The Indiana divorce statute provides for spousal maintenance in limited circumstances, and the duration of spousal support is also limited.
The statutory formula for calculating spousal maintenance is not provided in Indiana, so family law judges must make their own decision on how much to award a spouse.
Often, spousal maintenance is awarded to provide financial support to one spouse while he or she tries to obtain gainful employment. This type of spousal support is called rehabilitative maintenance.
Rehabilitative spousal maintenance is an alternative to lump-sum alimony that helps a former spouse obtain the job skills and education that are necessary for employment. The court must determine that the recipient needs this type of spousal support, and it is often awarded for a limited period of time.
Indiana courts can order rehabilitative maintenance for up to three years from the date of the final divorce decree. However, the court may decide to award this rehabilitative maintenance for less time if it believes that the recipient spouse is capable of finding and obtaining work within a shorter time frame.
Generally, rehabilitative spousal maintenance is for spouses who have been out of the workforce for some time due to homemaking or childcare responsibilities, and who have a significant need for additional education or training in order to find employment. The court must consider several factors in determining whether rehabilitative maintenance is appropriate, including the educational background of each spouse and the earning capacity of each spouse at the time the rehabilitative support is ordered.
A trial court can modify a maintenance order to reflect changing financial circumstances, but this is not always possible. The judge must have evidence that a significant change has occurred.
In addition, a trial court may also order rehabilitative spousal maintenance to support a spouse who has a disability or incapacity. If the court awards rehabilitative maintenance, it is typically for a short period of time and can be modified later if the conditions of the disability or incapacity change.
Rehabilitative alimony can be based on a specific goal or deadline, such as finishing vocational training or completing a degree program. It can also be based on the spouse’s own need for financial assistance.
As with all forms of spousal support, rehabilitative alimony may be awarded in a lump sum or on a monthly basis. It may be awarded indefinitely or for a specified period of time.
The state of Indiana disfavors requiring spousal maintenance to be paid without a specified end date. This is because it makes it difficult for a former spouse to show that he or she is no longer capable of meeting the spousal support payment obligations. The requesting spouse must present evidence that he or she has experienced a significant and continuing change of circumstances to convince the court that the spousal maintenance payments are unreasonable.
Physical or mental incapacity
In Indiana, the law allows a court to award spousal maintenance (also called alimony) when a divorced spouse is physically or mentally incapacitated and needs financial support. This can be a useful way to ensure that the financially weaker spouse receives some support, even if they cannot earn as much as their former partner.
To qualify for spousal maintenance, an individual must show that they are physically or mentally incapacity to work, and it must be materially impacting their ability to earn a living. The judge must also consider the financial circumstances of each spouse and decide how much they deserve to be paid.
For example, if a person has an intellectual disability that will prevent them from working in their field of expertise, the court may order them to take courses that teach them a trade or skill set that will enable them to find employment. Then, the court can award rehabilitative spousal maintenance to help with expenses while the individual is getting back on their feet.
The same is true of a person who is unable to care for an incapacitated child or children. If the spouse who is requesting spousal maintenance can prove that their child requires them to provide caregiver services, they can receive financial assistance.
Another way that a person can be considered incapacitated is through the use of an advance directive, such as an Appointment of Health-Care Representative or Power of Attorney. This is usually done by a physician who determines that an individual is unable to make medical decisions on their own behalf.
Finally, a person can be involuntarily committed to a mental institution by a court. This can be an effective way to get a person treated for a mental illness and receive treatment, including medication.
However, the criteria for involuntary commitment are quite strict. It is necessary to show that the individual is incompetent and dangerous, which means that they are not able to make decisions on their own behalf or communicate their desires to others.
If you are in need of legal representation to handle spousal maintenance or other family law matter in Indiana, contact an experienced Indianapolis divorce lawyer at the Law Offices of Richard E. Miller for a free consultation.
Many people are surprised to learn that Indiana does not recognize alimony, or what we commonly think of as support payments in divorce proceedings. Instead, Indiana has a separate spousal maintenance statute that provides for limited support payments for spouses who are in need of financial assistance during or after a divorce.
The state recognizes three types of spousal maintenance under Indiana Code 31-15: disability support, caregiver support, and rehabilitative support. This type of support is only ordered if the spouse is physically or mentally incapacitated, has to care for a dependent child who is physically or mentally incapacitated, or requires education or training to obtain appropriate employment.
In these situations, the court may order maintenance payments during the period of incapacity, or as long as the person needs it. The amount of maintenance is based on several factors, including the disabled person’s ability to earn income and the other spouse’s financial resources.
Another form of spousal maintenance is rehabilitative support, which is awarded when one spouse has made career sacrifices for the benefit of the family during the marriage. This kind of support is ordered when it’s believed that the spouse can become self-supporting once they receive adequate education or training to get a job.
Rehabilitative maintenance is typically awarded for up to three years. This is because it can take time for the spouse to gain employment and find their feet in the workforce.
The requesting spouse must show that they have suffered significant economic loss, or an inability to acquire the necessary training and education to become employed in the future. The court will also look at their previous work experience and skills, and the requesting spouse’s ability to pay.
This is why it’s important to consult with a skilled spousal maintenance attorney to ensure that you have the best chance of receiving rehabilitative support and the most equitable outcome in your case.
In addition to rehabilitative support, the Indiana courts can also award temporary spousal maintenance during the course of a divorce. This is often necessary when one spouse cannot earn enough money to meet their needs without support.
A parent’s custody of a child is very important to that child. Custody decisions are typically made by the court on the basis of what is in the child’s best interests. The court will take a wide range of factors into consideration when making this decision, including the parents’ relationship with the child, their capacity to provide a safe and healthy environment for the child, and other relevant issues.
If a couple divorces, there may be disagreement over child custody and visitation arrangements. These arrangements are often determined by a court, though some couples are able to work out their own arrangements through an agreement.
Indiana’s child custody laws recognize joint legal and physical custody and also allow grandparents to pursue visitation rights with their grandchildren. If you have questions about child custody in Indiana, contact an attorney near you to discuss your options.
The majority of parents share joint legal custody of their children. However, there are some cases in which a judge will order one parent to receive sole legal and physical custody of the children. These situations may occur when one parent has been abusive to the other or neglected the children.
In such circumstances, it is generally better for the custodial parent to be given physical custody. This will ensure that the child is provided for and well cared for and that he or she will have access to both parents.
It is important to note that child support payments are based on the amount of parenting time exercised by both parents. This means that a parent who is exercising more parenting time than the other is entitled to a reduction in child support.
Regardless of the child’s age, an experienced child custody lawyer can help you negotiate a parenting time schedule that is both fair and reasonable to the other parent. In most cases, courts will require parents to follow the state’s parenting time guidelines, which outline how much time should be shared between the children and each parent.
In addition to sharing parenting time with the children, parents must provide information to the other parent about their finances and employment status. This can help the other parent understand their obligations and reduce the likelihood of a dispute over parenting time.