A divorce consistently ranks among the most stressful life events. If you have children, we know you never get a true “divorce”. Make no mistake, contested custody in divorce is a fight. The presumption is one parent will get primary physical custody and the other parenting time at a minimum, with a corresponding child support order. However, the trend (not yet the law) is joint physical custody. What is your legal objective for physical custody and parenting time? What property division do you seek? Do you know? If not, this is where our team will help you put together a trial theme for what you want and why. Once this is determined, we work with you to gather evidence to support your legal theme (your desired legal objective) and work your case up for trial. We know this is a stressful time; communication is key, and the firm makes timely client communication a top priority.
Unfortunately, after the divorce is completed, there are several issues that often arise, perhaps the most common being relocation and a parent’s request to modify physical or legal custody, which the court can do at any time if it is in the child’s best interest. All of these matters reopen the divorce wound and cause the fight to resume. Again, this is where our team can help you by again developing a trial theme to support your legal objective. We do so by using the tools to gather evidence to support your position and prepare your case, and you, for trial. While all attorneys admitted to the Indiana bar can practice domestic relations, few limit their practice to domestic relations. Ciyou & Associates, P.C. is a premier Indiana law firm practicing exclusively in domestic and family law, which provides unique strategies that drive results.
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What Makes Us Unique
Bryan Ciyou, founder of Ciyou & Associates, P.C. has handled hundreds of divorce cases in the initial divorce action, post-decree litigation, as well as many domestic appeals. With this breadth of knowledge and comprehensive experience, Bryan has literally handled every type of divorce matter that can arise under the Divorce Act. He personally oversees all the Firm’s cases. His approach is to “leave no stone unturned” in preparation for every case. This has served his clients well and he has handled domestic cases with local counsel all over the world.
At the Firm, a client is not just a case; but instead, a matter where we understand the outcome can and will literally shape the life and direction of a client for years or decades to come. We take every case seriously. To maintain ground in your domestic relations case, you must take every filing seriously and respond and fight for the children’s best interests. We are your boxers in the ring. The Firm does not leave any legal variable it can influence or control to chance.
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Divorce Practice Areas
The best way to find a good divorce lawyer is to search social media and Google. Ask family and friends who have been divorced if they were satisfied with their counsel or would have preferred to have had opposing counsel representing them. If you know a lawyer, ask him/her who they would recommend. By conducting multi-source queries, you will start getting the same names popping up. From there, make a pick of an attorney you believe is best suited to your case. Then set a consult with the counsel you selected to see if they are the right fit for you and your case.
A good divorce attorney may mean the difference between winning or losing custody or settling for less property than you are entitled to. Are you willing to risk this? There is a reason a good divorce lawyer is more expensive and difficult to get consults with; they are busy because they are good at what they do in handling every divorce case.
Indiana is a no-fault divorce state. So, if you relay the marriage is “irretrievably broken”, the court will divorce you.
By statute, the parties must wait sixty days before the court divorces them. This is a “cooling off” period to give the spouses time to reconcile their marriage, as marriage is favored under the law and the underlying public policy. However, divorce is a complex process and if custody and/or property is disputed, it will take at least six months to get the divorce case worked up for mediation and/or trial, maybe longer. Further, if you have a spouse who does not want divorced or wants to make you “suffer” for filing for divorce, he or she can dramatically slow down the divorce process.
To get divorced in Indiana, one party must file a Verified Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. From there, the attorneys gather information about custody and marital assets and liabilities through a process known as discovery. When discovery is complete, the case will likely go to mediation and settle. If not, the court will set a final divorce hearing.
For Indiana residents, a divorce only can be filed in Indiana, in an Indiana state court. Any divorce from any religious tribunal, such as a Catholic Court, is not available in Indiana. Also, such a divorce from a religious court will not be recognized in Indiana and enforceable.
In Indiana, the cooling-off period is sixty days as set forth in the Divorce Act. This is to see if the parties can settle their differences and stay together as married; marriage is favored in Indiana as a matter of public policy.
Typically, in a divorce trial, you have a trial theme to support what you want in terms of child custody and why it is in the children’s best interests. Within the theme, you also work in what division of property is fair and equitable and why the court should grant your relief. With this developed trial theme, you then put on evidence to support your trial. This gives you the best chance at meeting your trial objectives.
The documents necessary to file for divorce in Indiana are an attorney’s appearance, Verified Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, and a summons. This is then e-filed with the required filing fee paid at that time. The filing of a financial declaration or request for preliminary hearing is also commonly filed with these documents.
At a minimum, a party must wait sixty days by statute before the court can enter a divorce decree. The only way to avoid working your way through the divorce process is to quickly reach agreement between the parties. A divorce is a complex transaction that typically takes at least six months to work up for mediation and/or trial.
An uncontested divorce means the parties agree on all issues related to the children, namely who gets physical custody, parenting time and child support. In addition, the parties would have to agree on a child support amount based on the Indiana Child Support Rules and Guidelines. Finally, the parties must agree on all terms of property division (division of assets and liabilities). When parties actually dig into these issues, very few cases are uncontested as to all legal issues.
While there is no legal prohibition to representing yourself in a divorce proceeding, a divorce is a complex legal matter that is difficult, at times, even for lawyers. Some counties provide pro bono attorneys or have forms you may be able to access for the do-it-yourself divorce.
A “mutual divorce” is not a legally recognizable action in Indiana. If both parties mutually want divorced, it will likely make the divorce go faster, smoother, and cost less.
Yes. However, if the other side wants a divorce, they can file a cross-petition for dissolution action and the divorce will proceed. While cross-petitions for divorce are not required, this is often the reason they are filed. Both parties must want to remain married or the divorce will move forward.
A divorce court is not a hearing before a jury, or as dramatic as many shows on television. The divorce hearing is before a judge. There are rarely opening or closing arguments in divorce cases. However, it is a “real” court in the sense it will decide how to award custody, decide child support, and apportion your assets and liabilities.
No. While divorce and other legal filings are electronically filed, Indiana does not have on-line fillable PDFs to file divorce.
If your divorce is contentious, dating is usually a bad-to-terrible idea. While it depends on the facts of your case, you should clearly discuss this matter with your divorce attorney before you start dating and DO NOT make any social media posts with your date. Typically, dating escalates the acrimony in divorce. Don’t do it.
If the parties, through counsel, can reach agreement on all terms or can do so at mediation (which the court will order), the parties may never set foot in the courtroom. The attorneys or mediator will draft a settlement agreement, waiver of final hearing, and proposed decree, and e-file these documents with the court. Once reviewed and approved by the judge, it will be signed, and you will be divorced.
It is unethical for an attorney to take active steps to delay proceedings. However, divorces with contested issues typically take six or more months to complete. Depending on the discovery you seek, a divorce case may take a year or more. Typically, the question is asked in reverse, which is “how can I speed up my divorce?”
If the court has good service on each party (meaning they have received notice of the date and time of the divorce final hearing), it is likely the court will dismiss the divorce case. Without good cause to reinstate the dismissed action, the parties would have to file for divorce again, pay the filing fee and restart the sixty days waiting period to obtain a divorce (typically this is much longer).
Filing for divorce is the same as a lawsuit, and suing for a divorce is a lawsuit, so the terms are one in the same. There is no material legal difference between these terms.
If one side wants a divorce and the other does not, there is no way to stop the divorce proceedings. The court will divorce the parties. All one party must do is file for divorce and allege “irreconcilable differences”.
The most important step to filing a divorce you know will be contested, is to retain a domestic attorney with significant experience and have him or her file and manage the case. A contested divorce case is a complex legal matter. The attorney can then draft the filings to be made.
An uncontested divorce is one where the parties agree on all issues of custody and property division. These are extremely rare, although in some cases the parties agree on most issues. A contested divorce is one where the child and/or property issues are not agreed upon and thus contested.
The cost of a divorce in Indiana varies widely based on the nature of the case and the issues in dispute. A divorce can cost a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars depending upon how many issues are in dispute and how contentious and litigious the parties are during the divorce.
The filing of a divorce is relatively simple and does not take long. However, many attorneys want to file a financial declaration with the divorce and gather information from his or her client to review in preparing the filing. Thus, it may take a week to actually file the divorce.
There is no hard and fast rule for how long after separation one should wait to file for divorce. If at the time of separation, you have decided you will divorce, you should file at once to start what may be a rather lengthy process. If you are trying to determine if you want divorced, you should try to make that decision before filing.
For the most part, during a divorce you should live life as normally as possible, particularly if you have children. That said, some rather hard and fast rules most divorce attorneys agree you should not do is date, post on social media, or take actions (or inactions) you know will cause acrimony. This will just delay the case and wind up costing you more in legal fees.
For the most part, there is no way to speed up a divorce. There are simply too many variables in play to appreciably speed up a divorce. However, if the parties reach an agreement to all terms, it will dramatically speed up the divorce.
Divorce court is typically unpleasant for litigants because they are uncomfortable in a courtroom, as this is not part of their normal life experience. Further, because most cases settle in mediation and do not reach court, those that do are usually very contentious with harsh cross examination.
You can use any evidence in a divorce proceeding if it is relevant. Relevant evidence is evidence that tends to prove or disprove a fact or issue in dispute. Video evidence of many types is very common in civil litigation, including divorce cases. As it relates to evidence of “abuse” this could be used in a variety of ways, but it is not necessary to prove fault to seek a divorce.
The biggest mistake or point of confusion for litigants is believing they will be divorced in sixty days. Most divorce cases will pend at least six (6) months before being resolved at mediation or set for a contested trial.
If you receive a properly served summons or subpoena for a divorce trial, and you ignore it, the divorce can impose a variety of remedies from proceeding without you present (which almost always results in a favorable result for the other side) or issue a body attachment whereby the police come to your home and take you and present you to the court.
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