Under English common law, (which Indiana adopted as its law) there were elaborate requirements for what had to be in court filings. Indiana, however, rejected this (as did all other states) and dictated there be “one form or action to be known as ‘civil action’. As such, most civil filings only require notice pleading and are relatively straight forward. This blog addresses what documents are required to file for divorce.
The key document filed in every divorce case is the Verified Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The controlling statute is set out in full as follows: “(a) A verified petition for dissolution of marriage must (1) be verified; and (2) set for the following: (A) The residence of each party and the length of residence in the state and county. (B) The date of marriage. (C) the date on which the parties separated. (D) the name, age and address of (i) any living child less than twenty-one (21) years of age; and (ii) any incapacitated. (E) The grounds for dissolution of the marriage. (F) The relief sought. (G) If a guardian of an incapacitated person is filing the petition for a dissolution of marriage on behalf of the incapacitated person, the name and address of the guardian. (H) Whether either party is a lifetime sex or violent offender. (b) If a guardian of an incapacitated person files a petition for dissolution of a marriage on behalf of the incapacitated person, the guardian shall file with the petition a copy of the court order grant authority to file the petition for dissolution of marriage . . . .”
In addition, every divorce petition must have the attorney responsible for the case’s Appearance filed with the Verified Petition. This is so the court knows which attorney is responsible for the case—and who to serve orders, other motions and papers filed in the case. That said, as with the Verified Petition for Dissolution of Marriage there are very specific facts that must be in place in the appearance, depending on the status of the party, such as petitioner, respondent, or intervenor.
Finally, the last document that must accompany any divorce filing is a summons. This tells the party they have been sued and have certain duties and obligations based on same. The rule is set forth as follows: (A) Service may be made upon an individual, or individual acting in a representative capacity, by : (1) sending a copy of the summons and complaint by registered or certified mail or other public means by which a written acknowledgment of receipt may be requested and obtained to his residence, place of business or employment with return receipt requested; or (2) delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to him personally; or (3) leaving a copy of the summons and complaint at his dwelling house or usual place of abode; or (4) serving this agent as provided by rule, statute, or valid agreement. (B) Whenever services are made under Clause (3) or (4) of subdivision (A), the person making the service also shall send by first class mail, a copy of the summons and complaint to the last known address of the person being served, and this fact shall be shown upon the return. The filing party must pay the $150 filling fee
Once the respondent is served, he or she may file a response to the Verified Petition For Dissolution of Marriage, but it is not required.
This blog was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Associates who handle cases across Indiana. The blog is provided for general educational purposes—to help you become a more educated legal consumer. The blog is not to be relied upon for any given legal issue or matter. The blog is not legal advice. The blog is an advertisement. We hope this blog has informed you as to the documents necessary and required to file for divorce in Indiana.