An uncontested divorce is exactly what it states and infers—there are no “jurisdictional,” custody or property issue in dispute in the divorce. These are extremely rare once the parties determine what they are entitled as the “uncontested” divorce proceeds. Even with an uncontested divorce, the court still has to wait sixty (60) days to divorce you. This is known as the “cooling off” period as it is hoping the parties will work through their issues and not divorce. The blog covers what you need to know about uncontested divorces.
This noted, the place to start any legal query is with the controlling law. Marriage is favored as a matter of public policy in Indiana. That said, if the parties are going to divorce, the Divorce Act provides extensive provisions to favor agreements: “(a) To promote the amicable settlements of disputes that have arisen or may arise between the parties for a marriage attendant upon the dissolution of their marriage, the parties may agree in writing to provisions for: (1) the maintenance of either of the parties; (2) the disposition of any property owned by either or both of the parties; (3) the custody and support of the children of the parties; and (4) the relocation of the children of the parties.”
This noted, while it generally benefits both parties to agree to some or all the issues related to their divorce, it is key to understand the presumptions in the Divorce Act. As it relates to property, the controlling statute sets forth what is marital property: “(a) In an action for dissolution of marriage . . .the court shall divide the property of the parties, whether: (1) owned by either spouse before the marriage; (2) acquired by either spouse in his or her own right: (A) after the marriage; and before the final separation of the parties; or (3) acquired by their joint efforts. The court shall divide the property in a just and reasonable manner . . . . Additionally, the Divorce Act directs judges to presume an equal division of the property is just and reasonable: “The court shall presume that an equal division of the martial property between the parties is just and reasonable. . . . . Knowing this, will the divorce be uncontested?
As it relates to children, the court is presumed to give one parent primary physical custody after it considers what is in their best interests by considering several statutory factors as follows: “The court shall determine custody and enter a custody order in accordance with the best interests of the child. , there is no presumption favoring either parent. The court shall consider all relevant factors, including the following: (1) The age and sex of the child. (2) the wishes of the child’s parent or parents. (3) The wishes of the child, with more consideration given to the child’s wishes if the child is at least fourteen (14) years of age. (4) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with (A) the child’s parent or parents; (B) the child’s siblings; and (C) any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests. (5) The mental and physical health of all individuals involved. (7) Evidence of a pattern of domestic or family violence by either parent. . . .” The other parent gets, at a minimum, parenting time under the Knowing this, will the divorce be uncontested?
This blog was written for general educational purposes by attorneys at Ciyou & Associates, P.C. It is not intended to be relied upon for any legal matter or issue. This blog is not legal advice. The blog is an advertisement. We hope this blog assists you in determining if you have an uncontested divorce.