It is common for women to remain in unhappy marriages for a long time because they are concerned about how they will manage on their own. They are often concerned about their financial stability, the well-being of their children, and the reaction from family and friends.
It is important to know that as a woman, you have powerful constitutional rights, and when you secure high-quality legal representation, you should be empowered to move forward with your life with stability and confidence.
Woodford Sathappan McGee exclusively represents women; we are strong advocates for women’s rights and believe in educating women about their rights so that they can transition into a new life feeling strong and independent. We will help you decide where to compromise and where to fight for what you are entitled to.
The outcome of your divorce decree could impact you for the rest of your life, so it is essential that you have the guidance of an experienced attorney who truly cares about your future.
Contact our divorce law firm today at 380-212-3731 to arrange a free consultation with a Certified Family Law Specialist.
Making the decision to file for divorce is never easy, but when you secure representation from Woodford Sathappan McGee, we will guide you from start to finish. We will help ensure that everything is done correctly and on time to keep the process moving forward. The sooner you contact us, the better, as we will create a strategy to best protect your rights and interests.
Divorce in Indiana is complex; however, in simple terms, the steps will be as follows:
In order to file for divorce in Indiana, either you or your spouse must be a resident of the state. Evidence of residency could include paying state taxes, being registered to vote in the state, or having an Indiana driver’s license.
If you or your ex-spouse are members of the military and have been stationed in Indiana for at least six months, then this also allows you to divorce here.
In order to divorce in Fishers county, either you or your ex-spouse must have been a resident or stationed at a military installation for the last three months or more.
Once you have established that you can file in Fishers, you or your spouse will need to file a Complaint for Divorce, along with filing fees and initial paperwork regarding your assets and debts. The non-filing spouse will have 28 days to submit an Answer and Counterclaim.
If the non-filing spouse fails to submit an Answer in time, the other spouse may be granted their requests by default, asking as they are in line with Indiana family law.
Most divorces will take a year or more to finalize, especially if there are contested issues. In the meantime, you and your ex-spouse may require the court to provide guidance on key issues such as child custody and who will remain in the marital home.
Your attorney can help you apply for temporary orders, which will place obligations on you and your ex-spouse for a specified amount of time, usually until the divorce decree has been issued.
Your ex-spouse will have 14 days to respond to temporary orders, and if they do not, then you may be granted your requests by default. However, if your case is particularly complex, then the Judge may order a hearing for temporary orders to be discussed. The Judge may also choose to impose temporary orders themselves if they deem it necessary.
Although temporary orders do not last forever, it is important they are taken seriously. The Judge will aim to maintain stability in a child’s life; therefore, the outcome of temporary orders could influence the Judge’s final decision.
The initial hearing is an opportunity for you to provide grounds for divorce and provide the Judge with the details of your case.
You will need to inform the Judge of what factors you and your ex-spouse agree on and what you don’t, and you may also need to provide further documentation regarding assets and debts.
Divorces result in legal obligations on key issues such as property division, child custody, child support, and spousal support. The Judge will expect you and your ex-spouse to at least try to come to an amicable agreement with the help of a trained mediator, who may also be your attorney.
If there are any issues that you cannot agree on, then the Judge will make rulings on your behalf. Each contested issue will require its own hearing. Your attorney will represent you in hearings and fight for your rights.
Once all key issues have been worked out, the Judge will review your divorce decree. If everything is in line with Indiana family law, then they will sign the “Judgment Entry for Divorce”, and you will receive your divorce decree. Your divorce decree places legal obligations on you and your ex-spouse, which must be adhered to.
Indiana is a no-fault divorce state, which means that most marriages end on the terms that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the relationship. This requires very little proof, and as a result, the beginning of the divorce process will move along much more quickly.
In Indiana, there are very few justifications for an at-fault divorce, and unlike most other states, adultery is not a justification. You may file for an at-fault divorce in Indiana if:
Although filing for an at-fault divorce could complicate matters, it will also be a consideration when the Judge makes important decisions. For example, if your ex-spouse has been convicted of a felony, then this may be considered when determining child custody. If you are unsure how to file, then you should seek advice from a Fishers’ divorce attorney who can talk you through the implications.
Indiana allows couples to separate and gain guidance on all typical matters worked out in a divorce, such as child custody, spousal support, child support, and property division, but remain legally married.
There are many reasons why someone might choose to legally separate instead of divorce; some of the main reasons are:
If you are considering legal separation, then we can help. It is important to seek professional legal counsel before you make such a decision as there may be far-reaching implications that are important to consider, such as those involving your assets and debts and your right to remarry.
A Fishers divorce lawyer from Woodford Sathappan McGee will fight for your rights throughout your divorce proceedings. We will use mediation where possible but will also always be prepared to fight in front of a Judge if necessary.
Some important considerations for women faced with a divorce in Indiana include:
When a marriage comes to an end, it is incredibly challenging to separate two lives that have become so intertwined. One of the most difficult things to separate is property, and the outcome of property division can have a big impact on your financial stability moving forward.
At Woodford Stahappan McGee, we will work with you to decide what’s important so that we can protect your rights and interests. For example, perhaps it is important for you to keep the family home in order to be secure. Our divorce attorneys have extensive experience in matters involving complex and high-asset property divisions and will do everything we can to advocate your best interests.
Indiana is an equitable distribution state, in which property must first be divided into separate and marital:
Any assets or debts that either spouse owned prior to the marriage are known as separate property and continue to belong to each individual after divorce. Property could also be considered separate if it was gifted to or inherited by an individual.
Any assets and debts that were acquired by either spouse while they were married to the other are considered marital property and are, therefore, subject to division. In equitable distribution states, marital property must be split in a just and fair way rather than a 50/50 split.
To determine what an equitable distribution of marital property might look like, many factors will be considered, including:
Spousal support, also referred to as alimony, are payments that one spouse is sometimes required to make to the other after divorce. Alimony is not awarded in every case, and when it is, it is usually only for a short amount of time.
Spousal support is designed to ensure that one spouse can maintain a standard of living after divorce and to give them time to either find work or undergo training to move into employment.
Other times, spousal support could be awarded indefinitely, such as if the spouse receiving support is unable to work or has ongoing needs.
For some women, spousal support payments are integral to their well-being; they give them stability while they move forward into their new life. It can be especially important to mothers who have given up work opportunities to care for children and a home. If you believe you may be owed alimony, then we can help you fight for what you deserve.
Child custody is often one of the biggest areas of concern for women navigating divorce. Everyone claims to want what’s best for their children, but it is common for warring spouses to disagree about what that is.
At Woodford Sathappan McGee, the needs of children are always our top priority, and we will help you and your ex-spouse stay on track and make decisions that are best for them. That usually means helping you to create a parenting plan that keeps both of you involved in your children’s lives while maintaining a sense of stability and structure. If you cannot agree, then we will also be prepared to advocate on your behalf in front of a Judge.
The only reason why one parent would be granted full custody will be if the other poses a risk to their child’s wellbeing. For example, perhaps they are misusing alcohol or drugs, or they have abused your child in the past. If this is the case, then your divorce attorney can help you evidence your claims and protect your children. However, even in these complex circumstances, supervised visitation may still be awarded.
In Indiana, there are two forms of custody, physical custody, and legal custody:
Physical custody refers to the amount of time that each parent spends with their child as their main caregiver. Physical custody could be equally shared, or one parent, known as the custodial parent, may live with the child for the majority of the time, while the other parent, known as the non-custodial parent, is granted visitation rights.
Although an equal split of parenting time might sound fair, it is not always in the child’s best interests. The child needs stability, and having a custodial parent can help foster that, especially if the other works full-time and the children are still young. Typically, a visitation schedule could include every other weekend and one weekday evening each week.
Legal custody refers to the right of each parent to make important decisions in the child’s life, such as those involving medical care, religion, and education. Legal custody can be shared, or it could be granted to one parent.
Both parents are under a legal obligation to financially support their children. It is assumed that the custodial parent will naturally spend more on their child due to the additional time they spend with them. Therefore, the noncustodial parent is usually expected to pay child support.
For many women we work with, child support is integral; it allows them to provide shelter, food, toys, and other necessities. It is also important that a child’s medical needs are met, and the Judge may order one parent to provide medical insurance if it is available at a reasonable cost.
Violence against women is a gross violation of their rights and must always be taken seriously. Thanks to our dedication to women, we have created a space where many women feel safe to share their experiences. As a result, we have helped many women who have suffered domestic abuse and understand the care and dedication these cases require.
The first thing we will do is offer advice about how to get to a place of safety. Then we will get to work quickly to file a protection order that will place a legal obligation on your ex-spouse to stay away from you and your children.
We will continue to guide you through your divorce so that you feel supported. We will fight to ensure that the Judge overseeing your case knows the extent of your experiences and considers them when making important decisions.
Once your divorce has been finalized, it is natural to feel a deep sense of relief. Hopefully, you will not need our help again, but if you do, we will be there, whether you need to change the terms of your divorce decree or need to retrieve past-due child support payments.
Post-divorce family law services include:
Although a divorce decree is a legally binding document, you may be able to modify it if its terms no longer serve you or your children. Your attorney can help you prove that there has been a substantial change of circumstances that justifies the modification. Examples could include a change of job, an illness or disability of any party, relocation, or the discovery of hidden assets.
Indiana also allows for a change in a child support order if three years have passed or more, and the amount that would be ordered under current guidelines differs by 20% or more.
It is important that you seek a modification with the help of an attorney rather than simply stopping adhering to the terms of your divorce decree. Your divorce is a legal obligation, and the court will not look favorably on you if you stop meeting your obligations.
If your ex-spouse repeatedly fails to meet the obligations set out in your divorce decree, it can be incredibly frustrating. For example, if they continuously miss child support payments, then it could result in significant financial strain.
If your ex-spouse has only missed a couple of payments, then it is important to tread carefully; they may have lost their job or are having a difficult time in other ways and may deserve a chance to explain. An attorney at Woodford Sathappan McGee can help you come to an agreement on how and when they will repay you using mediation.
However, if they continue to miss payments or refuse to cooperate in other ways, then we will help you file contempt proceedings. Fortunately, child support payments do not go away; they accumulate and may even gain interest. A Judge could garnish their wages, seize assets, or even issue a jail sentence if they refuse to comply.
When you choose a family law firm, you have a lot of options, and considering the far-reaching implications of your divorce decree, it is essential you make a good choice. However, making that decision can sometimes feel overwhelming. Here are a few things to look for to help you make your choice:
Family law is dictated by a lot of state-specific laws. Therefore, it is good to find a law firm that is local to Indiana. A local law firm will understand all the laws surrounding your case and is likely to have worked with the Judge overseeing your case in the past, allowing them to tailor their approach.
Family law is also very personal and emotional, and you may be spending substantial time with your attorney, so it is important that they are not too far away from you.
Some law firms try to do everything, from estate planning to criminal defense; this means that they are dealing with a wide range of problems. However, when a law firm has a focus on family law, it ensures that they are helping people in similar positions to you on a daily basis, giving them plenty of experience, knowledge, and resources.
Although some divorce attorneys may be quick to turn to aggressive litigation, a family law Judge in Indiana will expect divorcing spouses to use mediation to try and come to agreements. You may have an attorney and a mediator, or they could be the same person. We believe that every family law attorney should be a trained mediator so that they can support you in every aspect of your divorce.
At Woodford Sathappan McGee, all of our attorneys are highly skilled in mediation and negotiation, and many of the women we work with are amazed by what they can achieve with our help. Mediation has many benefits, including:
Although mediation should be prioritized, it is also essential that your divorce attorney has trial experience and is a skilled litigator. If your attorney doesn’t have trial experience and your ex-spouse’s attorney does, then it could leave you vulnerable.
At Woodford Sathappan McGee, we are tested trial lawyers. Although we will minimize conflict where possible, we will also never compromise on your rights and will always be prepared to advocate on your behalf in court if necessary.
We have extensive experience representing women in family courts and can help you with even the most complex matters, such as those involving high assets and high conflict.
Family law matters are highly complex, especially if there are unique circumstances in your case, such as significant assets or cross-country parenting. If there are important considerations in your case such as this, then it is important to find an attorney with specific experience.
At Woodford Sathappan McGee, each of our attorneys has specific areas of experience; for example, Attorney Katie Woodford is committed to high-asset and high-conflict divorces. When you agree to representation from us, we will assign an attorney who is most suited to your case.
An experienced Fishers divorce attorney would be more than happy to show you testimonials from their previous clients who were dealing with similar issues to you.
You will spend a lot of time with your Fishers divorce lawyer, and you may need to discuss very personal issues with them. Therefore it is important you feel able to speak with your attorney without fear of judgment, share their values, and like them personally. At Woodford Sathappan McGee, we offer a free consultation at no obligation so that you can speak with your attorney and decide how you feel about them.
If there are no contested issues, then a divorce could proceed in a matter of months. However, it is common for a divorce to take well over a year to finalize. We understand that you may want to move your divorce along quickly, and we will strive to keep it moving forward at a steady rate without ever compromising on your women’s rights.
No. Child support and child custody are separate issues, and you must treat them as such. We understand how frustrating it is to deal with missing child support payments. However, it is important that you seek legal advice and do not take matters into your own hands. If you do, then you will also be failing to meet your legal obligations.
Some women mistakenly think that they will inevitably be granted custody as their child’s mother. However, this is not the case, and men and women are treated equally under family law. Decisions should always be made based on the child’s best interests, and when you have legal assistance, they can help ensure that happens.
Some women prefer to work with female attorneys, and we will happily accommodate if this is your preference. Whether you have had bad experiences with men or simply want support from someone with shared experiences of motherhood, we can help.
The cost of divorce in Indiana varies and largely depends on the number of contested issues. In your free consultation, we can discuss the cost of divorce with you so that you make a decision regarding representation from a place of clarity. It is important to remember that having representation could help you to be financially stable after your divorce has been finalized.
Generally, each spouse is expected to pay their own legal fees. However, if your ex-spouse has significantly more financial resources than you, then the Judge could order them to cover some of your legal fees for the divorce.
Can I file for divorce on my own in Indiana?
In Indiana, you are within your rights to file for divorce without legal assistance. However, considering the importance of the outcome of issues such as property division and child custody, we always recommend that women at least seek a free consultation with a family law firm.
In Indiana, child support must be paid until the child reaches 19, at which point it will stop automatically. However, if your child has a mental or physical health condition that prevents them from being self-sufficient, then child support payments may need to be paid indefinitely.
Woodford Sathappan McGee is the only family law firm in the Fishers, IN, area to represent women exclusively. This gives us a unique ability to meet their needs and protect their rights. All of the divorce attorneys at our law firm share the goal of empowering you to move on with your life in confidence. It’s why we do what we do!
Our legal services include divorce mediation, litigation, high-asset divorce, high-conflict custody disputes, contempt proceedings, divorce modification, and more. Whatever the complexity of your case, we have the knowledge, resources, and skills necessary to help, and we will do so while keeping you informed at every stage.
Contact our law office today at 380-212-3731 to schedule a free consultation with one of our family law attorneys.