Grounds for divorce in Indiana

There almost always is a reason why a married couple in Indianapolis chooses to divorce. Oftentimes, however, a couple may prefer to keep those reasons to themselves. 

It may seem as though they have a right to do so, given that Indiana is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce. Many take this to mean that a person can seek a divorce for whatever reason they want. Yet the term “no-fault” can be deceiving. 

Fault vs. no-fault 

Many have likely heard the phrase “grounds for divorce” and correctly understood it to mean that these are the reason a couple cites to justify the dissolution of their marriage. Per Section 31-15-2-3 of Indiana’s Family Law and Juvenile Law code, the state considers the following reasons for a divorce to be valid: 

  • The felony conviction of either party to a marriage 
  • Evidence of one’s impotence existing at the time of their marriage 
  • One party to a marriage suffering a period of incurable insanity that lasts at least two years 

It may seem confusing to some that a couple must cite grounds for getting a divorce when Indiana is a no-fault state. This confusion comes from the misinterpretation of “no-fault.” 

Irreconcilable differences 

In the context of a divorce, no-fault basically means that neither party in a marriage needs to be at fault for its breakdown. Along with the aforementioned issues, Indiana state law recognizes one more justifiable reason to get a divorce: the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage. If a couple cites irreconcilable differences as the reason for this breakdown, the concept of a no-fault divorce case means that no single party shoulders the blame. 

A family court may ask that a couple citing irreconcilable differences as their reason for a divorce seek marriage counseling in order to repair their relationship. If such interventions have little impact on how a couple feels for each other, the law typically will not mandate that they remain married.