Legal separation is a temporary alternative to divorce proceedings. This action allows the parties to attempt to reconcile differences without immediately committing to a divorce. In addition, the legal separation provides a road map for the parties during their separation, so that each side might work towards improvement and long-term maintenance of the marriage.
The party filing for the legal separation is requesting that the court address issues including, but not limited to division of property, debts, child custody, parenting time and child support.
In Indiana, a petition for legal separation may be filed by an Indiana resident or a party stationed at a United States military installation within Indiana for six months and in the county in which they have lived for three months. However, a guardian of an incapacitated person may file the legal separation petition in their county of residence as long as they have lived there for three months.
The court will typically hold a hearing on the petition for legal separation. As long as neither party has filed for divorce, the court may grant a decree for a legal separation of the parties’ marriage for a period not to exceed one year if the court finds that: (1) conditions in or circumstances of the marriage make it currently intolerable for the parties to live together, and (2) the marriage should be maintained.
A Decree of Legal Separation will specify each party’s obligations and responsibilities. After one year has passed, the Decree of Legal Separation is no longer enforceable without prior action by a party.
Ultimately, legal separation is not for everyone. However, if you wish to separate from your spouse, it is important to seek the advice of skilled Carmel family lawyers. With a decade of experience in family law, Attorney Hains can offer the legal insight you need to navigate your case. Contact our office today to set up an initial consultation.