Compared to many other states, Indiana’s laws do not allow for spousal support except in some limited circumstances. Technically, Indiana does recognize “alimony” awards.
For example, Marion County’s family courts order what is called rehabilitative maintenance. This may well be the most common type of spousal support in Indiana.
Under Indiana law, a spouse can receive rehabilitative maintenance for up to 3 years after a divorce or a legal separation.
The spouse wanting rehabilitative maintenance will have to prove their case before getting it.
Judges have a lot of leeway in deciding how much maintenance they will award and for how long within the 3-year cap the aware will continue. The judges will consider a number of factors when doing this:
- The education and earning ability of each spouse.
- Whether one of the spouses put aside advancing their education or career for the sake of the marriage or the raising of children.
- How much supplemental income a spouse needs to get adequate training or education for a job that will support them.
There are also some other, rarer cases where a spouse might receive spousal maintenance for a longer time. These usually involve situations where the spouse is not medically able to work or must choose between working and caring for a minor child with special needs.
Is it worth it to ask for spousal support in Indiana?
Whether a resident of the Indianapolis area will receive spousal maintenance depends on a number of circumstances. Someone who has detailed questions about the topic or wants to know their options should speak to an experienced family law attorney.
To repeat, Indiana only allows something like alimony in limited circumstances. The experience in our courts may be very different from those of friends or relatives in other states.
However, it usually does not hurt to ask for spousal maintenance.
Many spouses in the area have sacrificed their own careers for their families, and now they need the financial support to catch up. Furthermore, even if a spouse winds up not receiving maintenance, it can be an important bargaining chip when negotiating a divorce settlement.