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Merrillville, Indiana 46410
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Role of Mediation in Divorce

The divorce process can be a very emotional and trying time in one's life. Often the process involves confrontations and complicated legal disputes. In recent years, divorce mediation has become more popular because it can be more effective, less costly, and yet a successful method for settling divorce disputes. Mediation is an alternative method of resolving matrimonial issues that are involved in divorce. It is a process in which couples can amicably work out marital, financial, and property-related disputes with the help of a neutral third party known as a mediator.

Alimony: Periodic Spousal Support

Alimony, also called "spousal support," is common in many states (but not in Indiana).. It is monetary support given to a dependent ex-spouse to maintain that ex-spouse's standard of living, as it existed during the marriage. Alimony also is given, regardless of the receiving spouse's sex, to compensate for faithful service provided as a homemaker, loss of employment opportunities and the foregone acquisition of skills for the sake of family, and sacrifices made during the marriage.

Modification of Orders Affecting Use of Marital Home

One issue that arises in divorce proceedings is the use and possession of the family home, particularly when the spouses are living in the same house and both require use and possession of the home. If the parties have minor children, the custodial parent usually receives the right to use and possess the home in order to safeguard the children's interest. This right is given to the custodial parent as a form of maintenance or support, in the court's discretion. The right given to one of the spouses is limited to a specific period after the divorce, which is determined by the court. That benefit may last in some form until the parties' youngest child no longer is a minor.

Jurisdiction and Venue in Annulment Proceedings

The parties must establish proper jurisdiction and venue in order to initiate an annulment action. Usually, to obtain the jurisdiction and proper venue, the courts of the state where the parties were married have jurisdiction in an annulment action. In most states, if one of the parties wants to bring an action in a state court, that party must show that one of the parties has been residing in that particular state for the required period. Alternatively, a state has jurisdiction if either party has met that state's residency requirement. Venue is established if the party seeking the annulment of the marriage has met the domicile requirements within the court's jurisdiction.

Attorney Fee Awards in Community Property States

In an action for divorce under the common law, the power to grant a party attorney's fees and expenses is within the discretion of the court. Some courts exercise such power as a part of general equity and when warranted by the parties' relative ability to pay counsel fees. Numerous factors are considered by the court in awarding such fees, the most significant of which being the time spent and the services rendered by an attorney in representing a party in the divorce.


7899 Taft Street
Merrillville, Indiana 46410


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