Merrillville, Indiana Legal Blog

What is a bifurcation in an Indiana divorce?

There are many aspects of an Indiana divorce and people who are in the middle of such an upheaval are not expected to immediately understand all of them. While some cases are contentious, others are relatively amicable. Many fall somewhere in between. If the couple has certain issues about which they can agree and others that are in dispute, there are ways to have a smooth divorce process that addresses contested and uncontested issues. Understanding what the law says about this is critical to using it effectively and a law firm experienced in family legal cases can help.

Bifurcation in a divorce means that the issues are split. With this process, the parties can have a summary disposition of some parts of the case while there will be a hearing on others. It can expedite the case so a party who wishes to remarry can do so while the case is not yet completed. The summary disposition might sound comparable to a summary dissolution. With a summary dissolution, the sides are not in need of a hearing because they have agreed on all issues. The divorce is relatively straightforward and after the required time-period has passed, the divorce will be granted. A summary disposition does the same with the individual parts of the divorce that have been agreed to. For example, if the parties agree on property division, it can be completed without a hearing.

What does Indiana law say about joint legal child custody?

Child custody disputes can be an emotional. People who are ending their marriage often think about how much time they will spend with their children while wanting them to live in a stable and nurturing environment with as little disruption as possible. Although the law requires family law courts to issue child custody orders based on the best interests of the child involved, during a divorce lingering issues between a child's parents can make it difficult to come to an acceptable resolution to a child custody dispute.

In many cases, rather than award custody to one parent or another, a better solution is joint legal custody. Understanding what state law says about what is considered when making this order is key. When the decision is made as to whether there should be joint legal custody, the best interests of the child are paramount. Also, the parties who are set to have joint legal custody are generally encouraged to agree to it on their own.

Planning ahead can help when divorcing during retirement

You may be someone who has become more vocal about what you want in life as you have aged. Now that you are reaching your retirement years, you may feel that the time has come to make some major changes in your life in efforts to live more happily. In particular, you may feel that the time has come to end your marriage.

To some, it may seem like an unnecessary upheaval to go through divorce while also retiring. However, if you are unhappy in your marriage and feel that ending it is for the best, it may not seem unnecessary to you. Certainly, you understand that a lot of changes will occur and that there is a chance for financial upset, but you also know that you can plan ahead.

A qualified lawyer can help with child and spousal support

In an Indiana divorce, support issues will come to the forefront. This is true for child support and spousal support. Taking care of children and serving their best interests is an obvious need. Most parents will be more than happy to provide for a child after a divorce. The custodial parent will need these payments to care for the child. However, there can be disputes about the amount. Regarding spousal support, it is often more complex. There could be lingering issues between the parties and disagreements as to how much will be paid and the duration. With these concerns and any other issue that is likely to arise in a divorce proceeding, legal help is key.

There are many factors with child support. Of course, income is one. What must also be considered is the number of times a child stays overnight with the noncustodial parent. Providing health care and adhering to the child's educational requirements will be calculated in the support order. While a formula will be used as a basic guideline, there is always nuance. Whether it is from the perspective of the custodial or noncustodial parent, examining the entire situation will be a foundational part of a support order and that can be achieved with legal advice.

Child and spousal support covers various educational issues

When an Indiana couple divorces and the child and spousal support amounts are determined, people will wonder how various factors will be weighed when the amount is calculated. The basic requirement is that the child's needs are served and their best interests are adhered to. However, there is a significant amount of wiggle room in that categorization.

Confusion is common and people are frequently unaware of what they can receive from the supporting spouse and why. On the other side of the coin, the paying spouse might not know what they are paying for. Having legal help can be useful to sift through these issues. Education is a critical part of child support, but it can be complex as to how much will be paid. The law states when this can be included in the order.

Certain questions should be asked before getting a divorce

Marriage is not always easy. It takes work to forge a successful union and, unfortunately, it does not always work out. Before Indianans make the decision to end a marriage, however, it is important to consider what the problems are, whether every option has been exhausted and divorce is the best choice. When thinking about a divorce - even if the final decision has not been made - it is always wise to contact a qualified legal professional to understand the entire divorce process. This can be a critical factor and will help in determining what to do next.

Couples should think about strategies to avoid a divorce. Difficult times are unavoidable in any marriage, but it is wise to make sure the decision is ironclad and there is no way to save the marriage. Money might not be foremost at such an emotional time, but it should be considered in the context of how much it will cost. Getting a divorce is not a simple process. There are complexities involved and it is always sound to have advice from those who know the ins-and-outs. There are certain goals that people will have at every aspect of their lives. Divorce is no different. If these goals can be achieved via divorce and they cannot be achieved by staying in the unhappy marriage, perhaps divorce is a preferable way to go.

Prepare for unexpected issues in a divorce

Sometimes an Indiana couple has reached the point in their relationship that they can no longer stay married. When this happens, they will frequently want to get the divorce process over with as quickly as they can. It can be beneficial to move on and start a new life, but during the emotional upheaval of a divorce, it is easy to forget certain factors that can be problematic in its immediate aftermath. Being fully prepared takes careful thought, patience and legal advice.

In a divorce, there are issues that arise even if the couple is parting amicably. When the divorce is contentious, it is obviously more complicated. Factors that can also have an impact are children, a business, significant property and assets. People who address these concerns in the divorce are often stunned when they are still confronted with challenges. Federal income taxes can be higher than they were during the marriage. Filing as an individual reduces the benefits and deductions available and can be costlier. Spousal support will not come cheap. If it was a long marriage and the receiving former spouse was a homemaker, it should be expected that support must be paid. Still, the combination of supporting oneself and paying for living expenses while paying support to another person is expensive.

Signing a legal agreement with your spouse after marriage

Like many other Indiana couples, you did not see the benefit of a prenuptial agreement before you walked down the aisle. Perhaps you did not think this was necessary because you were not wealthy or you did not have significantly valuable assets to protect. However, things may have changed over time, and now you are wondering what legal protections may be available to you.

Fortunately, there are legal options. Through a postnuptial agreement, you may be able get similar protections that you would get if you drafted a prenuptial agreement before marriage. Like any other legal contract or marital agreement, the terms of this agreement are important, and there is significant benefit in working with a legal ally when drafting one.

How to retain the house in property division after a divorce

When it comes to property division in an Indiana divorce, there are often disagreements as to how certain items should be split. Oftentimes, one of the most valuable items in a marriage is the marital home. In a best-case scenario, the couple will be amicable and can negotiate a settlement. In other cases, there is acrimony and endless disputes. Regardless of the situation, when it comes to the marital home and property division, it is important for the parties to understand their options.

There are many reasons for one spouse or the other to want to keep the marital home. It might be due to financial considerations. There could be sentimental reasons attached to it. Or if the spouses have children, the children might never have lived anywhere but the marital home and the custodial parent might want them to stay there. Having strategies to keep the marital home is vital.

When getting a divorce, what must be in the petition?

An Indiana divorce can be stressful emotionally, personally and financially. As the decision to end a marriage is made and people are in the middle of preparing for an uncertain future, it is easy to forget about the basics for a legal petition to dissolve a marriage. For those who are getting divorced and there is no chance of saving the marriage, filing the case as it is required by law is one of the key factors in a rapid and efficient resolution.

Knowing the requirements for a divorce petition might seem inordinately basic, but failure to follow this law is a key reason why proceedings are delayed and problems arise. Per Indiana law, the dissolution of marriage must be verified. It must set forth the following information: where the parties resided and how long they lived in that state and county; the date in which the marriage took place; and the date in which the parties separated.

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