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Alimony in Indiana

When couples in Indianapolis divorce, concerns may immediately arise over how each side will be able to support him or herself. Most may assume that in these situations, alimony may be awarded. In certain cases, they would be right; after all, census information shared by Forbes shows that as recently as 2014, 400,000 Americans receive some form of spousal support. Alimony laws in Indiana, however, are somewhat unique.

First off, the state does not recognize “alimony” as an actual legal term. Instead, it refers to payments made to support an ex-spouse as spousal maintenance. According to the Code of Indiana, there are three scenarios in which the awarding of spousal maintenance may be appropriate. One is in cases where the court deems it to be appropriate after considering the following factors:

  •          The education level of each spouse.
  •          Whether one interrupted his or her schooling or professional training to assume parental or homemaking responsibilities.
  •          What the earning capacity of both spouses may be considering the skills, experience and education of each, as well as how long one may have been out of the job market.
  •          The time it may take the spouse seeking maintenance to acquire the education and/or skills to secure gainful employment.

In such a scenario, the court may award maintenance to a spouse for a period not to exceed three years.

If one member of a couple is mentally or physically incapacitated and unable to care from him or herself, the court may also grant him or her an award of maintenance. The same is true if a divorcing couple has child in the same physical or mental state, or if one spouse lacks sufficient property (including awarded marital property) to provide for his or her needs.  

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Robert Schembs
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Indianapolis, IN 46204

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