Indiana divorce cases can be complicated for many reasons. Finances are a primary concern. This is true whether it is a divorce of modest means or a high-asset divorce. Regardless of the financial circumstances, people need to know how the court will make its decisions and if negotiation might be a preferable solution.
Spousal maintenance often comes up as a topic for dispute with the main breadwinner and the lesser-earning spouse at odds over how much should be paid or if it will be paid at all. One fundamental factor is the education level of each spouse. From the beginning, it is useful to understand how this is assessed and to have assistance to achieve a reasonable outcome.
Key points about education level and spousal maintenance
Since education can have a significant impact on earning potential, the court will look at the education level of each side at the time they were married and at the time the divorce action commenced. If one person was attending law school, business school or another institute of higher learning and that led to them earning a high salary while the other person provided personal and financial support, this is vital to a case.
The person who is asking for maintenance might have interrupted their education and training to take care of a household and to assist the person who eventually becomes the high-earning spouse. This too must be weighed when deciding on spousal maintenance.
Earning capacity may hinge on education, training, skills, work experience and how long a person was out of the job market. The person seeking spousal maintenance may need time to get training and education to find a job that will pay sufficiently to self-support and maintain the marital lifestyle. Indiana limits the duration of spousal maintenance in cases where it is rehabilitative. In such cases, it will be capped at three years from the time of the divorce decree.
For spousal maintenance disputes, it is wise to have qualified representation
During a marriage, people may take certain steps to help each other try to achieve a desired educational and professional objective. Should the relationship reach its breaking point and the sides decide to divorce, this can be the catalyst for disagreement for a fair spousal maintenance award.
Whether it is viewed from the perspective of the higher-earning person or the person who earned less and needs the maintenance payments, having professional representation from the start is imperative.