The decision to file for divorce is not one that anyone takes lightly. It is a life-altering decision. And, sometimes after a divorce has been filed a couple decides that they need more time to work on their marriage and aren’t certain they want to be divorced yet. Other times a married couple decides that they would like to reconcile. So, what happens then?
Once the divorce petition has been filed in Indiana, there is a 60-day waiting period that must pass before the Court can issue a final divorce decree. Sometimes people believe that means that if they file for divorce then 60-days later they will magically be divorced. If you are a person who is currently involved in a divorce proceeding, but is having second thoughts about whether or not you want to be divorced, the 60-day deadline can be stressful. Sometimes the petitioner will want to dismiss the divorce case so they can have more time to think things through. However, dismissing the lawsuit isn’t necessary. In the event that that married couple wants to talk things through, attend therapy or just give the situation more time, they can do so without fear that a judge will sign a divorce decree after 60 days.
The judge in a divorce case is a very busy person. He or she presides over hundreds or even thousands of cases. This may shock some people, but the judge doesn’t read the divorce decree when it is filed in most cases. Judges look at motions or other pleadings that need a ruling and preside over court hearings. When your divorce petition is filed a new file will be opened and your case will assign a cause number. But if neither you nor your spouse do nothing further, it would take several month or likely over a year before anyone from the Court picked up the phone to determine the case status or set the case for a status hearing. The bottom line is that the judge and court staff must give their attention to those cases that ask for attention through a request for a hearing, filing of a motion, etc.
In addition, in order to close out a divorce case there must be a final dissolution decree. That is, there must be an agreement that sets forth how the parties would like to divide their assets and liabilities. If the parties have children the agreement must also stipulate as to custody, parenting time and child support. The Court doesn’t have the information to simply make-up these number. The court obtains this information when the parties either submit a joint agreement, have a hearing and present evidence, or when at least one of the parties presents an order so long as the other party agrees to it. The bottom line is that you or your spouse, individually if you are pro se, or through your divorce attorney, have to take steps to obtain a final divorce decree.
If you and your spouse want to take several months to live apart while undergoing counseling you can do so without the fear that you will end up divorced. The case can simply sit on the Court’s docket without any movement while you and your spouse take time to figure things out. If you decide to go through with the divorce, your divorce attorney can file the necessary document to move your case forward. However, if you decide you and your spouse are going to reconcile and want to dismiss the divorce, that can also be done. In the event you decide to dismiss your divorce case Halcomb Singler will gladly file the necessary documents.
If you are thinking about filing for divorce and live in Indianapolis or the surrounding area including Marion, Hamilton, Boone, Johnson or Hancock county and would like to meet with an attorney at Halcomb Singler, in Carmel, Indiana, please call (317) 575-8222 to set up an appointment.