Call to Schedule an Appointment

Alimony and Spousal Support Laws in Indiana

Alimony is traditionally a payment made from one spouse to another to support them during and after a divorce. Alimony laws were originally written during a time when women lacked property rights. Alimony was used as a means of leveling the playing field and allowing a woman to support herself after the divorce. In the 1970s, U.S. divorce laws began to change. Today, the majority of states no longer use the term “alimony” and have shifted to the term “spousal support” or “spousal maintenance.” In Indiana, we use the term “spousal maintenance.” In comparison with other states, Indiana’s spousal maintenance laws are quite limited. Spousal maintenance is only awarded in limited circumstances and for a limited period of time. If you are a spouse who is fighting to receive spousal maintenance, you will need the aid of a qualified Indiana divorce attorney. 

Spousal Maintenance in Indiana

Traditionally, Indiana had alimony laws that took into account factors like the length of the marriage, the respective age of each of the spouses, and their education levels. There were no time limits on the duration of alimony payments, and courts would grant alimony orders frequently. Today, Indiana courts only grant a spouse alimony in a limited number of circumstances. Indiana will only grant a spousal maintenance order in one of three scenarios. These include:

  • When the spouse is incapacitated – A spouse requesting spousal maintenance must prove that they are either physically or mentally incapacitated. This can be proven with medical documents, expert testimony, or if they have been declared disabled by the Social Security Administration. Indiana courts will consider the nature of the incapacitation as well as the duration. They may also consider the amount of care that the spouse requires.
  • When the spouse is caring for an incapacitated child – In cases where a spouse is the primary caregiver of a child who requires significant care, the court may find that the spouse is entitled to receive spousal maintenance payments from the other spouse to care for the child. The care of the child must require the spouse to forgo employment. In other words, care for the child prevents the spouse from getting a job.
  • When the spouse requires support to acquire education, vocational training, or a job – This is known as rehabilitative maintenance. It exists to help a spouse obtain education or training to secure a career that helps them become financially independent. The spouse requesting rehabilitative maintenance must prove that instead of obtaining an education or pursuing a career, the provided homemaking or childcare services to the marriage on behalf of both parties. Indiana courts will consider the educational backgrounds of the spouse requesting rehabilitative maintenance as well as their earning capacity, work history, and more. Lastly, the courts will consider the time and cost required for the educational training and the time needed to find suitable employment.

Talk to an Indiana Divorce Attorney Today

Chris Arrington helps Indiana couples pursue requests for spousal maintenance. Call our office today to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can help. 

« Back to Arrington Law Help Center