What Indiana Law Says About Legal Separation
Legal separation is allowed and recognized in Indiana. In most cases, litigants will use it to protect marital property in the case of substance abusing partners. In this case, it gives the lawyer enough time to start working on divorce if the other party to the marriage feels that they cannot stand their spouse’s behavior any longer. If there is any hope of working things out, this is the perfect opportunity for both parties.
The other main reason for filing a Marital Separation Agreement in Indiana is to give notice to creditors about the state of the marriage. In this case, absolute divorce is imminent, and so creditors may take measures to collect when they still can.
There are still other reasons why a couple may opt for separation as opposed to divorce, including religious beliefs that may prohibit dissolution of marriage.
Usually, legal separation takes the same procedure as a divorce. The party seeking it will file a Marital Separation Agreement in Indiana and then proceed to have the judge look into it to decide whether it is equitable and just. Some of the things that the agreement will address include child support and custody, property and liability distribution, and at times, alimony. Once the court order takes effect, the marital estate will be closed. A legal separation expires one year after the date of filing, and if the couple does nothing about it, the procedure for divorce starts.
For the court to issue a decree of legal separation, then the couple has to prove that the marriage is broken but can still be maintained. Indiana does not require that a couple to file for separation before granting a divorce, but a minimum period of living apart helps the court determine an “irretrievable breakdown” in the marriage.
Couples can reconcile even after they have filed for separation. If this happens, they resume their marital relations and the decree ceases to be effective. Otherwise, they can opt to stay separated indefinitely or file for dissolution.
Both divorce and legal separation carry benefits and risks and so it helps to be knowledgeable before making a decision. If your sole intention is to protect your union, you may want to take up marital separation, but you want your spouse to be agreeable to prevent lengthening the procedure unnecessarily.
Should you wish to proceed with a legal separation in the state of Indiana, we offer templates and online samples of Marital Separation Agreements to make the process that much faster.
Whether you live in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Evansville, South Bend, Carmel, Fishers, Bloomington, Hammond, Gary or any other city of Indiana, you can use our legal forms easily.