2024 Indiana Alimony Guide | New Albany Alimony Law Firm & Alimony Attorneys

As dedicated alimony attorneys, we understand the complexities and emotional challenges that come with the dissolution of a marriage. In this guide, we aim to shed light on the intricacies of spousal maintenance (also referred to as alimony) in Indiana, a topic that affects many of our clients in New Albany and the surrounding areas.

If you need assistance pursuing or opposing alimony, we invite you to call our office to schedule a consultation with an experienced alimony lawyer. For over two decades, we have been helping residents with complex divorce, asset division, and spousal support matters. We can listen to the facts of your case, explain your legal options, and tenaciously advocate for the most advantageous outcome possible.

What is the Difference Between Alimony and Spousal Maintenance in Indiana?

In Indiana, the terms “alimony” and “spousal maintenance” are often discussed in the context of financial support following a divorce. While they are often used interchangeably, they represent different concepts due to the evolution of family law in the state.

Historically, “alimony” was the term used across the United States, including Indiana, to refer to financial support paid by one spouse to the other after a divorce. Alimony was traditionally awarded to mitigate the economic disparity between the spouses caused by the end of the marriage, ensuring that the lower-earning or non-earning spouse could maintain a standard of living similar to that enjoyed during the marriage.

However, Indiana law has shifted away from the traditional concept of alimony towards a more specific form of financial support known as “spousal maintenance.” The key differences between traditional alimony and spousal maintenance in Indiana are as follows:

  • Terminology and Concept. While “alimony” is a broader term that historically implied long-term or permanent financial support to a spouse post-divorce, Indiana uses “spousal maintenance” to describe specific instances where financial support can be awarded.
  • Scope and Conditions. Spousal maintenance in Indiana is awarded under more limited circumstances compared to traditional alimony. It is not a given in every divorce case but is considered based on specific conditions such as:
    • The incapacity of a spouse that affects their ability to work.
    • A spouse needing to care for a child with a physical or mental disability, which prevents them from working.
    • A spouse requiring financial assistance for education or training to become self-sufficient and re-enter the workforce, often referred to as “rehabilitative maintenance.”
  • Duration. Spousal maintenance in Indiana is generally awarded for a limited period, especially in the case of rehabilitative maintenance, which is aimed at supporting a spouse until they can gain employment and become self-sufficient. This contrasts with some traditional alimony arrangements that could be permanent or of indeterminate length.
  • Legal Framework. The legal criteria and processes for determining spousal maintenance are outlined in Indiana’s family law statutes. The courts evaluate various factors, including the duration of the marriage, each spouse’s earning capacity, and the contributions of each spouse to the family’s welfare, among others, to decide on maintenance awards.

Indiana’s focus on spousal maintenance reflects a more targeted approach, emphasizing temporary support under specific circumstances rather than indefinite financial dependency. This approach aligns with modern perspectives on divorce and the autonomy of individuals after marriage dissolution.

Who Is Eligible for Alimony in Indiana?

Spousal maintenance is not automatically granted in every divorce case. Instead, it is awarded under specific circumstances defined by the state’s laws. The following are the primary scenarios under which a spouse may be entitled to spousal maintenance in Indiana:

  • Incapacity of Spouse. If one spouse is physically or mentally incapacitated to the point that they cannot support themselves, the court may order the other spouse to provide maintenance. This is to ensure that the incapacitated spouse can meet their basic needs despite their inability to work.
  • Caregiver of a Child. Spousal maintenance may be awarded if one spouse must forgo employment because they are the primary caregiver for a child of the marriage who is physically or mentally incapacitated. This type of maintenance recognizes the full-time care and attention required by the child, which prevents the custodial parent from being employed outside the home.
  • Rehabilitative Maintenance. This is awarded to a spouse who needs financial assistance while obtaining the education, training, or job experience necessary to re-enter the workforce. Rehabilitative maintenance is particularly relevant for spouses who have foregone career opportunities or education during the marriage to care for the family and, as a result, find themselves at an economic disadvantage post-divorce. The goal is to support the spouse through a transitional period until they can become self-sufficient.

The determination of entitlement to spousal maintenance is based on the specific circumstances of each case. Indiana courts consider various factors, including the duration of the marriage, each spouse’s earning capacity, educational background, and contributions to the marriage (including homemaking and child-rearing contributions).

Given the complexities of Indiana alimony laws, individuals considering or undergoing a divorce should consult with an experienced spousal maintenance attorney. We can provide guidance on potential entitlement to spousal maintenance and help navigate the legal process to achieve a fair outcome.

How Long Can Alimony Last in Indiana?

In Indiana, the duration of spousal maintenance can vary based on the type of maintenance awarded and the specific circumstances of each case. Indiana law recognizes different categories of spousal maintenance for which the duration can differ significantly:

  • Rehabilitative Maintenance. This is the most common form of spousal maintenance in Indiana, intended to support a spouse in becoming self-sufficient, usually through education, training, or re-entering the workforce. The duration of rehabilitative maintenance is typically capped at three years from the date of the final divorce decree. However, the exact length is determined by the court based on the time reasonably necessary for the recipient spouse to achieve sufficient education or training to find appropriate employment.
  • Maintenance Due to Incapacity. If one spouse is physically or mentally incapacitated and unable to support themselves, the court may order maintenance for the duration of the incapacity. This type of maintenance can potentially be awarded for a longer term, depending on the nature and expected duration of the incapacity. The court will assess medical evidence and other relevant factors to decide the appropriate length of maintenance.
  • Maintenance for the Care of a Child. If a spouse is awarded maintenance because they are the primary caregiver for a child whose physical or mental incapacity requires the caregiver to forgo employment, the maintenance could last as long as the child’s condition prevents the caregiver from working. Like maintenance due to a spouse’s incapacity, the duration is based on the child’s needs and the caregiver’s ability to become employed outside the home.

The determination of the duration of spousal maintenance is highly discretionary and based on the specifics of each case.

Does Infidelity Affect Spousal Maintenance Decisions in Indiana?

The reasons behind a marriage’s dissolution, such as infidelity, do not typically impact the awarding of spousal maintenance in Indiana. Our role as your New Albany alimony law firm is to focus on the legal criteria for maintenance rather than the marital fault, to secure fair support for our clients.

Why Choose Mattox & Wilson as Your New Albany Alimony Attorney?

At Mattox & Wilson, we pride ourselves on providing clear, compassionate, and effective legal representation to those dealing with the complexities of spousal maintenance. Whether you’re seeking alimony or are facing a claim for maintenance, our team of alimony attorneys is ready to assist.

Our extensive experience with Indiana’s spousal maintenance laws, combined with our commitment to our clients, makes us a preferred choice for individuals in New Albany and beyond. We work diligently to understand your unique situation, offering personalized guidance and robust representation throughout the legal process. If you have questions about spousal maintenance in Indiana or require legal assistance with your divorce, we invite you to schedule a consultation with us today.


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