of Marriage
Motion for Final Hearing and Notice of Final Hearing
Decree of Dissolution
Can I file for legal separation in Howard County, Indiana? Indiana Family Law recognizes legal separation as an alternative to the dissolution of marriage. Legal separation is a legal process by which a married couple may allocate their marital rights and responsibilities as in dissolution but remain legally married. According to the Indiana Code, Sec. 22.214.171.124, for a legal separation the spouses are required to use the grounds that conditions in or circumstances of the marriage make it currently intolerable for both parties to live together; and that the marriage should be maintained.
When is it allowed to remarry after a divorce? The state of Indiana does not provide any restrictions on getting remarried after a marriage is officially dissolved by the court.
Divorce in Howard County online
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Here is how OnlineDivorce.com makes completing divorce papers easier:
We provide the full divorce packet required by the local court - clients do not need to drive to their local courthouse to get the blank forms or search for the right divorce forms online. In rare cases, local county forms can vary in color, paper material, size, or bar code, so they may need to be obtained directly from the county clerk's office.
We complete the necessary forms for clients based on their answers given in a simple guided online interview - clients do not need to understand family law or read through complicated instructions to figure out how to fill out the forms themselves.
We give detailed, easy to follow step-by-step instructions for filing a divorce with the court - so the client knows exactly what to do to get his/her divorce finalized.
We provide unlimited technical support - if a client needs assistance through the online process, he/she can always reach out to us via phone, email, or live chat, and we'll do our best to help.
We save our clients time and money - if divorcing spouses agree regarding the terms of their divorce, they typically don’t have to pay thousands to a lawyer to handle their divorce forms and don't need to spend hours trying to do it all by themselves.
We guarantee 100% court approval on divorce papers prepared through our website or your money back - we have 21 years of experience in completing divorce forms so clients can be sure the court will accept their documents without issues.
With a contested divorce, spouses will have to go through numerous steps before the divorce is finalized, including:
prepare, file, and serve (deliver) the divorce petition
respond to the petition
interview and hire an attorney
pre-trial legal motions and hearings
settlement proposals and negotiations between attorneys
if settlement fails, prepare for and complete a court trial
appeal, if you dispute the trial judge’s decision(s)
Prepare to pay exorbitant attorney's fees - at least $2000-3000 depending on your case’s complexity.
Hourly rates vary with different attorneys and average $250-300 per hour. In rural areas, attorneys
may charge less. However, if you live in a large city, local attorneys may charge up to $1000 per hour.
At first glance, using such sites may look like an easy way to go, but it may turn into additional
headaches for you. Some of the issues you may experience when dealing with basic online divorce
long processing times - do you like waiting?
inexperienced and poorly-trained customer support
not user-friendly technology
lack of guidance during the process
hidden fees, e.g., for any, even the simplest, revisions
outdated divorce forms causing court rejection
Did you know that some online divorce providers have virtual addresses in the US because they are
based in other countries? No wonder some clients are provided with outdated divorce forms that will
be rejected by the court. The result? Those people lose their time and money because these
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