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When is Alimony Awarded in an Indiana Divorce?

Indiana courts rarely award alimony during a divorce. There are only a few circumstances under which the court is allowed to force one spouse to pay to support the other. Generally speaking, the spouse requesting alimony must prove that they are incapacitated and cannot work to obtain spousal support from the other spouse. Additionally, a spouse may argue that they require support so that they can receive training or schooling to gainfully support themselves. Only in these two instances do the Indiana courts permit a judge to award alimony to a spouse. In this article, the Indiana family law attorney, Chris Arrington, will discuss Indiana’s approach to alimony and what you must prove to receive spousal maintenance payments. 

Temporary Spousal Maintenance

Temporary spousal maintenance is awarded to one spouse on a specific timeline. In other words, the duration of the alimony ends at some date in the future. A trial court may award temporary spousal maintenance while dissolution of marriage proceedings are pending. Specifically, this includes the time when the divorce was initially filed until the final order of the dissolution of marriage. A legal separation order has a limit of one year. Therefore, any maintenance award would terminate when the legal separation expires. 

Generally speaking, an award of temporary spousal maintenance is left to the discretion of the trial court. The goal of such orders is to maintain the status quo of both parties and prevent one party from becoming destitute.

Temporary maintenance can never exceed 35% of the paying party’s weekly adjusted income. In addition, child support and spousal maintenance cannot combine to exceed 50% of the paying party’s weekly adjusted income. 

Spousal Incapacity and Spousal Maintenance Payments in Indiana

An Indiana court can award one spouse spousal maintenance if that spouse can prove that they are physically or mentally incapacitated. A spouse requesting spousal alimony based on incapacity must establish that the incapacitation impacts the spouse’s ability to support themselves. The court will have to ask the question: Can the spouse support themselves? The decision ultimately is left up to the discretion of the court. The court will also consider whether the other spouse has the ability to pay for the maintenance. This award is subject to future modification or termination. 

Caregiver Spousal Maintenance

Indiana courts can consider whether a spouse is the caregiver of an incapacitated child. The caregiver must have insufficient financial means to support themselves and the child at the same time. They must also establish that they cannot retain gainful employment because they care for the child.

Rehabilitative Spousal Maintenance

The most common form of alimony the Indiana courts are willing to authorize is rehabilitative alimony. This type of alimony can be awarded for a maximum of three years. Indiana courts will award rehabilitative alimony to a spouse who needs additional training or education to enter the workforce. In so doing, they will consider several factors. This includes the education level of the spouse, whether there has been an interruption in their education due to the marriage, the earning capacity of each spouse, and the time and expense required to attain sufficient education.

Contact a Danville, IN Family Law Attorney Today

Chris Arrington can help a divorcing spouse recover spousal maintenance during and after their divorce proceedings. Call our office today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin discussing your next steps right away

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