Perhaps you and your life partner married in Illinois but moved to Indiana in early 2018. Now you have decided to end your marriage.
How does Indiana treat same-sex divorce? Will any complications arise?
A little background
The Indiana legislature recognized same-sex marriage in October 2014. Couples can file for divorce as long as one of the parties has resided in Indiana for at least six months. You have cleared that hurdle because you moved here in 2018. As with traditional marriage, the state allows fault or no-fault divorce. In a fault petition, the claimant must prove the other party’s guilt. The grounds include a felony conviction committed after marriage, impotence or incurable insanity where the condition continues for at least two years. Because you and your partner are in agreement about the divorce and do not blame each other, your no-fault petition can state that your marriage is irretrievably broken.
A property division issue
A judge often favors a fair—not necessarily equal—division of marital property, keeping certain factors in mind:
- Financial resources of both parties
- Contribution of each party to the acquisition of marital assets
- Tax consequences of dividing the property
However, you and your partner may have cohabitated prior to marriage, which makes the separation of property more complicated unless you drew up a cohabitation agreement. Your divorce attorney can help sort this out, and the judge will render the final decision as to fair distribution.
A look at child custody
If you have a minor child, the question of custody will be uppermost in your mind. The judge will always base his or her decision on the child’s leading interests. Factors that play a role in this kind of determination include the age of the child, emotional relationship with the parents, the physical and mental health of everyone concerned and any history of abuse, domestic violence or any other problematic circumstance.
A way forward
Indiana handles the dissolution of a same-sex marriage in much the same way as a traditional divorce. Your goal is to ensure the protection of your rights so that you and your soon-to-be-ex-partner can pursue your separate lives with peace and confidence.