Presently, pending in the Indiana House, HB1252 could affect how and when potential clients file for divorce. HB1252 provides that a parent of a minor child may not commence a proceeding for dissolution of marriage against the other parent of the child before the earlier of: (1) 120 days after a parent files with a court a notice of intent to dissolve a marriage is both parents have completed within 3 years before commencing a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, a divorce education program approved by the Department of Child Services ("DCS"); or (2) 300 days after a parent files with a court a notice of intent to dissolve a marriage if one or both parents of the child do not complete a divorce education program. Although there are exceptions to the notice requirement in the proposed bill, these are limited.
If this bill is passed into law, it will greatly affect how and when potential clients with minor children file for dissolution of marriage. It will impose additional requirements such as the notice of intent to dissolve marriage and divorce education program prior to filing. The proposed law will also stall a court's authority to grant provisional relief. Additionally, this law if passed could allow for a party to hide or transfer assets after receiving the notice but prior to the dissolution filing because a party could not request a mutual restraining order until the dissolution has been filed.
Family law practitioners throughout the state including Bowers Harrison, LLP attorneys in our family law department will continue to monitor this proposed bill and its progress through the Indiana Legislature. If you have questions on this issue or any other Family Law and Adoption issues, please contact us at (812) 426-1231.