Historically it so happened that Indiana follows the model of a fault marriage dissolution. For decades, a divorce was granted on the grounds that one spouse was guilty of breaking the marriage union. Only between the 1970s and the 1980s that global changes took place in all the states and it became possible to obtain a new no-fault divorce. Nevertheless, even now, the fault divorce is still relevant, and many spouses want to dissolve the marriage due to the guilt of their partner.
The fault divorce in Indiana is based on the fact that any spouse (defendant) committed illegal actions that led to the violation of the marriage union. Grounds must be recognized by state law. As for Indiana, it is allowed to file for a fault divorce based on one of the following reasons:
- The spouse was convicted of a felony after the date of the wedding ceremony;
- Impotence during the marriage;
- “Incurable insanity” for at least two years after the date of marriage.
It is also worth noting that the plaintiff (the spouse who files for divorce) must provide the court with proof of the fault of his or her spouse; otherwise, the divorce based on guilt will not be granted.
In many states, adultery is also considered a ground for divorce. But not in Indiana. However, if a spouse cheated being married, it may have negative consequences for him or her in the process of divorce.
When a marriage is dissolved, the question of alimony, financial support, which is provided during or after the divorce from one spouse to another spouse who has a difficult financial situation, is often considered. It is also worth noting that there is no clear legislation on the issue of awarding alimony, of course, there are specific rules and recommendations, but the courts have more freedom in this matter and make decisions based on an analysis of the situation and peculiarities that have developed during the marriage. Therefore, Indiana’s legal practice has many cases, when adultery played an essential role in the decision on the amount of alimony.
A conviction of a felony may deprive the guilty parent of parental rights. Of course, this does not happen in all cases. But if the spouse showed aggression towards his or her child or marital partner, then this may significantly affect the decision of the court. In any case, regardless of the grounds for divorce, the decision on custody of minor children is made on the basis what is better and safer for the kid.
Also, a fault divorce involves attending a court hearing for the judge to sort things out and make a decision. Therefore, spouses will need lawyers who will protect their interests in the courtroom. In the case of fault divorce, it is almost impossible or complicated to represent your interests on your own; a specialist must do it. That is why it makes sense to prepare in advance and find a reasonable attorney.
Fault-based divorce implies a high degree of tension between the spouses. Of course, it is not always possible to withstand it emotionally, and such a divorce can cause a nervous breakdown; however, it has its advantages, such as:
- The plaintiff is able to obtain most of the property or assets.
- The plaintiff may gain an advantage when dealing with controversial issues.
- Custody division may be taken in favor of the claimant.
- No need for a period of separation.
But it should again be recalled that this is possible in case if the claimant provides indisputable evidence of the wrongdoing of the husband or wife.
In order to file for a fault divorce, the law contains requirements for residency, and they are precisely the same as for no-fault dissolution of marriage. Any spouse has the right to file for divorce, provided that the husband or wife is an Indiana resident and lives in the state for at least six months prior to filing a petition.
A divorce based on fault grounds has different consequences, both positive and negative. Of course, it gives an advantage when dealing with specific issues of termination, but it can be very exhausting and expensive. Besides, the fault-based divorce can drag on for many months. Therefore, it’s worth to carefully think over in advance and weigh the pros and cons.