Getting a divorce in Fort Wayne
In your area, three Superior Courts handle 'dissolution of marriage'--which is your court?
Please see "Divorce in Indiana" for an overview of state divorce statutes, a discussion of the benefits of counseling and opinions from family experts and legal authorities who believe that if domestic violence is part of the equation, it needs to be addressed immediately.
Local help with domestic violence
Indiana has some state-level online resources that can help with domestic violence, such as the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Indiana Family Health Council.
Residents of Fort Wayne and the counties of Allen, Wells and Whitley also have agencies and facilities that can help, including these online resources:
- Fort Wayne Police Department;
- Allen County Sheriff's Department;
- Wells County Sheriff's Department;
- Whitley County Sheriff's Department;
- ICADV Safety Plan;
- YWCA Domestic Violence Services;
- Emergency shelter list, by county;
- Lutheran Social Services (Allen County);
- Wells County Prosecutor's Office (scroll down);
- Center for Nonviolence;
- Whitley County Domestic Violence Task Force.
Venues for filing
Circuit courts were the original trial courts, civil and criminal, in Indiana, born of the state constitution. Organized along county lines, 90 of the 92 counties have their own circuit courts. Two small counties, Ohio and Dearborn, are combined into one circuit.
Through time, however, the need for another level of courts was recognized; legislation created the Superior Courts. Divorce ("dissolution of marriage") is handled by the civil division of the local Superior Court. Be aware, however, that trial jurisdiction and organization varies from county to county.
In Allen County, the Clerk of Courts serves both the Circuit and the Superior Courts. Maps, addresses and contact info for the clerk and the Superior Court are available here.
The Wells County Clerk's office is in Bluffton and serves the Wells Superior Court, also in Bluffton.
Like other Offices of the Clerk, the Whitely County Clerk is described thusly: "The Clerk of the Circuit and Superior Courts is a county elected official who serves as an officer of the court and the manager of court information. The Clerk administers the official court records for all trial court cases with jurisdiction in Whitley County, prepares the permanent historical records for the courts, and processes and issues various documents for court cases."
Like the clerk's office, the Superior Court is in Columbia.
The Whitley County Superior Court provides a link to its local rules--if you're in Allen or Wells county, you should ask your clerk office's if your court provides a similar document or a course explaining the local rules. NOTE: if you have retained an attorney, you do not need to do this because your attorney should be familiar with the local rules.
This can be very important. For instance, let's say you're in Whitley County and you need to get child support. Well, Local Rule 92-FL00-1 says, "In all cases wherein the courts of Whitley County are issuing an order for child support, each parent shall be required to submit to the Clerk of Whitley County a completed PARENT INFORMATION WORKSHEET (copy attached hereto) prior to or in conjunction with the issuance of a child support order." And there's more--check it out, via the link. For instance, you may be required to take a "Children First" course.
Another thing to know, especially in Allen County, is that mediation has become a favored tool of the court. As a FAQ page explains, "In recent years, the Judges and Magistrates of the Allen Circuit Court and Allen Superior Court have worked closely with the members of the ADR and the Domestic Relations sections of the Allen County Bar Association to forge a legal culture wherein mediation has become the preferred and expected manner in which parties attempt to resolve their domestic relations disputes."
How we can help
The legal resources you can access here are on hand to answer your questions, directly. True, no attorney can provide binding, legal advice without being retained (hired). Also true: you can count on us to help you find qualified attorneys. We want you to be successful in retaining a competent attorney who not only "resonates with you" but also knows your legal situation inside and out.
No matter your marital situation, we can help. If you're ready to begin the search for a compatible, well trained, experienced divorce attorney, you can start with our free case evaluation. If you need more information, please browse our site, using the tabs at the top of the page.