If you’re considering separating from your spouse but haven’t spoken about it with them, you may be wondering, “Do both parties have to agree to a divorce in Indiana?” The truth is, it depends on your goals. Considerate and educated Indianapolis divorce lawyers can review the details of your situation and provide legal counsel.

Indiana Offers No-Fault Divorce as Well as Fault-Based Divorce for Grounds

In Indiana, there are options for no-fault and fault-based divorce. A fault-based divorce must have valid grounds for the dissolution of marriage in the eyes of the law; recognized reasons for divorce include the incurable insanity of one spouse for at least two years, impotence during the marriage, or if either spouse is convicted of a felony.

Fault-based divorces typically require sufficient evidence that establishes a spouse committed one of the grounds for divorce and can often be more contentious than a no-fault divorce. The main benefit of pursuing a fault-based divorce is you may be able to acquire spousal support if it’s proven that your spouse wronged you in some way that made continuing the marriage impossible.

A no-fault divorce is instead based on the spouses having irreconcilable differences that cause their marriage to be irretrievable. This type of marriage dissolution tends to be resolved relatively quickly since there is no need to prove fault from either party. Additionally, a no-fault divorce can be honored regardless of the non-filing spouse’s consent or cooperation; the request for divorce cannot be denied simply because one party doesn’t want to dissolve the marriage.

Do both parties have to agree to a divorce in Indiana?

Divorce in Indiana Can Be Contested and Uncontested

A contested divorce is when spouses are unable to agree on relevant matters, such as dividing property, spousal maintenance, and child custody/support. Disagreement between spouses can often extend the length of the divorce process, creating an emotional rollercoaster for one or both spouses as well as additional costs for both parties. Typically, the court is needed to intervene and settle the contested issues.

An uncontested divorce is comparatively much simpler, usually taking much less time and expenses to finalize the dissolution compared to a contested divorce. If both spouses can agree on terms, they can submit their written agreements or proposals to the court. Upon the court’s approval, the divorce will be finalized, the marriage dissolved, and the various agreements and orders go into effect.

What If One Spouse Will Not Comply With the Divorce Filing?

Indiana mandates an obligatory 60-day cooling-off period after filing for divorce; this is for spouses to try reconciling once more or for those in agreement to determine the terms of child visitation, dividing property, etc. After 60 days, if all relevant issues have been addressed, the spouses can promptly submit their paperwork to the court and await approval.

If the non-filing spouse does not respond within the allotted time period of 20 days after being served a notice of the divorce petition, the court will deem this inaction as a default judgment granting lawful grounds for divorce based on willful desertion or abandonment.

Abandonment for Six Months Is Valid Grounds for Dissolving Marriage

If one spouse has willfully abandoned or deserted the other without cause for at least six months before the filing spouse submits the divorce petition, the court will also view this as sufficient grounds for granting the dissolution of marriage. It is additionally possible for an individual to proceed with the dissolution of their marriage despite their spouse refusing to respond to the divorce petition or being otherwise uncooperative in reconciling or attending the proceedings.

If any of these circumstances occur, the filing spouse will be responsible for providing evidence regarding the applicable divorce matters on which the court will base its decisions.


Q: How Long Does a Divorce Take if One Party Doesn’t Agree in Indiana?

A: How long a divorce might take will always vary, even if the spouses are in agreement or disagreement. If one party doesn’t agree to a no-fault divorce overall, the filing spouse can proceed with the marriage dissolution without them if the court finds there were sufficient attempts at reconciliation. If spouses are in the proceedings of a contested divorce, it will likely take several months to finalize the dissolution.

Q: What Happens When One Spouse Doesn’t Want a Divorce in Indiana?

A: If one spouse does not agree to the divorce despite the couple already trying reconciliation to no avail, the spouse filing for divorce can still proceed even if the other did not sign the response to the petition for marriage dissolution within 20 days of being served. If a spouse has deserted or abandoned their spouse for at least six months before the abandoned spouse chooses to file for divorce, the dissolution will be granted.

Q: Can a Divorce Be Denied in Indiana?

A: Typically, no it cannot; Indiana offers no-fault divorce wherein there’s no requirement to provide grounds for divorce nor for spouses to agree. A divorce cannot be denied simply because one spouse refuses, although the court may order the couple to try reconciling if attempts weren’t already made.

Fault-based divorces are also offered, which do require valid grounds and evidence. If the filing spouse cannot prove the presence of marital misconduct, it’s possible the court will deny the petition for divorce.

Q: What Is an Uncontested Divorce in Indiana?

A: An uncontested divorce entails spouses generally agreeing or open to mediation regarding various divorce issues like child custody and support, spousal maintenance, and property division. Some issues may take longer to resolve or require the court’s intervention, but uncontested divorces tend to be much faster and less costly than contested divorces.

If You Need Legal Assistance with Your Divorce, Contact Us

The team at Stange Law Firm possesses a deep understanding and familiarity with all family law matters. With our extensive history of helping numerous clients through divorce, child custody battles, mediation, and other legal processes, we’re confident we will help you, too. Reach out to our office today.