How Long Does a Divorce Take in Indiana

When the breakup of your marital relations is inevitable, and you are going to file for marriage dissolution, the question “How long does it take to get a divorce in Indiana?” will probably be among the first ones you would like to find the answer to. It is difficult to determine the precise divorce timeline in advance because everything will depend on whether it is a contested or uncontested case. To help you prepare for the divorce process, we have collected information on “How long do you have to be separated before you can file for divorce in the state of Indiana?” and “How long does a divorce take in Indiana?”. If you consider starting an uncontested divorce, we will gladly help you with the divorce paperwork and provide instructions on filing documents with the court clerk’s office.

         How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Indiana?

In Indiana, an uncontested divorce takes at least 61 days after filing the divorce petition with the court (Ind. Code § 31-15-2-13). It is not possible to officially end the marriage earlier due to the mandatory waiting period. In reality, though, uncontested cases are finalized in 2-4 months on average. Unlike in some other states, spouses do not need to be separated before initiating a divorce. An uncontested divorce process in Indiana is possible if spouses have no disagreements regarding property division, child custodyvisitation schedule, and alimony. It is usually a no-fault marriage dissolution due to an irretrievable breakdown of marital relations. How long it takes to get a divorce in Indiana in an uncontested case will depend mostly on the court’s schedule. The fewer cases they have to deal with, the sooner your final hearing can be scheduled after the waiting period is over. Sometimes, a judge may order counseling for a couple to reconcile, which may result in extended divorce timelines. To sum up, the answer to the question “How long does an uncontested divorce take in Indiana?” is no less than 61 days but typically 2-4 months.

             How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take in Indiana?

If you wonder, “How long does it take to get a divorce in Indiana?” if the case is contested, the answer is anywhere from 3 months to a year or more. The divorce timelines will depend on the mandatory 60-day waiting period and the time needed for spouses to agree on all disputed issues. Contested divorces in Indiana may be based on fault grounds, including impotence, incurable insanity, or a felony conviction (Ind. Code § 31-15-2-3). In this case, how long a contested divorce takes in Indiana will depend on:
  • the reason for marriage dissolution,
  • the ability of the filing spouse to collect necessary evidence and prove the fault of the other party,
  • the number of issues that should be agreed upon or decided by a judge during court litigation.
Disagreements of spouses in contested divorces may relate to:
  • custody of children
  • property and asset division
  • alimony
  • visitation and child support, etc.
The divorce timeline for contested cases is extended because more court hearings are needed to reach an agreement between the parties. If spouses do not get along and continue fighting for their rights, the divorce process can last more than a year due to the prolonged court litigation.

             How Long Does a Divorce Case Stay Open in Indiana?

In Indiana, the duration of the divorce process is between 3-6 months, starting from the moment when one spouse initiates marriage dissolution by filing the petition until the court issues a final judgment. As mentioned before, divorce timelines depend mainly on whether the case is no-fault or fault-based and contested or not. There are situations when a divorce case can be automatically dismissed, and the court does not make a final judgment. If, during the hearing, the judge thinks a couple can reconcile, they can continue the divorce case and order spouses to attend counseling to potentially preserve their marital relations. In such a case, parties are given 45 days to undergo family therapy if needed. After this time expires, either spouse can request a final hearing. If spouses do not file a motion for dissolution after a 45-day period is over, the divorce case will be dismissed automatically after 90 days. The court will consider that reconciliation has occurred (Ind. Code § 31-15-2-15). If a couple still decides to divorce after some time, they will need to start the marriage termination process all over again.

                                When is a Divorce Final in Indiana?

The minimum possible time it takes for a divorce to be final in Indiana is 61 days, but, in reality, the divorce process lasts for 3-6 months on average. The day when a judge signs a final decree on marriage dissolution and the court enters it is when the divorce case is officially finalized. A judge cannot sign this document in less than 60 days after a petitioner initiates the divorce. The court issues a divorce decree when:
  • the conditions regarding residency in the state are met,
  • the mandatory waiting period is over,
  • spouses have reached an agreement on custody, property division, and other divorce terms, or the court has made these decisions for them.
The divorce timelines can be reduced if spouses submit documents for the simplified divorce process (Ind. Code § 31-15-2-13). Mandatory forms to file are a written Waiver of the Final Hearing and a Statement that there are no contested issues or a written Marital Agreement. In this case, a court hearing may not be required. So, how long it takes to finalize a divorce in Indiana will depend on the grounds, conditions, and methods of marriage dissolution.