Can You Get a Divorce Without a Lawyer in Indiana? If So, How?

The theoretical answer to this question is “yes”. You could also pull your teeth out instead of going to a dentist or suture your own wounds without a doctor. However, all of these would be painful (like a divorce) and difficult and probably cause unforeseeable problems down the road.

That said, getting a divorce without an attorney is almost always a mistake. Why? Because a divorce is legally breaking a bond that was never intended to be broken, at least under traditional religious vows. This is very hard to do. That said and related to this, divorce is a complex legal transaction. This blog covers if you can get a divorce without an attorney.

As a threshold matter, a divorce action requires the completion and filing of many documents, and correspondingly taking the related legal actions therewith, including, but not limited to the following:


  • Filing a Verified Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
  • Conducting and responding
  • Drafting a settlement agreement, decree of dissolution of marriage, and waiver of final hearing.
  • Preparing and filing motions to continue and/or for extensions of time.
  • Complying with the confidentiality rules set forth by the Supreme Court and filing non-public versions of documents that do not disclose confidential information.
  • Preparing a confidential mediation statement.
  • Attending mediation.
  • Getting evidence into an admissible format and laying the necessary foundation for admission.
  • Trying your case (if it does not settle in mediation).
  • Preparing a QDRO.
  • Taking an appeal, if necessary.


If you do not know what these documents are or could not prepare them, and take the necessary associated with same, such as e-filing a motion, then you should have a lawyer. Clearly, and in no uncertain terms, getting a divorce without a lawyer is a dubious proposition at best.

This noted, if the other litigant has an attorney, you are setting yourself up for a bad outcome. This is because you will not know the various rules, statutes, and cases you need to know to properly handle the divorce at all junctures. At a final hearing, you will not know how to lay an evidentiary foundation, have exhibits in an admissible format, and admit exhibits. The opposing counsel will.

Without evidence, you will lose your case to a statistical legal certainty. There are no do-overs. And the Court cannot assist you at trial. Furthermore, if you do make a mistake (if it could be corrected), the law is very clear that you are held to the same standard as a licensed attorney.

While there may be some cases with no assets/liabilities or children that a pro se party could handle with standard forms provided at some courthouses, this is about the only situation where a party could get a divorce without having legal counsel. This blog was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Associates, P.C. It is written for general educational purposes. This blog is not to be relied upon for any legal matter or issue. This blog is not legal advice. It is an advertisement.


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