Getting a divorce can put you in a financial tailspin. You now only have your own income to rely on post-divorce, rather than the combined income you shared with your spouse. It is enough to keep you up at night, wondering how you are going to get by financially on your own.
Spousal maintenance can help you financially
These financial concerns can be alleviated if you are awarded spousal maintenance. Spousal maintenance can occur in many different ways. One option is periodic payments made by one spouse to the other after a divorce.
Spousal maintenance is meant to help the financial situation of the lower income spouse as much as possible post-divorce. Courts aim to ensure it will help the receiving spouse without overburdening the paying spouse. Still, not everyone is entitled to spousal maintenance.
Indiana law states that you could be eligible for spousal maintenance if you meet certain qualifications. One is if you are incapacitated either mentally or physically and cannot work to meet your financial needs. The second is if you cannot work because you have custody of a disabled child that you must care for.
Rehabilitative spousal maintenance
As you can see, the above two circumstances in which you could qualify for spousal maintenance are limited. Do not give up. You may still qualify for up to three years of rehabilitative spousal maintenance. This is determined on a case-by-case basis.
The court will look at several factors when deciding whether to award rehabilitative spousal maintenance.
First, each spouse’s level of education and earning capacity will be considered both while married and when they filed for divorce. If there is a gap in a spouse’s work history or education because they were home caring for the family while married this will also be considered. How long it will take a stay-at-home spouse to get the education and experience needed to find an appropriate job will also be considered.
Spousal maintenance may seem like a burden to the spouse who has to pay it, but it is meant for a good purpose. Neither spouse should be at a major financial disadvantage just because their marriage did not work out. Just as they both relied on each other’s income and efforts while married, so should they be entitled to financial assistance once divorced to move forward in life.