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Carmel Divorce Lawyers
JR & Jill Emerson are dependable Carmel divorce lawyers who provide divorce and family law advice to clients in Carmel, Fishers, Westfield, Indianapolis, and throughout Central Indiana. JR & Jill Emerson have received numerous awards and ranked among the best divorce attorneys in Carmel and Indianapolis on several websites. Jill & JR take an aggressive and progressive approach to family law, divorce, child custody and child support issues in Indiana. Their main goal is to protect your interests while helping you achieve your objectives, no matter how difficult your situation.
MEET OUR ATTORNEYS
Jill handled my divorce with passion and compassion. Her team is skilled and detailed. She gave me my options and allowed me to determine which course to take. I never felt pushed either way. The entire office worked diligently on my behalf and made this difficult part of my life much more tolerable. I highly recommend Jill!!
- 5 Stars, John Meinen
JR and his team did a great job handling my divorce. I would highly recommend to anybody looking for an attorney that delivers excellent results.
- 5 Stars, Trent Urquhart
JR Emerson did a fantastic job with my case. I contacted him last minute and he dropped everything to help me out. He was very knowledgeable in the divorce proceedings and helped us come to a resolution in a matter of days. The process was quick and I was kept in the loop the entire time. I would highly recommend Emerson Law.
- 5 Stars, Josh Atwood
DISCLAIMER: Past results cannot guarantee future performance. Any result in a single case does not constitute a promise, prediction, or guarantee regarding the outcome of any other case. Each case involves many different factors and thus results will always be different from case-to-case.
Contact Us for a FREE Consultation
Address: 600 E Carmel Drive, Suite 105, Carmel, IN 46032
Phone Number: (317) 434-3136
Understanding Divorce in Indiana
Divorce is a large part of our business. In Indiana, there is:
- Uncontested Divorce
- Contested Divorce
- Divorce by Publication
We handle all three types of divorce and for your convenience, all of them can be accomplished by E-Mail, Fax, Regular Mail, or by a conventional office visit. However, flat fee cases are only offered for uncontested matters.
In Indiana, an Uncontested Divorce tends to be the quickest, least expensive, and least complicated way to divorce. Call to speak with Carmel uncontested divorce attorney today.
To qualify for Uncontested Divorce, both spouses must meet all five of the following requirements:
- Agree to be divorced
- Reach an agreement on all issues
- Utilize only one attorney (Representing one party)
- Voluntarily sign all papers without service on any party
- Assets valued less than $250,000
Do Not Use This Process if:
- You and your spouse disagree about any issue in your divorce
- You or your spouse wants to file specific grounds for divorce, such as cruelty or adultery
- You or your spouse has an ongoing bankruptcy case
- The wife is pregnant, even if the husband is not the father
3rd Party Considerations:
- Wife has had a child by another man since the date of marriage
- This case requires that bio-dad is included in the suit
- An additional fee is required for intervening the 3rd party into the suit
- 3rd party must sign a waiver of service
What is a Simple Uncontested Divorce?
In a simple uncontested divorce, one party retains an attorney to draft all of the documents. Prior to having the divorce attorney draft the documents both spouses agree to the terms of the divorce including, among other things, property division, child custody, and child support.
A simple uncontested divorce is a cost-effective way to work through the divorce process, however, you and your spouse must work together and negotiate the terms of the divorce. If there are minor children involved, both spouses will likely have to attend a parenting class. The divorce is usually final within 2 to 3 months from the filing of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Call for a FREE telephone consultation with one of our divorce attorneys.
It is important to note that Jill & JR do NOT represent both parties in a Simple Uncontested Divorce. They only represent the party who has retained their services. It is advisable that both parties seek representation to ensure his or her rights are being enforced.
Simply put, a Contested Divorce situation exists when one or more of the five requirements listed above are absent.
Divorce by Publication
Divorce by Publication is available to those individuals seeking divorce with no knowledge of their spouse's whereabouts.
High Conflict Divorce
Sometimes spouses, for whatever reason, just cannot get along throughout the divorce process. This is referred to as a high conflict divorce.
What is a High Conflict Divorce? In high conflict divorce situations, typically, one spouse, just cannot seem to let go of their attachment to the spouse. When one has such a difficult time adjusting to the divorce, they often create conflict merely to have interaction with the spouse. In other words, once the relationship deteriorates to such an extent that the marriage fails, the spouse having difficulty adjusting to the separation and divorce creates conflict merely to be able to interact with the soon-to-be former spouse. In such situations, individual and family counseling and legal consultation are an absolute necessity to bring a reasonable resolution for the parties.
If you are divorcing from a spouse who is having creating conflict adjusting to the divorce, you need legal advice. If you have questions, please call us. We can help.
More Than Just a Divorce Lawyer: Helping You With Any Divorce or Family Law Issue
JR & Jill provide guidance to individuals going through both contested and uncontested divorces. The Emerson's will negotiate on your behalf, but if the divorce negotiation does not work, they are prepared to be a persuasive advocate for you in court. JR & Jill are ready to handle all matters that may arise during divorce planning and in the course of a divorce, including:
- Division of property, distribution of assets in high-asset marriage dissolution
- Division of debts, uncovering of hidden assets and division of retirement assets
- Business valuation and dividing a business during a divorce
- Child custody and other child-related concerns
- Parenting time (access/visitation)
- Spousal maintenance awards
- Child support, including cases with self-employed parents
Emerson Law L.L.C. helps mothers and fathers protect their rights in paternity matters and adoption, including step-parent adoption, and termination of parental rights. JR & Jill advise and represent cohabiting couples, married and unmarried couples, as they craft domestic partnership agreements, negotiate separations and handle child custody or adoption matters.
Within 7-10 business days from the date your paperwork is received, we will prepare your petition for divorce and waiver of service. After receipt of your waiver of service, a draft of your divorce decree will be prepared for your review and we will contact you to schedule a date to finalize your divorce case with the Court.
After your divorce is final, certified copies of your Divorce Decree can be obtained from the clerk's office in the county where your divorce occurred. If you want us to order the certified copies for you, there is an additional charge of $195.00 and only available in Marion, Boone, Hendricks and Hamilton County.
The steps to divorce in Indiana are really pretty simple. I will do my best to explain them to you. The first step to filing divorce in Indiana is to make sure that you meet the residency requirements. In order to file in Indiana, follow these steps:
Step 1: Residency Requirement
- Be a resident of Indiana; or
- Be stationed at a United States military installation within Indiana for six (6) months immediately preceding the filing for divorce AND a resident of the county; or
- Be stationed at a United States military installation within the county where the petition is filed for three (3) months immediately preceding the filing the divorce
Step 2: Filing Petition for Divorce
Your next step is to file the appropriate documents with the correct court. The document filed with the court is called Verified Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Basically the document tells the court of the date of your marriage, if you have children, that you two cannot get along and want to divorce. Additionally, you sign it under penalties of perjury.
When initiating a divorce, a filing fee must be paid to the clerk's office. That fee is currently $185. in Hamilton County (August 2019).
Step 3: Provisional (Cooling-Off) Period
Once you have filed your paperwork your divorce cannot be finalized for at least 60 days. Some people call this the cooling-off period others call it the provisional period because you have to wait. After sixty days if you and your soon-to-be-ex have reached an agreement of how to divide everything you can submit those papers to the Judge, or if you need to you can request to go before the Judge for the Judge to decide what you both will receive from the divorce.
Potential Step 4: Attend Children and Divorce Class (For Parents)
If you and your spouse have children that were born or adopted during the marriage, then most counties in Indiana require you both will need to attend a class regarding children and divorce. The requirement to attend this type of class comes from each county court's local rules. In central Indiana, Marion, Boone, Hamilton, and Hendricks counties all require attending Children Coping with Divorce presented by the Visiting Nurses Service Inc., or a similar type class. Once you have completed the class the Visiting Nurses Service will forward your compliance with the Court. You and your spouse do not need to attend the class together.
Step 5: Provisional Hearing
During the sixty day window either of you can request to go before the Judge to put rules in place until you do reach an agreement or have a final hearing before the Judge. Additionally, if the two of you can reach an agreement, you can write that up and ask the Judge to sign off on it so that there is a Court Order in place during you waiting period.
Step 6: Reaching an Agreement
Also during the sixty day window, and beyond, the parties often will attempt to negotiate settlement. In general, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse can talk to each other and workout how you want to divide property, child custody, support and visitation. it is basically a contract between the two of you and you can do most anything that you desire. If the two of you do reach an agreement you will want to get the details to your lawyer right away. Additionally, if you reach an agreement you probably will not have to go before the Judge at a Final Hearing.
Step 7: Mediation
Each court has its own "local rules". in their local rules, some courts require the parties to attend mediation before having a Final Hearing. Mediation is an a way of resolving disputes between parties. Typically, the mediator, works to assist the parties to negotiate a settlement. The mediator will point out your strengths to the other side and he or she will help you see any weaknesses in your settlement position as well. The idea is that by the mediator pointing out both sides good and bad points the parties will reach an agreement.
Step 8: Writing Up the Settlement
Whether or not you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have reached an agreement on your own or through the use of a mediator, Congratulations. You have an agreement. Now either of you or your attorneys need to write up the settlement in the correct form for the court. The Settlement Agreement should include sections on: personal property, retirement benefits, taxes, child custody/visitation, child support, jewelry, cars, student loans, credit cards, mortgage, etc.... Now if you cannot reach an agreement, keep reading.
Step 9: Final Hearing
The only reason you would have a final hearing is if there are issues which you and your spouse are unable to reach agreement upon. In this case, you basically ask the Judge to determine how to resolve these issues. So if you and your spouse cannot decide how to split up your personal property, debts, and/or child issues you will have to present evidence to the Judge as to why you should get what you want. The risk you take by going before the Judge at the Final Hearing is that neither you nor your spouse know what the Judge will do. If you can reach a Settlement Agreement before this stage you can reduce the risk and control what will occur once your divorce is final.
Step 10: Coming Back to Court
You are divorced once the Court has issued a Final Order and Decree. Typically, whether you reached a Settlement Agreement or the Judge decided how to divide the marital property, once the property division is final it cannot be re-litigated. Issues which can be readdressed are child custody and child visitation. Generally, to readdress these issues you must show the Court that there has been a significant change in circumstances AND that making a change would be in the child's best interest. Issues involving child support can also be modified if at least twelve months have passed since the last child support modification, AND that when calculating a recommended child support obligation based on current figures, if a payor is either overpaying or underpaying by more than 20%, then he or she is entitled to a modification.
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If you have questions regarding the process of a divorce in Indiana, call us today! We would be happy to schedule a talk with you.
Indiana law creates a presumption that each party to a marriage is entitled to 50% of the marital property. This presumption of a 50-50 split of marital property can vary to some extent under various circumstances, but in most cases, each party is awarded 50% of the marital property and 50% of the marital debt.
50 / 50 Presumption
Where there is a very short marriage and one party comes to the marriage with significantly more money, there may be some variation of the 50-50 split. Where one party is unable to work due to disability or lack of education or responsibility for caring for a disabled child, the 50-50 presumption is often varied. However, under most circumstances, each party is entitled to 50% of the assets and 50% of the debts.
What happens to the Marital residence?
When spouses divorce, the issue that often arises is what is considered marital property and what is considered marital debt. In Indiana, everything the parties own, either together or separately, while married is marital property. Similarly, every debt incurred during the marriage, whether jointly or individually, is marital debt. The exception to this is where the debt is incurred by one party after the degree of dissolution is filed. When this happens, the debt often is considered the debt of only the party who incurred it.
Gifts and Inheritance
Even a gift or an inheritance given to one spouse during the marriage is considered marital property and is subject to division via the presumption of the 50-50 split. If the marriage is short or the gift/inheritance is large, this may create a reason for deviating from the 50-50 split, but, nonetheless, the gift or inheritance is considered marital property.
Retirement benefits, such as a 401(k) or a pension, earned during the marriage is also considered marital property and is subject to division with a presumed 50-50 split, even though the retirement benefits are earned only by one party to the marriage.
If you are considering divorce and have questions regarding how your property will be divided, call us and we can help.
What is a QDRO?
Even if only one party earned retirement benefits during a marriage, both spouses are entitled to 50% of those earned benefits. To divide the retirement benefits, which are typically not payable until the age of retirement, the law uses what is called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order ("QDRO").
Once issued by the Court, the QDRO is given to the employer who then releases a portion of the retirement benefits to the former spouse of the employee. The former spouse can then rollover the funds into an IRA or other retirement account and manage the funds themselves.
Can I Get Cash?
The retirement funds can also be cashed out under some circumstances. In fact, when funds are withdrawn and transferred to a former spouse during a divorce pursuant to a QDRO, there may not be a penalty for cashing out the funds, other than income taxes.
What About a Pension in a Divorce?
Additionally, the Indiana Court of Appeals in 2016 in the case of In Re The Marriage of Carr held that pension retirement benefits are a marital asset that must be included in the marital estate and divided. Oftentimes, pensions provide workers with the option to elect to reduce their monthly pension benefit so that these pension benefits can continue to be paid to their spouse after their death. This is known as a pension survivor benefit. The court has held that this pension survivor benefit has a value to the surviving spouse that must be valued and attributed to the surviving spouse when the marital estate is divided at the time of the divorce. This decision by the Indiana court makes it important to take this into consideration when divorcing.
Should I hire a lawyer to file for divorce?
Navigating the court system can be very daunting. You need someone to help you negotiate the best possible outcome for the property, debts, and possibly children that are involved. While you may find forms to file your own divorce, it is best to have an attorney help you file a divorce. If you attempt your divorce on your own, the court will hold you to the same rules as if you were an attorney.
How does a divorce become final?
Your divorce will become in one of two ways. You and your spouse will reach an agreement of all terms and submit papers to the court, a Settlement Agreement, that detail all terms of your agreement. The second option is to go before a judge and let the judge decide.
What decisions are made as part of a divorce?
Per a Settlement Agreement or a Judge will:
- End your marriage.
- Divide the marital property and debts (usually on a 50-50% basis).
- Issue custody, visitation and child support orders for children of the marriage.
- The wife can get her maiden or former name back as part of the divorce.
- Court Orders for counseling, spousal maintenance, or protective orders can also be issued by the Court.
I filed my divorce with the clerk, what happens now?
Once you have filed for divorce your case is assigned to a court, and copies of your filings are sent to your spouse. If you requested temporary custody, temporary child support, or temporary possession of the marital residence, the court will set the matter(s) for a provisional hearing. At the provisional hearing you will tell the judge why your request(s) should be granted. If granted, remember that a provisional order will only be in effect until the final hearing.
Will My Spouse Get Everything?
The presumption, the starting point, in Indiana, is that all assets and all debts brought into the marriage will be split evenly on a 50-50 basis. However, this is just the starting point. You may have an argument that you are entitled to more than 50% of the marital assets and/or your spouse should be awarded more than 50% of the debts of the marriage.
If my spouse doesn’t like the final Court Order or Settlement Agreement can my spouse take me back to Court?
Generally, if you reached an agreement outside of court the answer is no. A court order issued following a final hearing may be appealed to the Indiana Court of Appeals, but an appeal would be costly. Issues relating to child custody, visitation, and child support can be brought back to the court under certain circumstances.
What is a divorce?
A divorce is the legal dissolution of marriage by a court which cancels the legal duties and responsibilities of the marriage. Quite simply, a divorce separates those legal duties and responsibilities and ends the marital union.
What is an uncontested divorce?
An uncontested divorce is the simplest, cheapest, and fastest type of divorce. Basically, in order to get an uncontested divorce you and your spouse need to:
- Agree to divorce and agree to reach an agreement for the division of property and debts,
- If children are involved, agree to custody and a visitation schedule as set out in the Indiana Parenting Guidelines. However, as long as you and your spouse can agree, you can set your own visitation schedule,
- And finally, agree to child support amounts
How quickly can I get divorced/remarried?
In Indiana, each divorce must follow a timeline. First I will file your Petition for Divorce with the court. Indiana law requires that we then wait at least 60 days. During this time you and your spouse will work to come to an agreement regarding the division of property, debt, visitation, and child support. After the 60 day waiting period (which may be longer depending upon the court's schedule), we will go to court to present a Final Decree to a Judge.
Can I change my name in the divorce?
Yes. This is extremely common. However, it should be part of the initial Petition for Divorce.
What is child support?
Child Support is money paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent for the maintenance of the child. It is vital to deal with child support any any divorce proceeding involving children.
How much child support will I have to pay?
Generally, you’re required to pay a percentage of your net income and of course depends upon numerous issues. See the Indiana Supreme Court Child Support Calculator for an approximate child support payment.
Do you make house calls?
YES. If you are not able to come to my office, or are just more comfortable conducting business at home, I am able to visit you instead. I will bring with me all the equipment necessary to complete your paperwork and file your documents with the court the next business day.
Do you take credit cards?
Yes. We gladly accept Discover, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.
How can I contact you?
If you would like my services, feel free to call 317-969-8000 anytime. Our phones are answered 24 hours each day. Call to speak with one of our divorce attorneys today.
Who Gets the Dog in the Divorce - CNN
When you work with us, you will have our support, advice and guidance throughout the entire divorce process. To help you, here is a list of links to websites where you can find valuable information about the field of family law:
- Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines - a thorough guide for child visitation in Indiana
- Child Support Information - statutory information for a detailed look at child support in Indiana
- Indiana Child Support Calculator - a relatively easy-to-use program that enables you to begin the process of determining a child support obligation
- Indiana Department of Child Services - state of Indiana parent resource
- Indiana State Central Collection Unit - the agency responsible for collecting and distributing child support in Indiana
- Grandparents' Rights in Indiana - Indiana Legal Services, Inc. provides a short overview of the rights the elderly and grandparents in Indiana
- Adoption - legal issues surrounding adoption in Indiana
- Guardianships - Indiana statutory information about guardianships
Here is a list of articles on divorce that we think you might find useful
- Skin Care Mogul Wants $500K Ring Back
- How to Remove Your Name from a House After a Divorce
- How to Divorce Without Sacrificing Too Much Money
- The Best Thing I Did Was Running Away From Home
- Divorce on the Rise in these 25 Cities
- Judge Overturns Divorce Settlement
- Rosie's Divorce Turns Nasty
- 4 Behaviors Are The Most Reliable Predictors of Divorce
- The Billion Dollar Divorce
- Top Reasons People Divorce
- The Divorce Rate is Falling
- Divorce and the Business Cycle
- Marriage and Divorce Rate Trends
- Cheap Divorce Attorney - Thinking of hiring a cheap divorce attorney....think again
- Getting Divorced 'Doesn't Mean You Failed
- The Moment I Knew: Divorce Stories
- Financial Advice After a Divorce
- Paula Deen Divorce
- Divorce and Finances
- Divorce and Retirement
- Holiday Traditions After a Divorce
- Divorce Held Up - Pension Errors
Schedule a Consultation Now!
If you need help we are happy to talk to you at no charge. Give us a call or click the button to make an appointment.
Our Carmel divorce office is conveniently located near West Carmel Drive and Keystone Avenue.
600 E Carmel Drive, Suite 105
Carmel, IN 46032
Phone: (317) 434-3136
Our attorneys represent people in need of assistance with personal injuries, car accidents, divorce, family law and DUI/OVWI matters. Our clients typically live in counties throughout central Indiana including, Hamilton County, Boone County, Marion County, Hendricks County and Johnson County. Please contact our office to learn how we can help.
Copyright © 2012-2019, Emerson Law L.L.C.
The laws governing legal advertising in the state of Indiana require the following statement in any publication of this kind: Advertising Material. This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.
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Jill & JR Emerson are attorneys who represents men and women in family law matters including divorce, child custody modification, and child support modification in Marion County, Hendricks County, Boone County, Hamilton County, Hancock County, Madison County, Johnson County. Cities in which they practice include: Zionsville, Lebanon, Whitestown, Carmel, West Clay, Westfield, Noblesville, Fishers, Lawrence, Beech Grove, Speedway, Greenwood, Southport, Franklin, Plainfield, Avon and Danville, Indiana.