When filing for divorce in Indiana, it is important that you file in the correct place. To file a petition for dissolution in the state of Indiana, at least one party must have lived in Indiana for at least six months. The Indiana party could be a resident of Indiana or a member of the United States military who has been stationed in Indiana.
The county in Indiana in which the petition is filed will depend on where the parties reside within the state. Frequently, both parties reside in the same county and will only have one option for filing. Some parties physically separate well in advance of filing for dissolution and may reside in two different counties at the time of filing. The petition must be filed in a county where one party has resided for at least three months.
So, to file a petition for dissolution: (1) one party has to have been living in Indiana for at least six months and (2) living in the county in which he/she files for at least three months.
Indiana’s residence requirement is dictated by Indiana Code Section 31-15-2-6.
Indiana Code Section 31-15-2-6 – Residence; filing in county of guardian’s residence
(a) At the time of the filing of a petition under section 4 of this chapter, at least one (1) of the parties must have been:
(1) a resident of Indiana; or
(2) stationed at a United States military installation within Indiana;
for six (6) months immediately preceding the filing of the petition.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (c), at the time of the filing of a petition under section 4 of this chapter, at least one (1) of the parties must have been:
(1) a resident of the county; or
(2) stationed at a United States military installation within the county;
where the petition is filed for three (3) months immediately preceding the filing of the petition.
(c) If a court has authorized a guardian to file a petition under section 4 of this chapter on behalf of an incapacitated person under IC 29-3-9-12.2, the guardian may file the petition for dissolution in the guardian’s county of residence if the guardian has resided in that county for at least three (3) months immediately preceding the filing of the petition.
Amended by P.L. 83-2014, SEC. 14, eff. 7/1/2014.
As added by P.L. 1-1997, SEC.7.
Generally, once a petition is filed in a specific county, it will stay there. There are limited circumstances in which the county where a divorce case is heard can be changed. Speak with an attorney before attempting any change of venue to ensure you avoid common pitfalls.
The judge who hears your divorce case will make decisions that will impact the rest of your life. You need to know the best place to file and what to expect when you do. Consult the experienced attorneys at Banks & Brower to discuss your options at (317)870-0019.