Each state has unique laws regarding divorce, including the grounds spouses can file on and what spousal actions affect the division of their property. If you are beginning the difficult process of filing for a divorce in Indiana, you need an experienced Indianapolis divorce attorney. They can help you determine whether it is beneficial to file on fault-based or no-fault grounds, provide you with crucial advice for your unique divorce case, and protect your rights throughout the process.

A divorce is never easy, but finding the right attorney can help ease your stress, as they may allow you to reach a favorable conclusion more quickly. This can help you and your family move on and begin the next steps in your lives.

Is Indiana a No-Fault State for Divorce?

Yes, Indiana is a no-fault state for divorce. However, there are also ways to file for a fault-based divorce. The various fault and no-fault grounds for divorce in the state are as follows:

  1. An irretrievable breakdown of a marriage
  2. Either party being convicted of a felony after the marriage began
  3. The impotence of either party that existed at the time of the marriage
  4. Incurable insanity lasting for a period of two years

If the court finds one of these grounds to be true, it will grant the dissolution of the marriage.

An irretrievable breakdown is considered the grounds for a no-fault divorce, and this claims that there is no way for spouses to reconcile. A no-fault divorce does not place blame on either spouse for the divorce, and it also does not require proof, unlike fault-based grounds. Filing on no-fault grounds often makes the process of divorce less contentious, and it may allow spouses to part on better terms.

If you file on fault-based grounds, you have the burden of proof to show incurable insanity, impotence, or a felony conviction. There are no grounds for divorce in Indiana based on marital misconduct, although it could affect other parts of a divorce.

What Could Marital Misconduct Affect?

The degree to which marital misconduct affects decisions made in a divorce will depend on the unique circumstances of a couple’s marriage and the discretion of the judge. If marital misconduct refers to an action like adultery, this impacts the divorce differently than more serious accusations. It may influence decisions regarding property division in unique cases.

Property, when divided by the court, is split fairly between spouses. The court assumes that a 50-50 split is fair, and it then reviews the case factors to amend this presumption.

One of these factors is if either spouse’s conduct results in the wasting of marital assets. In Indiana, marital assets refer to all of a couple’s assets, whether they were obtained before or during their marriage. If a spouse committed adultery and spent money on their other partner(s), this could be considered wasting marital assets, which may affect property division.

The court determines whether to award spousal maintenance in a divorce based on factors largely related to:

  • The earning capacity and financial ability of each spouse
  • Whether caring for children or the marital home affected these abilities

Because of this, marital misconduct, like adultery, does not typically affect spousal maintenance.

Marital misconduct, when it refers to a serious accusation like domestic violence and abuse, will affect more aspects of a divorce. Evidence of abuse can severely change child custody determinations, as a parent may be deemed unfit for any custody or visitation.

Basic Marital Filing Requirements

Whether you are filing on fault-based or no-fault grounds, you must meet the state’s filing requirements. These residency requirements are:

  1. At least one spouse must have lived or been stationed in the state of Indiana for six months
  2. At least one spouse must have lived or been stationed in the county they are filing in for three months


Q: Does Adultery Affect Divorce in Indiana?

A: Adultery may affect a divorce in Indiana, but it cannot be the grounds for a divorce. The fault-based grounds for an Indiana divorce are felony conviction, impotence, and incurable insanity.

Adultery could impact property division. When the court decides on property division, they review factors about the marriage. One of these factors includes the conduct of each spouse in their marriage and how that affected assets. If a spouse’s adultery leads to them wasting assets, this may affect property division. Adultery is less likely to affect alimony.

Q: Does My Wife Get Half of Everything in a Divorce in Indiana?

A: Both spouses have an equal claim to marital assets in a divorce in Indiana, and the court assumes that a 50-50 split of these assets is just and reasonable. Marital assets in the state include not only the assets that spouses gain during their marriage but also those that they gained prior to being married.

Indiana is an equitable distribution state, however, and certain factors about a couple’s marriage and financial standings can affect this equal split. If the court determines that an unequal split would be fair, this is how it will split marital assets.

Q: Who Gets the House in a Divorce in Indiana?

A: Indiana law does not explicitly state how a marital home should be divided in a divorce. If divorcing couples have children, it is likely that the primary custodian of those children will be awarded the home, particularly when it provides a familiar and stable home for those children. If a couple does not have children or has equal custody, there are many ways that a house could be divided. You can have control over what happens to your home if you create a separation agreement outside of court.

Q: Do Both Parties Have to Agree to a Divorce in Indiana?

A: No, both parties do not have to agree to a divorce in Indiana in order to get one. If one spouse claims that there is an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, and the court finds this to be true, then the divorce can be granted. A filing spouse can also provide proof of fault-based grounds, including their spouse’s incurable insanity for a minimum of two years, felony conviction, or impotence at the time of marriage. If the other spouse doesn’t respond, the court could issue a default judgment.

Navigating Your Divorce in Indianapolis

There are advantages and disadvantages to filing a fault-based or no-fault divorce. By talking with a divorce attorney at Stange Law Firm, we can help you review your options and make an informed decision regarding your divorce. Contact our firm today.