How to Divorce in Indiana without Lawyers

If you’re getting divorced in Indiana, chances are you’d like to avoid a long, drawn-out divorce process. If your divorce is uncontested – you and your spouse agree or are working to agree on all divorce settlement terms, including what to do with shared property and how to handle custody and support payments – you may be able to finish your divorce without the assistance of a lawyer, which automatically shortens the process (and lowers the cost).

In fact, uncontested divorce is the fastest route to divorce in Indiana. The following steps are involved:

  1.  File the petition
  2.  Serve your spouse
  3.  Negotiate with your spouse
  4.  Draft a marital settlement agreement
  5.  Attend a court hearing

Not all couples qualify for an uncontested divorce, but many do. Let’s take a closer look.

Uncontested divorce requires no lawyers in Indiana

If your divorce case is not a complex one, it is quite possible to handle it by yourself or with professional help from an online divorce platform like Hello Divorce

The following forms are for couples who want an uncontested divorce in Indiana. Remember, this means that you and your spouse agree on all aspects of your marital settlement agreement, from how your property (including your home) will be split to who has custody of any children and the details about child support and spousal support.

 Check out the form that applies to your situation:

If you and your spouse agree on almost everything but are faced with a few sticking points, you may still be able to get an uncontested divorce without a lawyer. How? Hire and work with a divorce mediator – a trained impartial professional who can help you negotiate a fair compromise.

Residency requirements

Indiana courts need jurisdiction over your marriage to grant your divorce. The state’s residency requirements aren’t optional. If you don’t meet them, you must wait to file for divorce until you do.

Indiana courts require the following two types of residency:

  • State: One member of the marriage must have lived in Indiana for the last six months.
  • County: One member of the marriage must have lived in the county where you’re filing for the last 90 days.

Documents like your driver’s license, vehicle registration, voter registration card, and filed tax documents could help you establish residency with the courts.

Do you meet the residency requirements for divorce in Indiana? Click here to find out.

Basic steps of uncontested divorce in Indiana

After you find the right forms (see the bullet points above), print and sign them. Your local court requires that you make two copies (three total).

Then, visit your local courthouse to file your petition. The Petitioner must file their papers in the county where at least one member of the couple has lived for at least three months. View the Directory of the Courts and Clerks in Indiana.

Or, if you choose, you can electronically file your document. Be sure to read this statewide E-filing User Guide first.

Step 1: Filing and serving

Filing the Petition

Hand-deliver or e-file your divorce petition to the appropriate channel. If you’re unsure where to go or how to e-file, review the information above.

Be prepared to pay a filing fee when you file. In Indiana, the filing fee varies by county but is generally under $200. If the fee poses a hardship for you, check out this website to see if you can get the fee waived.

Serving your spouse

Unless your spouse waives formal legal service, the Petition must be formally and legally served on them, even if they already know about the divorce. You can do this in one of several ways.

Hire a professional process server to deliver the papers

Indiana law allows you to hire someone to deliver (or serve) documents to your spouse. This person can give the documents to your ex personally, or the server can send the documents to your spouse via registered or certified mail.

Hire a sheriff’s deputy

Local sheriff’s departments can deliver paperwork to your spouse, and in counties like Marion, the sheriff can handle this task for as little as $28. The server will hand the documents to your spouse in this method, ensuring that your ex is aware of the case.

Deliver by hand

In a collaborative divorce, your spouse knows the split is coming and agrees it’s a good idea. In these situations, you can hand your ex copies of the documents you’ve filed and ask your spouse to complete a Verified Waiver of Service form in front of a notary. That signed document must be filed with the court.

This process allows you to work with your spouse without hiring anyone to serve documents. Don’t try it unless you’re sure your spouse will sign and file the document.

Step 2: Negotiation with spouse

Now that your divorce process has formally started, it’s time to negotiate the terms of your marital settlement agreement with your spouse, if you haven’t done so already.

As mentioned, the primary issues you must agree upon to qualify for an uncontested divorce are property division, child custody, and whether spousal maintenance (alimony) is to be paid.

Hello Divorce offers a free downloadable checklist, What to Include in Your Marital Settlement Agreement, to help you stay on track during your negotiation. We also provide flat-rate hourly sessions with a certified divorce mediator to those who request it. A divorce mediator can help you resolve conflicts about your settlement agreement by facilitating peaceful negotiation.

To help you better understand the process, we also recommend these quick reads:

Draft and submit your proposed marital settlement agreement

Sixty days after you file your Petition, you can file your next set of Indiana divorce forms, also found in the packet linked to above. These include:

  • Waiver of Final Hearing (assuming you both agree to waive this hearing)
  • Settlement Agreement and Decree of Dissolution of Marriage

In addition, you must file financial disclosures.

Depending on your situation, you may also need to file the following:

Step 3: Finalizing the uncontested divorce

Mandatory waiting period

All divorces in Indiana are subject to a 60-day waiting period, also sometimes called a “cooling off period.” During this time, the court cannot finalize your divorce even if you and your spouse agree on everything.

Court hearing

If you and your spouse agree to skip the court hearing, you may be able to do so by signing a Verified Waiver of Final Hearing (found in the divorce packet at the link above). The judge will review your proposed marital settlement agreement and determine whether they approve of it. If they do, they may sign off on it without you having to set foot in a courtroom.

Note: In some cases, you may still have to attend a hearing. For example, if one of you requests temporary orders, you must attend a provisional hearing.

How much does it cost to get divorced in Indiana?

A filing fee is charged when you submit your Petition for the dissolution of your marriage. The cost varies by county but is generally less than $200. This comparison table shows you the difference in prices in several Indiana counties:


Filing Fee

Delaware County


Marion County


Porter County


Vanderburgh County


Floyd County


If you can’t afford these costs, you can ask the court to waive them. You must fill out a General Fee Waiver form and turn it in to the courthouse. Prepare for many questions about your income, benefits received, and people living with you. The courts will review the documents. If you’re approved, you’re not required to pay a filing fee.

If you hire a divorce lawyer to represent you in court, you can expect to pay a lot more than that. Many lawyers charge upfront retainer fees of several thousand dollars. Hourly rates for lawyers range from $150 to $500, and lawyers charge for even small increments of time, including the minutes they might spend reading your email or talking to you on the phone.

If you opt for Hello Divorce’s flat-rate divorce plans, the cost is much lower. In Indiana, we now offer our most popular online divorce plan – the Pro Plan – for a flat rate of $1,500. You answer a series of questions, and we fill out and file your divorce forms for you. You can read more about the Pro plan here.

Do I have to take a parenting class?

In some cases, yes, the state of Indiana requires parents to take a class. Another requirement the state may impose is pre-divorce counseling. While some of our clients find these governmental programs helpful, others find them a bit of a bother. If you’re in the second camp, our best advice is to view it as just another hoop to jump through to get what you really want: a finalized divorce and the chance to begin the next exciting chapter of your life.


Dissolution of Marriage. Allen Superior Court, Allen County, Indiana.
Determination of Residence for Individuals Leaving Indiana for Employment in a Foreign Country. (October 2022). Indiana Department of Revenue.
Filing Fees as of July 1, 2021. Delaware County, Indiana.
Filing a Civil Case. Marion County Clerk’s Office.
Civil Cases Fee Schedule. Porter County, Indiana.
Filing Fees. County of Vanderburgh, Indiana.
Case Filing Fees. Floyd County, Indiana.
Spouse’s Waiver of Service. Indiana Legal Help.
Divorce Specialists
After spending years in toxic and broken family law courts, and seeing that no one wins when “lawyer up,” we knew there was an opportunity to do and be better. We created Hello Divorce to the divorce process easier, affordable, and completely online. Our guiding principles are to make sure both spouses feel heard, supported, and set up for success as they move into their next chapter in life.