Family Law Attorney in South Bend, Indiana

Family law is a sensitive area that deals with matters of the heart and home, as it touches upon deeply personal and emotional aspects of our lives. 

The journey through family law can be challenging yet rewarding. It's a path that often brings major changes to one's personal life and family dynamics.

With my guidance at Jay Lauer Attorney at Law, I can work with you to understand the legal steps and help you move towards a more hopeful and brighter future. 

Divorce in Indiana 

Divorce can be challenging for someone on multiple levels. It marks the end of a significant relationship, which often comes with feelings of loss, disappointment, and fear of an uncertain future. If children are involved, the situation becomes even more complex. 

That said, it's important to find your legal options. 

Below are the basic elements tied to the divorce process: 

  • Residency Requirements: To file for divorce in Indiana, at least one spouse must have been a resident of Indiana or stationed at a military base within Indiana for six months immediately before filing the divorce petition. 

  • Grounds for Divorce: Indiana allows both "no-fault" and "fault-based" divorces. The no-fault ground for divorce in Indiana is the "irretrievable breakdown" of the marriage. Fault-based grounds include a felony conviction, impotence, or incurable insanity for at least two years. 

  • Types of Divorce: There are two types of divorce—uncontested and contested. Uncontested divorces are faster and less expensive as all issues are agreed upon by the spouses. Contested divorces are when the spouses can't agree and must ask a court to decide the issues in their divorce. 

  • Property Division: Indiana is an equitable division state. The court will divide marital property and debt fairly—but not necessarily equally. Many factors are considered including the contribution each spouse made in acquiring the property, the economic position of each spouse, and the tax consequences of any property division. 

  • Spousal Support: Indiana judges can award spousal support ("maintenance") when they find that one spouse is physically or mentally incapacitated in a way that affects the spouse's ability to self-support, doesn't have enough property to provide for the spouse's needs, or the spouse has custody of a child whose physical or mental incapacity makes it so the spouse can't work. 

  • Child Custody: Indiana courts begin with a presumption that it's best for a child to have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after a divorce. The court will evaluate what's in the best interests of the child to determine the exact nature of custody and visitation. 

  • Child Support: Indiana requires both parents to support their children after divorce. The court will consider factors such as the financial resources of the custodial parent, the standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the parents hadn't divorced, and the financial resources and needs of the noncustodial parent. 

An experienced attorney at Jay Lauer Attorney at Law can assist you through the family law legal system while keeping your best interests in mind.  

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Adoption is a heartwarming journey that brings a new family member into your life. It's a legal process where you willingly take on the responsibility of parenting someone else's child and, in return, get all the parental rights and joys. It's a big step that starts with the type of adoption you're pursuing: 

  • Domestic Adoption: This is when you adopt a child within the U.S. It can be done independently, through an agency, or through the foster care system. 

  • International Adoption: Here, you're adopting a child from a different country. This type of adoption requires adherence to both U.S. laws and the laws of the child’s home country. 

  • Stepparent Adoption: If you're married to a child's biological parent and want to legally become the child's other parent, this is the route for you. It's one of the most common types of adoption. 

  • Adult Adoption: Although it may sound unusual, adults can be adopted too! This usually happens when someone wants to formalize an existing parent-child relationship. 

Remember, no adoption journey is the same. Each has its own set of challenges and rewards. If you're looking to adopt, schedule a consultation and I can help you through the legal processes.  


When your child gains independence, be it through marriage, living independently, or reaching the age of 18, you may wish to end your legal obligation to make child support payments. This is known as emancipation

Unfortunately, discontinuing child support payments isn't as simple as just stopping the payments. The process requires returning to court to officially recognize your child's emancipation. However, I can happily assist you.  

Family Law Attorney in South Bend, Indiana

At my firm, I am committed to providing personalized and attentive service to each client. I understand that family law matters can be emotionally challenging, and I am here to guide you through the legal process with compassion and knowledge. Contact me today to schedule a consultation and let me help you navigate your family law case in South Bend, Indiana.