If you’re just beginning the divorce process, you may be confused by some of the legal terminology you’re coming across. You may wonder what it means for a divorce to be “no-fault” or “uncontested.” Do these terms mean the same thing?
The answer is no.
In this blog post, we’ll briefly explain these terms and how they can be important in your divorce.
What does no-fault mean?
In the context of divorce, “fault” refers to a reason for the divorce. This is also known as “grounds” for divorce.
Under Indiana, we are no-fault state. This simply means that neither party must prove the other did anything wrong to cause the need for the divorce. Instead, the spouse need only plead in the petition that there is an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” or “irreconcilable differences.” It only takes one spouse to state this in order to be eligilble for a divorce.
Contested and uncontested
If the spouses do agree on all these issues, the divorce is considered uncontested. If they do not agree on all these legal issues, the divorce is considered contested.
In a contested divorce, the spouses must have a hearing before the court to resolve their remaining issues.
In a case involving an uncontested divorce, the parties reach a settlement out of court. They may do this through mediation or other forms of negotiation. Once they have the settlement, they can waive their right to a court hearing. Instead, the spouses submit their agreement to the court along with a statement that indicates they have no remaining contested issues in their divorce. The court can then issue a summary dissolution of the marriage.