Legal Question in Family Law in Indiana

How to start a divorce in needed please

I'm considering divorce after being married 14 years, I have 3 children. I know nothing about getting started. Can I file all the forms on my own, or do I need an attorney? If so, do you have any recommedations? How long does the process take? How much does a divorce normally cost? I guess I need all the basic information. Thank you for your time and advice.

Asked on 3/07/02, 10:05 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Dorene Philpot Philpot Law Office

Re: How to start a divorce in needed please

You can always do your own divorce. To do that, you need to go to a big library or a good bookstore and get some books on do-it-yourself divorce.

If there are substantial assets or issues of disagreement, though, I don't advise anyone to do it on their own.

Shop around. Lots of attorneys give free initial consultations. Go with one who you feel comfortable with.

A lot of them will offer free initial consultations.

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Answered on 3/07/02, 10:49 am

Jamie Black Black's Law and Mediation

Re: How to start a divorce in needed please

There is a wealth of information on the internet about how to file for your own divorce. Since you have children, I wouldn't really recommend doing your own divorce--there's too much at stake. Also, if you have any disagreement on how your assets should be distributed, it would be best to have an attorney represent you.

I've "bailed out" a number of people who have started their own divorce. As far as costs involved, in Indiana the filing fee is $104. My rate for doing an "uncontested" divorce is a $500 flat fee. If there are contested issues, such as asset distribution or the amount of child support that can be agreed upon, my retainer is $750. I bill my hours at $125/hour, with a minimum billing increment of 6 minutes. If you get involved in a contested custody, my retainer becomes $1500. You can see that there are a number of possibilities depending on how much you and your husband can agree on. Since Indiana is a no-fault divorce state, the divorce is inevitable. Naturally, the more you and your husband can agree upon, the less the cost will be to obtain the divorce.

From filing until completion can be as fast as 60 days unless you choose to disagree to the point of having to go to preliminary and/or final hearings.

At the very minimum, if you chose to do your own divorce, I'd recommend that you have an attorney review your final documents.

I hope this reply answers your questions. Best wishes.

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Answered on 3/07/02, 11:36 am
NiCale Rector Cohen & Malad, LLP

Re: How to start a divorce in needed please

Yes, you can file forms on your own. You should be sure that the forms you get comply with any local rules in the county where you are filing. You can get forms at the library or off the internet. However, I do not recommend filing your divorce on your own.

Your divorce can be finalized no sooner than 60 days after you file your Petition. How long it actually takes and how much it will cost depends on many factors. Such as the Court's calender (if a hearing is needed), if you and your husband can agree on everything or if you are going to need the court to intervene, the attorneys involved and their calender as well as their approach to handling a divorce.

Regardless of whether you have an attorney or not there will be at least a filing fee of about $100.00.

Good Luck.

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Answered on 3/07/02, 11:59 am

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