What is a Wife Entitled to in a Divorce in Indiana?

divorcing couple sitting in lawyers officeAt Mattox & Wilson, we understand that navigating a divorce can be a daunting process, especially when it comes to understanding what you are entitled to. As experienced Indiana divorce attorneys, we aim to provide clarity and support through this challenging time.

If you are contemplating or facing a divorce, we invite you to read through the following article to learn more about asset division in Indiana and to call our office to schedule  a consultation. We can discuss the specifics of your divorce, explain your legal options, and tenaciously fight for the best possible outcome.

Property Division

How is Property Divided During an Indiana Divorce?

Indiana follows the principle of equitable distribution, meaning that all marital property is divided fairly, though not necessarily equally. This approach includes both assets and debts acquired during the marriage, as well as assets owned individually before the marriage. Unlike many other states, Indiana does not differentiate between marital and separate property, meaning all assets and liabilities are subject to division.

Key Points in Property Division:

  • Assets Acquired During the Marriage: Homes, cars, bank accounts, and other property obtained while married.
  • Debts Incurred During the Marriage: Credit card debts, loans, and mortgages shared by both parties.
  • Personal Property: Jewelry, furniture, and personal items.
  • Pre-Marriage Assets: Assets owned by each spouse before the marriage are also considered in the division process.
  • Retirement Accounts and Pensions: These are typically subject to division, often requiring a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).

Factors Considered in Property Division:

  • Contribution to the Marriage: Both financial and non-financial contributions, such as homemaking and child-rearing.
  • Economic Circumstances: Each spouse’s economic situation during the divorce.
  • Future Needs: Consideration of each spouse’s future financial needs and earning potential.
  • Length of the Marriage: The duration of the marriage can impact the division of assets.
  • Custodial Arrangements: If one spouse will be the primary caregiver for children, this can influence the division of property.

Indiana follows the principle of equitable distribution, meaning that all marital property is divided fairly, though not necessarily equally.

Spousal Maintenance

My Spouse Was the Primary Breadwinner. Are Stay-At-Home Moms Entitled to Spousal Support in Indiana?

divorcing stay at home momYes, stay-at-home moms may be entitled to spousal maintenance in Indiana. Indiana does not provide traditional alimony but offers spousal maintenance in certain circumstances:

  • Incapacity: If a spouse is physically or mentally incapacitated.
  • Caretaker for a Disabled Child: If one spouse is the primary caregiver for a child with disabilities.
  • Rehabilitative Needs: Temporary support to help a spouse gain education or training for employment.

The purpose of spousal maintenance is to ensure that the non-working or lower-earning spouse can become self-sufficient. The court considers factors such as the length of the marriage, the standard of living during the marriage, and each spouse’s financial situation.

For How Long is Spousal Maintenance Typically Awarded in Indiana?

In Indiana, spousal maintenance for rehabilitative purposes is typically awarded for up to three years from the date of the final decree. This support is intended to help the recipient spouse gain the necessary education or training to become self-sufficient. However, maintenance may be awarded for a longer duration in cases involving physical or mental incapacity or if the recipient spouse is the primary caregiver for a child with disabilities.

Are Mothers Entitled To Keep The Family Home?

In Indiana, whether a mother is entitled to keep the family home depends on various factors and is not automatically granted based on her role as a mother. The court considers the child’s best interests, the financial situations of both parents, and the overall division of marital property. The decision aims to ensure stability for the child and a fair distribution of assets between the divorcing spouses. Each case is unique, and the outcome will depend on its specific circumstances.

Child Custody and Support

mom and child playingHow is Child Custody Determined in Indiana?

Child custody in Indiana is determined based on the best interests of the child. The court considers several key factors to ensure the child’s well-being and stability. These factors include:

  • Age and Sex of the Child: The child’s developmental needs and how each parent can meet those needs.
  • Child’s Wishes: The preferences of the child, particularly if the child is 14 years or older, though the court considers the maturity and reasoning behind the child’s wishes.
  • Parent-Child Relationships: The strength and nature of the child’s relationship with each parent, as well as with siblings and other significant family members.
  • Parents’ Mental and Physical Health: Each parent’s mental and physical health and how it affects their ability to care for the child.
  • History of Domestic Violence: Any history of domestic or family violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed at or witnessed by the child.
  • Child’s Adjustment: The child’s adjustment to their home, school, and community, and how a change in custody might impact their stability and continuity.
  • Care and Nurturing Provided by Parents: Each parent’s ability to provide a loving, stable, and nurturing environment.

The court’s primary focus is on creating a custody arrangement that supports the best possible outcomes for the child’s physical, emotional, and psychological development.

Are Indiana Mothers Typically Awarded Primary Custody of Children?

In Indiana, mothers are not automatically awarded primary custody. Child custody decisions are made based on the best interests of the child, considering various factors such as the child’s relationship with each parent, each parent’s ability to provide a stable environment, and the child’s needs and preferences. The court does not favor one parent over the other based on gender. Instead, it focuses on ensuring the most suitable and supportive arrangement for the child’s well-being and development.

Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce For Women in Indiana

Am I Entitled to Part of My Spouse’s Retirement Plan?

Retirement plans and pensions accumulated during the marriage are typically considered marital property and can be divided between spouses. This may require a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). As experienced divorce attorneys for wives, we can review the particular facts of your case, explain your legal options, and tenaciously fight for the best asset division outcome possible.

Will I Lose My Health Insurance Coverage If I Get Divorced in Indiana?

If you get divorced in Indiana, you might lose health insurance coverage that you had through your spouse’s employer. Typically, employer-sponsored health insurance plans do not cover ex-spouses after a divorce. However, you may be eligible for COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) benefits, which allow you to temporarily continue the same health insurance coverage for a limited period, usually up to 36 months. COBRA can be more expensive since you would pay the full premium.

Legal Support for Both Men and Women – Schedule A Consultation With An Experienced Indiana Divorce Attorney For Wives

At Mattox & Wilson, we represent both men and women in divorce proceedings, ensuring that our clients receive fair treatment and that their rights are protected. We understand that each case is unique and requires a personalized approach to achieve the best outcome.

Divorce can be a complex and emotional process. Understanding your entitlements and having experienced legal representation can make a significant difference. At Mattox & Wilson, we are committed to providing the guidance and support needed to navigate your divorce successfully. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can assist you.

Pay Bill Pay Retainer