At a minimum, the State of Indiana requires sixty (60) days between the filing of a divorce and a final divorce decree being entered. There are no exceptions. This 60-day period is also referred to as the “cooling off” period to allow parties time to reflect and decide if they truly want to push forward with the divorce. Without this cooling off period, people could get divorced instantly after one fight or argument, a decision they may later regret.
As attorneys, we take advantage of this 60-day period to evaluate the marital estate and advise on all child-related items. After filing for divorce, a provisional hearing may be necessary to determine the following:
- Who will live in the house while the divorce is pending;
- Who will have custody of the children;
- What the parenting time schedule will be;
- Who will pay child support and in what amount;
- Whether spousal maintenance may also be ordered while the divorce is pending;
- Who will pay for what bills; and
- Who will drive which vehicle.
These are the main issues addressed while the divorce is pending to make sure everyone and everything is taken care of in the interim. Also while the divorce is pending, both parties should gather all of their financial statements for any asset or debt in their name or their spouse’s name. This will help the attorneys and the Judge decide how to split the property and debt.
Not all cases end up before the Judge, either. Ideally, parties can settle all final terms amongst themselves or with the help of attorneys. Another common resource for parties going through a divorce is mediation. A mediator will assist both sides in reaching an agreement to avoid going to court.
While 60-days may seem like an eternity when first starting the divorce process, it can go by quickly once you start analyzing your marital estate, how to divide your property, who is going to live in the house, along with all of the child-related issues.