Please read first: It is very important for you to know that when you sign a Court document, you may be helping or hurting your case. Before you sign any Court document or get involved with a Court case, it is important that you see a lawyer to make sure you are doing the right thing. Although there are risks in self-representation, should you choose to represent yourself you must be prepared. Although these forms have been prepared to help you represent yourself, you should know that certain Courts have their own procedures and may not accept every form.
You may represent yourself in court, but you will have to abide by the appropriate court rules, Indiana Rules of Evidence, Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure, and any local rules. For additional information, you may refer to the Indiana Self-Service Legal Center. For legal advice about your case, you should get in touch with a lawyer.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR FILING A PRO SE DIVORCE
- Please see the attached flyer "Family Law Clinic for Self-Represented Litigants" at the top of this page to see if you may qualify for free legal assistance.
- Everything must be agreed upon before filling.
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage must be signed by the petitioner and respondent to waiver service. If the respondent does not sign the petition, a summons must be issued by the petitioner.
- A filing fee of $157 cash or money order must be paid at the time of filing.
- There is a 60 day waiting period before the divorce can become final.
- To set the final hearing in this divorce cause, you will be required to call the Judge’s Office at 812-649-6025 to obtain a hearing date. Your call may be made approximately one month after the date of filing for the divorce.
- The Judge asks that you fill in all blanks.
- The Judge asks that you type or print the information required.
- If you have children less than 16 years of age you must go through the “Parents are Forever” program.
- If you do not attend the seminar for “Parents are Forever” the Judge may not assign a final hearing.
Appearance forms are to be provided in every lawsuit and must contain the attorney's identification number and a designation of the type of case filed. The most common civil cases are:
- Civil Tort (CT)
- Dissolution of Marriage (DC: Children and DN: No children)
- Mortgage Foreclosures (MF)
- Civil Plenary (PL)
- Miscellaneous (MI)
- Civil Collection (CC)
- Reciprocal Support (RS)
- Mental Health (MH)
- Adoption (AD)
Court costs of all civil filings, including Expungements, are $157 for one defendant with the exception of Guardianships which are $177. Each additional defendant is $10. If the case is a mortgage foreclosure, add $50 Mortgage Foreclosure Counseling and Education fee. The $157 fee covers two mailings.After the initial mailing, or for each additional person, the person requesting service must provide the Clerk with:
- An envelope with sufficient postage affixed, addressed to the recipient with the Clerk's address as the return address
- The USPS or other forms for certified mail. If return receipt is requested, the forms must be completed so that the Clerk gets the return receipt
- The USPS or other fee for appropriate service by certified mail and return receipt, if requested
For sheriff service the fee will be $28 for each case regardless of the number of individuals. If you request post judgment sheriff service, there is an additional $28 fee. All payments are to be addressed to the Clerk of Circuit Court.
The plaintiff is to provide all the necessary certified mailing materials.