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Indiana Alimony

Alimony is called spousal maintenance in Indiana. Alimony influences the distribution of property, and it can become intricately involved in a divorce settlement. When spouses are unable to reach an agreement on this issue, the Superior Court can order support on a case-by-case basis.

Either party may be awarded alimony or spousal support if he or she is physically or mentally incapacitated to the extent that they are unable to support themselves, or lacks sufficient property to provide support for his or herself and any incapacitated child and must forgo employment to care for the physically or mentally incapacitated child.

Under Indiana Code, section 31-15-7-3, a maintenance order can be modified. Either spouse can petition the court for modification as long as no petition has been filed in the past 12 months. A court modifies the maintenance order if the filing spouse establishes that there has been a change in circumstances, such that the current payments are either insufficient or excessive.

Types of Alimony

In Indiana courts may order permanent or rehabilitative maintenance. Permanent Maintenance is awarded when a spouse is unable to work because of a mental or physical incapacity and does not have sufficient assets to be self-supporting. The other spouse can be ordered to make monthly maintenance payments until the receiving spouse remarries or either spouse dies. Permanent maintenance will also be awarded if the requesting spouse cannot work because he or she is caring for an incapacitated child. Rehabilitative Maintenance, on the other hand, may only be ordered for up to three years.

Factors Considered by the Court

According to the Indiana Code - Title 31 - Article 15 - Chapters: 7, Rehabilitative maintenance may be granted to a spouse for up to 3 years, based on the following factors:

  • the time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education and training to enable the spouse to find appropriate employment;
  • the educational level of each spouse at the time of the marriage and at the time the action is commenced;
  • whether an interruption in the education, training, or employment of a spouse who is seeking maintenance occurred during the marriage as a result of homemaking or child care responsibilities, or both;
  • the earning capacity of each spouse, including educational background, training, employment skills, work experience, and length of presence or absence from the job market.

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