MARRIAGE & DIVORCE

PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENTS

Cairns Law is experienced in handling all aspects of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.

PRENUPTIAL, OR PREMARITAL, AGREEMENTS

Prenuptial agreements (also called premarital agreements or prenups) are contracts that parties sign prior to getting married that outline what is to occur in the event of the death of either party or a divorce. Generally, in prenuptial agreements, both parties make arrangements that differ from what the law would do in the event of death or divorce.

Prenuptial agreements are beneficial to parties who have assets that they want to protect in the event of a divorce, such as inheritance, retirement benefits, or business interests. However, prenuptial agreements can also have significant legal consequences that each party should be aware of prior to entering the agreement.

POSTNUPTIAL AGREEMENTS

Postnuptial agreements are contracts that parties enter into after they have already married. Unlike premarital agreements, postnuptial agreements have significant legal hurdles that need to be addressed regarding the future enforceability of the agreements. If you or your spouse is interested in a postnuptial agreement, you should contact an experienced family law attorney.

DIVORCE

THE BASICS OF FILING FOR DIVORCE

The decision to file for divorce is never easy to make. The Indianapolis divorce attorneys at Cairns Law have the experience and compassion to help you navigate through the complex process so whether you’re seeking guidance in filing for divorce in a traditional marriage or a same-sex marriage we’re here to help. 

FILING

When you decide to file a divorce in Indiana, the first step is a petition for dissolution. A petition can only be filed if one of the spouses has resided in Indiana for at least six months. The petition generally includes a few basic issues such as the number of children of the marriage, the date of the marriage, and the requested relief. The petition is filed in the county where the parties reside (or at least one party has resided for at least three months), and is accompanied by a filing fee that ranges from $120 to $180 for most counties in central Indiana.

PRELIMINARY ISSUES

After the petition for dissolution is filed, if necessary, the parties can request a preliminary hearing where the court can determine issues including temporary child custody and child support, temporary maintenance, possession of the marital residence, and payment of debts and liabilities. The parties may also negotiate a preliminary agreement without involving the court. In some limited circumstances, the parties may agree that a preliminary hearing is not necessary.

During a divorce, the Court has the ability to address the following issues:

FINALIZING A DIVORCE

Indiana law requires that parties in a divorce wait at least 60 days before a divorce is granted. To finalize a divorce, parties may either enter a settlement agreement or have the issues determined by a judge in a court hearing. A settlement agreement can be negotiated between the parties, between their attorneys, or with the assistance of a family law mediator. A contested court hearing requires each party to present evidence, which typically includes the testimony of the parties and any relevant witnesses, on all issues in the divorce that are in dispute including the appropriate property division, child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance.

UNCONTESTED DIVORCES

Is your Indianapolis divorce uncontested? While many people think they should simply handle an uncontested divorce themselves, doing so could result in a mess down the road. We offer a flat-fee service rate that includes drafting all the necessary paperwork, advising you on settlement terms that are fair and likely to be approved by the Court, and the filing of all paperwork. Additionally, if your divorce becomes contested for any reason, our lawyers are more than capable of handling any conflict that may arise (please note, however, that additional fees may apply if your case becomes contested). It’s important to hire a lawyer that knows all facets of divorce law and can handle anything that may arise in your case.

Our attorneys can also assist clients in uncontested divorce with the drafting of documents related to divorce. This may include Qualified Domestic Relations Orders for the division of retirement accounts, quitclaim deeds for the transfer of any marital real estate, and income withholding orders for quick and easy payment of child support.