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Indiana Dissolution of Marriage Definitions

This collection of definitions will help clarify some unique characteristics to the Indiana Dissolution of Marriage laws, process and paperwork which is filed with the court.

Filing Party Title:
Petitioner

The spouse who will initiate the Dissolution of Marriage by filing the required paperwork with the court.

Non-Filing Party Title:
Respondent

The spouse who does not initiate the Dissolution of Marriage with the court.

Court Name:
__________ Court of _________ County, Indiana.

The proper name of the court in which a Dissolution of Marriage is filed in the state of Indiana. Each jurisdictional court typically has a domestic relations or a family law department or division.

Child Support Enforcement Website:
http://www.state.in.us/fssa/children/support/index.html

The state run office devoted to enforcing existing child support orders and collecting any past due child support.

Document Introduction:
In Re the Marriage of:

The lead-in verbiage used in the legal caption or header of the documents filed with the court. The introduction typically prefaces both spouse’s names.

Initial Dissolution of Marriage Document:
Verified Petition for Dissolution of Marriage

The title and name of the legal document that will initiate the Indiana Dissolution of Marriage process. The filing spouse is also required to provide the non-filing spouse a copy of this document.

Final Dissolution of Marriage Document:
Decree of Dissolution of Marriage

The title and name of the legal document that will finalize the Indiana Dissolution of Marriage process. This document will be signed by the judge, master, or referee of the court to declare your marriage officially terminated.

Clerk’s Office Name:
Office of the Clerk of the County Domestic Relations Court

The office of the clerk that will facilitate the Dissolution of Marriage process. This is the title you would address letters to or ask for when contacting the courthouse.

Legal Separation:

One of the spouses must have been a resident of the state for 6 months and the county for 3 months immediately prior to filing for legal separation. A legal separation may be granted on the grounds that it is currently intolerable for the spouses to live together, but that the marriage should be maintained. [Annotated Indiana Code; Title 31, Article 15, Chapters 3-2 and 3-3].

Property Distribution:
Equitable Distribution

The applicable Indiana law that will dictate how property and debt is to be divided upon Dissolution of Marriage.