Divorce & Custody Case Process

Divorce & Family Matters
Divorce & Custody Case Process

Northeast Indiana Divorce & Custody Case Process

Divorcing parents must make immensely tough decisions about the welfare of their children. If they can’t agree on a child custody arrangement, a judge will need to decide for them. If you have yet to discuss your case with our Indiana family law attorney, it may be helpful to learn the steps generally involved in the divorce and custody process. 

Call Andrews & Crell

If you are considering divorce or have child custody matters in a divorce, your first step should be to call Andrews & Crell. Our attorneys are here to help you every step of the way and provide you with the guidance and support you need to protect your rights and the best interests of your family.

Open The Case

You or your spouse must file the necessary paperwork to open a divorce and/or custody case with your county’s family court. To file for divorce, one of you must have resided in the state for at least six months and have resided in the county for at least three months in the specific county where you file the case. 

Serving Your Spouse

If you are the one filing the case, you must serve a formal notice to your spouse and send them copies of the divorce and custody case paperwork via certified mail or through a private server or sheriff. Once your spouse has been served, they are not required to respond to your notice. 

However, if they want to include specific requests that your petition doesn’t cover, such as temporary orders or spousal maintenance, among others, they may file a counter-petition. If there are no temporary orders and you and your spouse agree on all the issues you need to resolve during the divorce and custody process, the case will move forward to the settlement stage.

The Discovery Process

Discovery is an extensive, multi-part process that involves parents and their Indiana family law attorneys exchanging information relevant to the case and the evidence they are preparing. This process begins right after filing your case and goes on until before the custody hearing. 

Attending Parent Education Classes

Depending on the court where you filed your case, you might be required to complete parent education classes within 60 days of filing. These classes educate parents on how a divorce affects children and how they can co-parent effectively. 


Judges normally order mediation for parents going through the divorce and custody process, except in cases involving child abuse or domestic violence. Mediation is an opportunity to reach an agreement on disputed issues without going to court, but the parties are not required to accept any offers made during mediation.

The Final Hearing

If you still have divorce or custody issues to resolve with your spouse, the judge will settle them in the final hearing. During the hearing, both parties will present their evidence and question any witnesses to corroborate their requests for custody, child support, parenting time, and other matters. The judge will hear both parents’ arguments and may interview the child. 

Depending on the complexity of the case, the judge may give their decisions right away or call a recess for hours, several days, or weeks. Once the judge announces their decisions, they become final orders that you and your spouse must follow. Otherwise, you risk facing legal consequences. 

Happy for a Fresh Start

Divorce can be a difficult and emotional experience, but it doesn’t have to define your life. The experienced attorneys at Andrews & Crell understand that the end of a marriage can be a chance for a fresh start, and they are committed to helping their clients move forward toward a happier future.

Consult With an Experienced Indiana Family Law Attorney Today

Divorce and child custody cases involve complex laws that require experience and ample resources to navigate. To discuss the specific circumstances of your case and ensure that you get the most favorable outcome for you and your child, contact an experienced Indiana family law attorney at Andrews & Crell, PC, right away. Call us or contact us to schedule your appointment.

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