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Spousal Maintenance

Indiana courts do not award alimony. However, in certain circumstances, the court may award temporary spousal maintenance prior to the entry of a Decree of Dissolution and/or spousal maintenance post Decree of Dissolution.

Determining Spousal Maintenance

In determining temporary spousal maintenance, the court should utilize the Indiana Child Support Guidelines to provide a useful reference point. Temporary spousal maintenance may be awarded by the court not to exceed 35% of the obligor's weekly adjusted income. This maximum award should be reserved for a spouse who has no income or no means of support, taking into consideration their present living arrangement (who pays living expenses—rent/mortgage, utilities, etc.).

In the event that child support is ordered, the court should not award child support and temporary spousal maintenance that would exceed 50 percent of the obligor's weekly adjusted income. The court may order temporary spousal maintenance and/or child support as a dollar amount or "in‑kind" payments or obligations. It is important to keep in mind that the court may or may not credit temporary spousal maintenance payments against a final distribution.

Types of Post-Dissolution Spousal Maintenance

In Indiana, the court may award only three varieties of post-dissolution spousal maintenance: incapacity spousal maintenance, caregiver spousal maintenance, and rehabilitative spousal maintenance. However, the parties may agree to a specific amount of spousal maintenance subject to the court’s approval.

If the court finds that the spouse is physically or mentally incapacitated to the extent that he or she is unable to support himself/herself, it may award incapacity spousal maintenance during the period of incapacity.

If the court find that the spouse lacks sufficient property to provide for his or her needs and is the custodian of a physically or mentally incapacitated child which causes the spouse to forgo employment, the court may award caregiver spousal maintenance.

The court may award rehabilitative spousal maintenance for a period of up to three years while the spouse needing financial assistance obtains employment-related education or training. In awarding rehabilitative spousal maintenance, the court should consider the party’s education level, whether there was an interruption in education, training or employment for homemaking or child care, the party’s earning capacity, and the time and expense of sufficient education and training necessary to acquire adequate employment.

Modifying a Spousal Maintenance Order

To modify and change a spousal maintenance obligation after the entry of a spousal maintenance order, an ex-spouse must show:

  • A change of circumstance so substantial and continuing as to make the terms unreasonable; or
  • A more than 20% difference from the current order and the amount that would be ordered by applying the Indiana Child Support Guidelines exists and at least 12 months has passed before the petition requesting modification was filed with the court.

Contact Hains Law, LLC

Settling the challenging issues which arise in family law matters is always a worthwhile effort, but not always possible. With a decade of experience and an exclusive focus on family law, Carmel family lawyer Joshua R. Hains your best interests at heart. If you have questions about whether you are likely to pay or receive alimony, contact Attorney Hains to schedule a consultation.