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Family Law & Child Support FAQ.

Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce.

Q: How do I file or start a divorce or dissolution action?

A: A dissolution action is typically began by filing a Verified Petition For Dissolution of Marriage in either Superior or Circuit Court in the county where you or your spouse reside. As of July 1, 2012, a filing fee of $159.00 is required in Allen County, with a $139.00 filing fee in other counties. These filing fees are increased from time to time, so your filing fee may vary.

 

Q: How long will it take for my dissolution of marriage to be completed?

A: This really depends on the complexity of the issues involved and if your dissolution can be resolved by agreement or if it will require the Court to decide matters at a Final Hearing. Pursuant to Indiana Law a mandatory cooling off period applies, so even if you are in agreement with your spouse, your dissolution cannot be granted until sixty (60) days has passed from the date of filing of the Verified Petition For Dissolution of Marriage. If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement, you should anticipate that the dissolution process could take from six months to a year to complete. The Court may require you and your spouse to attend mediation before holding a Final Hearing, in hopes that you will be able to resolve matters, between yourselves.

 

Q: What is mediation?

A: Mediation is one form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Mediation is typically performed by a Registered Family Law Mediator (an attorney trained in family law mediation). Mediation is confidential so that both parties can make suggestions as to resolution of the issues existing between them, without concern that those settlement positions will be used against them later. This confidentiality allows the parties to better explore all the possibilities of resolving the issues existing between them.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Paternity.

Q: What is paternity and what does establishing paternity mean?

A: Simply stated, paternity is the legal process of establishing a biological father as the legal guardian.

 

Q: Why is establishing paternity important?

A: Once paternity has been established the Court will typically issue orders regarding custody, parenting-time and child support. Once these orders are issued, a party failing to comply with the orders may be found in contempt by the Court. Paternity also establishes the Father as legal parent for purposes of social security, inheritance, and other benefits.

 

Q: What happens if a questions exist as to whom is the child’s biological father?

A: When more than one man could be the father of a baby, a DNA test should be requested from the Court. DNA samples are normally taken by swabbing the mouths of the biological mother, the child, and the alleged father. The DNA samples are then reviewed by DNA experts and a paternity report is issued as to the probability of paternity for that particular alleged father.

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