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When do Indiana courts award spousal maintenance?

On Behalf of | Apr 14, 2023 | Family Law

Indiana dissolution laws do not award spousal maintenance solely based on income inequality between two divorcees.

Understanding when a spouse may qualify for alimony might help a couple agree on financial support during the divorce.

Temporary spousal maintenance

Indiana courts can consider awarding rehabilitative spousal maintenance for no more than three years. In these circumstances, a judge reviews four details:

  • past employment experience of each person
  • the education level of each spouse
  • if either spouse stopped working to care for the home or family
  • the amount of time the requesting spouse might need to gain training or work experience to support themselves

Temporary spousal maintenance helps individuals with lower income until they can get enough training or experience to gain a higher paying job and take care of themselves.

Permanent financial support

Not every person is in a position to work full time to become financially independent. There are two scenarios where Indiana courts might award permanent spousal maintenance. These situations allow the courts to award spousal support without any time restrictions.

The dependant spouse is permanently incapacitated

Occasionally, one spouse is not capable of earning an income, either from a physical or mental disability. In that case, the other spouse who provided for them during the marriage might have to continue providing financial support after the divorce.

One spouse cares for a disabled child

Another scenario is if one spouse remains out of the workforce to care for a permanently incapacitated child and he or she does not have enough assets from the division of marital property to pay for daily living expenses.

It is necessary for divorcing couples to understand spousal maintenance laws so each person can prepare to support themselves, and possibly their ex, after the dissolution.