Alimony, also called spousal support, is an award of money paid by one ex-spouse to the other. While child support is pretty much always guaranteed, spousal support is determined on a case-by-case basis and can be affected by the existence of a prenuptial agreement.
Indiana, like other states, outlines a variety of factors to determine whether alimony is appropriate in a particular situation. Under Indiana law, alimony is called "spousal maintenance" and can be awarded when a decree for divorce or legal separation is entered.
Indiana Alimony Laws and Spousal Support at a Glance
It's important to conduct research when you have a legal question, and this research should include reading the actual statute. But it's helpful to read an overview of the laws in plain English as well. In the following table, you can find an overview of alimony laws and spousal support in Indiana.
Indiana Code, Title 31, Article 15, Chapter 7:
|Specific Circumstances That May Warrant Spousal Support
The court may award alimony if it finds:
- A spouse is mentally or physically incapacitated to the extent that they're unable to support themselves; or
- A spouse lacks sufficient property to provide for their own needs and that spouse is also the custodian of a child whose mental or physical incapacity doesn't allow the parent to work.
|Considerations for Awarding Rehabilitative Maintenance
A court may order rehabilitative maintenance for up to 3 years from the final decree after considering:
- The educational level of each spouse at both the time of marriage and when the divorce/legal separation was filed;
- If an interruption in education, training, or employment of the spouse seeking support occurred because of child care and/or homemaking responsibilities;
- The earning capacity of each spouse (i.e. education, training, skills, work experience) and length of absence from or presence in the job market; and
- The time and expense required to receive sufficient education/training for the spouse seeking alimony to find appropriate employment.
|Modifying or Terminating Alimony
An order for spousal maintenance can be modified or terminated upon a showing that the terms of the support are unreasonable because of substantial and continuing change of circumstances.
||Indiana Code, Title 31, Article 15, Section 31-15-1-1, et seq. (Dissolution of Marriage and Legal Separation)
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Indiana Alimony Laws and Spousal Support: Related Resources
For additional information and resources related to this topic, you can visit the links listed below.
Get a Better Understanding of Indiana Alimony Laws: Talk to a Lawyer
As you can see, determining if alimony will be part of a divorce decree is very fact-specific. If you have questions about spousal support, it's best to speak with a local divorce attorney who can explain how Indiana alimony laws apply to your unique situation.