In Indiana, what was historically referred to as alimony is now termed
"spousal maintenance." Parties going through a divorce should be advised that there are two (2)
types of spousal maintenance: (1) temporary spousal maintenance, which
may be ordered to be paid by one party during the pendency of the divorce;
and (2) spousal maintenance after entry of the final Decree of Dissolution
by the court.
Temporary maintenance can be ordered by a court at the preliminary hearing
or agreed upon by the parties. The purpose of this order is to allow the parties to maintain the "status
quo" in order to meet all financial obligations during the pendency
of the divorce. When determining whether an award of temporary maintenance
is appropriate, courts may consider which party will be living in the
marital home with the children during the pendency of the divorce and
any discrepancy in the parties' earnings or income in relation to
the existing marital obligations. When appropriate, the court may order
one party to pay the other's obligations, such as the monthly mortgage,
utilities on the marital residence, car payment, or minimum monthly payments
on credit cards.
Post-dissolution spousal maintenance may be ordered to be paid after the
court's entry of the Decree of Dissolution in three (3) circumstances (absent an agreement to the contrary.); (1)
if a party is incapacitated due to a physical or mental disability such
that they cannot work and support themselves; (2) if a child of the marriage
is disabled and the party taking on primary care and custody of that child
will not be able to work to support himself/ herself, and the child due
to the caretaking responsibilities which are required; and (3) if "rehabilitative
maintenance" is deemed appropriate when one spouse is required to
further his/her education or training prior to a re-entry into the workforce
due to the fact that their education, training or employment was interrupted
for homemaking or child rearing reasons. Under Indiana law, rehabilitative
maintenance may only be ordered to be paid for up to a period three (3) years.
If you would like to request an award of spousal maintenance, it would
be beneficial to speak with attorney who has had experience in such matters given the fact that a spousal maintenance
award is extremely fact-sensitive. A maintenance request should be made
only when appropriate so as to avoid unnecessary delay in resolving your
case, as it could lead to potential conflicts which otherwise can distract
the parties from reaching a reasonable settlement.
Hollingsworth & Zivitz, P.C., our team has the experience, the understanding, and the compassion to
assist with your family law needs. If you have questions or concerns regarding
divorce, custody, support, maintenance or any other family law concerns,
please contact our firm at
317.DIVORCE or visit our website at www.hzlegal.com.