How to Find a Divorce Record in Indiana
Indiana divorce records (also called dissolution of marriage records) are documents that state - with varying levels of detail - that a divorce has occurred between two persons. It occurs when the two people who were married decide to end their marriage by filing original divorce papers in an Indiana divorce court. There are three ways that government bodies register marriage dissolutions in Indiana: divorce certificates, divorce decrees, and divorce records. These records are utilized for different purposes.
Divorce records are considered court records. They may therefore be searched on third party public record websites. Divorce records can offer personal information on minors, finances, and sensitive criminal information like domestic abuse. Because of this, divorce record, certificate, and decree availability is usually much lower than other types of public records because of the personal nature of divorces. Simply put, divorce records are significantly harder to obtain and search for than other types of public records.
Are Indiana Divorce Records Public Records?
No. Unless sealed, Indiana divorce records are available to the public. In accordance with Indiana Public Records Law, documents and materials filed within the court are accessible to the public for viewing and copying. The parties involved in a case may request that the judge limits access to portions of the records.
What are Indiana Divorce Certificates?
The State of Indiana considers divorce certificates to be accessible to the public, but only those involved, such as the two divorced parties, along with their attorneys, can access certified copies. An Indiana divorce certificate functions as a simple statement that a divorce occurred between two persons that filed and signed divorce papers in Indiana. The only information held within a divorce certificate is the first and last names of the two parties, along with the location and the date the divorce was finalized. It does not detail the divorce agreement the couple signed. Divorce certificates are mainly used by divorced parties. They can be easily requested by those involved and are used for the purpose of ordering another marriage certificate or to change one of their names.
What is a Divorce Decree in Indiana?
An Indiana divorce decree is the final judgment that spouses receive after filing original divorce papers in court and satisfactorily completing the divorce process in Indiana. Divorce decrees are not as accessible to the public as divorce certificates. These documents will typically be used by the parties involved in the case of wishing to challenge any information held within it. The information includes all listed above in a divorce certificate, along with alimony, property ownership, child custody, child support, or any scheduling or other payments. These are generally only requested and distributed to the parties who were involved in the divorce who want to challenge the terms listed, unless a member of the public or officer has a court order for viewing. Record seekers may be able to request a divorce decree online or in person from a county clerk's office, depending on what the office allows.
What are Indiana Divorce Records?
Divorce records are the complete dissolution of marriage records created from a divorce proceeding. This includes all divorce documents, transcripts, reports, and files produced upon the filing of divorce papers in Indiana. Suppose that a divorcee wants to change a divorce term or or challenge an agreement, having these documents on hand makes this easier. Divorce records can also be searched for and accessed by the public with the Indiana Judiciary's Case Search tool.
How to Find Public Divorce Records Online
Record seekers can find public divorce records at the Clerk of Court in the county where the divorce was issued. Alternatively, interested persons can search divorce records in Indiana on third-party websites by paying the necessary fees. They must provide certain information like the state where the divorce was issued and the state of the divorce before they can access divorce information.
How to Obtain Indiana Divorce Court Records
Requesting parties can obtain copies of divorce decrees by mail or in person at the Clerk’s Office during their listed business hours. For the most part, divorce decrees are not made available for access online. To obtain a certified copy of a divorce decree, it is necessary to contact the clerk's office in the county where the divorce was finalized and fill out a request form.
What Do I Need to Access Divorce Records in Indiana?
The request form used to obtain divorce certificates and decrees vary from county to county, but generally, requesting parties will need to provide:
- Case Number
- Requesting party’s full name
- Date divorce was filed
- Date divorce was finalized
- Phone number, email address, or other contact information
- Photocopy of valid identification
Government public record search portals and third party public record websites both may provide court records search tools, which can help find divorce records, though record availability usually varies widely. Divorce records in particular may simply not be available through either source.
How to Request Indiana Divorce Records by Mail
To access divorce records in Indiana by mail, fill out the request form affiliated with the Indiana county clerk in the county where the divorce happened. Include all necessary information and fees, paid by check or money order. Wait times for mail-in order are usually 8-10 weeks.
How to Request Indiana Divorce Records In-Person
Similarly to requesting divorce records by mail, requesting Indiana divorce records in-person requires a completely filled out request form. Request forms differ from county to county, so it is necessary to find the divorce decree request form for the specific Indiana county where the divorce was finalized. Submitting this form in-person, requesting parties can pay with cash, check, or money order. Most Indiana clerk’s offices accept payment by check, credit card, money order, and cash. Checks and money orders should be made payable to the county clerk that one is attempting to access the records from. In-person records requests are often fulfilled on the same day.
How to Request Indiana Divorce Records Online
A limited number of Indiana divorce cases and divorce court records are available for access online. Visit the Indiana Courts' Case Search portal to look up public cases of the state’s Family Courts. The information needed to perform this search is as follows:
- Case number
- Citation number
- Names of parties
- Names of attorneys
For records that are not available on the Case Search portal, contact the clerk’s office in the county where the case was heard. Find the clerk’s office contact information from the Indiana Court Directory. Clerk’s offices also provide certified copies of court records. Use the Indiana Court Directory to find the contact information, including phone number, email address, and physical address, of court clerks all over the state. They will always charge a small amount to search for and provide copies of these records.
What is the Cost of Indiana Divorce Records?
The cost of an Indiana divorce record varies, but the average cost is $.50 to $1.00 per page for uncertified records. Every additional record will be an additional $.50 to $1.00. If the requesting party desires certified copies of these records, it will be an additional $11.00 charge per certification.
Does Indiana Recognize Common-Law Marriage?
Yes, the State of Indiana recognizes common law marriage created before January 1, 1958 (§ 31-11-8-5). Indiana also recognizes common-law marriages legally established in other states. Unmarried couples who live together may have rights upheld by the courts if the union was contracted with an Indiana Cohabitation Agreement.
How to Get a Divorce in Indiana
Getting a divorce in Indiana might be a tasking process, depending on whether it is an uncontested or contested divorce case. A contested divorce happens when the divorcing parties do not agree on all significant issues relating to the marriage dissolution. In contrast, an uncontested divorce occurs when the spouses concur on all divorce matters.
When filing for divorce in Indiana, the petitioner (the person filing the divorce papers) must submit a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage at the local clerk's office in the county where either spouse resides. Other forms that may be required are the Domestic Relations Appearance Form and Domestic Relations Summons. The necessary filing fees must also be paid to begin a divorce in Indiana.
Divorce forms in Indiana typically come in a packet, which can be obtained from the clerk's office. Once the petitioner files the petition and other relevant divorce documents, they must serve their spouse with the divorce papers and wait for about 60 days for the spouse to file an answer before contacting the clerk for information on the final hearing. Typically, it is the petitioner that schedules the hearing with the court. Before the hearing, the spouses must submit a proposed Property Settlement Agreement (if any) and proposed Decree for Dissolution of Marriage for the judge to consider. All evidence will be considered during the hearing, and the judge may issue a final judgment on the same or another day.