In October 2014, Indiana legislation saw a huge leap forward for LGBTI people; Indiana recognized same-sex marriages within the law (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_Indiana).
Sexual orientation discrimination has become illegal. Together with the right to marry such couples automatically acquired the opportunity to get divorced in the state of Indiana regardless of where the marriage was entered into.
In accordance with https://www.onlinedivorce.com/divorce/indiana/, divorce of same-sex couples is practically no different from a man-woman divorce, however, it has its own characteristics.
It’s possible to file for divorce in Indiana on the condition that one of the spouses lived in the state for at least 6 months prior to filing a lawsuit with a court. The law does not specify any restrictions or additional conditions for same-sex couples. Any spouse who wishes may file for divorce regardless of where and when the marriage was concluded. The only thing that matters for the court is that marriage is legal and is recognized by Indiana law.
In order to dissolve a marriage each couple must have grounds for this established by law. Indiana recognizes no-fault and fault reasons. No-fault grounds occur when spouses do not blame each other for the destruction of marriage. In order for a divorce to be no-fault spouses must specify in the Petition that their marriage is irretrievably broken. The fault reasons complicate the process of divorce, since each of them requires the claimant (the one who files for divorce) to prove the guilt of his/her spouse. The following fault grounds are allowed in Indiana: conviction of a felony, which was committed after marriage, impotence, incurable insanity, which lasts at least 2 years.
Dissolution affects many aspects of marriage including common property. Spouses must share all that they have acquired in marriage. According to https://www.divorcesource.com/ds/indiana/indiana-property-division-4732.shtml, in Indiana there is a presumption that all property must be equally divided, but quite often the judge makes a decision in favor of a fair division. There are many factors that affect the division of property, which include:
- the contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of property;
- how spouses took possession of the property, was it bought, given or received by inheritance;
- financial resources and opportunities of both spouses;
- the tax consequences of division, as well as any other factors that the court may consider important.
But it is worth noting that there is one unpleasant nuance in this business. The court shares all the property that the spouses have acquired since the moment of wedding ceremony. However, many homosexual couples began to cohabit long before the same-sex marriage became legal. And this can greatly complicate the process of property separation. In any case, the decision depends on the judge, however, if the couple has a cohabitation agreement, the judge may consider this agreement like a prenuptial agreement.
Another important issue is the separation of custody of minor children. The decision is always made by the judge on the basis of what is best for the child, after analysis of various factors and circumstances that have developed in the family, for example:
- the age of the child and his/her emotional relationship with both parents;
- the wishes of parents and the wishes of the child, provided that he/she is already more than 14 years old;
- the physical and mental health of the parents and the child;
- history of domestic violence or any other factors that the court deems important.
However, there may also be difficulties. If a spouse has a child as a result of the adoption or artificial insemination while the second spouse is a non-adoptive parent, then last one will not receive custody of the child and will not have any parental rights. But it is worth noting that if a non-adoptive parent is the child’s main caretaker, then he or she has the opportunity to receive custody.
Divorce also entails the award of alimony. Only the spouse who can prove that he or she is in a difficult financial situation as a result of a divorce can receive financial support. At the same time, Indiana courts have greater freedom in this matter, since the law does not have clear rules or regulations on how and for how long a judge should award alimony. The decision is made on the basis of various economic factors and conditions that each spouse has.
October 2014 was a major breakthrough in the field of human rights. Same-sex marriages were recognized as legitimate, which gave many people the opportunity to have a happier family. At the same time, such families got the opportunity to get divorced. And despite the fact that the divorce of homosexual couples is the same as for heterosexual couples, it still has some features and difficulties. This nuance should be considered before filing for divorce.