Indianapolis Spousal Support Attorney
While alimony and spousal support are common in other states, the state of Indiana does not expressly recognize alimony in its laws. However, because there are often times inequities inherent in the distribution of property during a divorce proceeding, Section 31-15-7 of the Indiana Code permits spousal maintenance to be awarded to spouses in certain circumstances. Our Indianapolis spousal support attorneys at Eskew Law, LLC know that spousal maintenance is not akin to alimony. It is designed to briefly aid divorced spouses and not to provide a permanent or long-term solution to financial issues.
If you believe that you are eligible for maintenance, a skilled Indianapolis divorce lawyer can help you evaluate your eligibility, petition for spousal maintenance, and provide evidence of the necessity of support. At Eskew Law, LLC, our family law attorneys have experience with and training in a variety of family law issues, such as divorce, custody, visitation, support, and more. For assistance with your spousal maintenance matter, call Eskew Law, LLC at (317) 974-0177 for a consultation.
What Is Spousal Maintenance?
Spousal maintenance is designed to financially assist spouses who are in dire need of aid because they no longer have access to the services or funds for services that were present during the marriage. This type of maintenance is not alimony. Alimony is support paid directly to a former spouse to assist that individual with maintaining the lifestyle they enjoyed during the marriage, allow them to afford school or medical care, and more. Alimony can be paid in a lump sum or periodically.
Spousal maintenance, on the other hand, is a short-term and temporary solution. It is not meant to compensate a former spouse for a loss of quality of life. Rather, it is provided to assist the permanent spouse with various necessities. For more information regarding the differences, you may wish to speak with an accomplished Indianapolis spousal support attorney.
There are two main grounds for permanent spousal maintenance in Indiana. This is subject to modification should the incapacitation cease or change.
- Former spouse’s incapacitation: The spouse is either mentally or physically disabled and incapable of taking care of themselves. Maintenance can aid the spouse in paying for much-needed services, such as a home aide.
- Child’s incapacitation: The child is so mentally or physically disabled that the former spouse cannot work because they need to stay home to care for the child. Maintenance can help pay for living expenses that would otherwise be unmanageable without a job.
Rehabilitative Spousal Maintenance and Temporary Spousal Maintenance
There is also Rehabilitative Spousal Maintenance and Temporary Spousal Maintenance which is capped at 36 months from the final order of the court, though it is regularly less. Some common situations where Rehabilitative Spousal Maintenance:
- Education/Training: The former spouse is currently in an educational or training program and not employed. In order to support themselves without the aid of marital income, they must leave their school program. To avoid this, maintenance can cover living expenses while they are in school.
- Temporary: This is often used as a stop gap during a provisional period prior to a final hearing. The court can order anything from maintaining health insurance to gas for a car or grocery money.
- Combination: In many cases the court will reduce a Rehabilitative Maintenance Order based on the duration of a temporary maintenance order.
If the value of the marital property can help cover the former spouse’s financial needs, maintenance is not necessary. That said, there are advantages to maintenance that can make a maintenance order more attractive to higher earning spouses than a less favorable property division. And, parties are not prevented from agreeing to more than the 36-month maximum a court may order. When a party requests spousal maintenance, the court considers a variety of factors in determining whether it is appropriate, such as the length of the marriage, the educational backgrounds, income and earning potential, children, cost of medical expenses, and more. Maintenance can be modified or terminated upon motion to the court.
Only under those three circumstances can spousal maintenance be court-ordered. However, a couple can always agree on their own to spousal support, including amounts, terms, and conditions.
Compassionate Indianapolis Divorce Attorney Eager to Assist You with Spousal Maintenance
If you are separated or are beginning the divorce process, you may encounter a spousal maintenance issue. The law is very convoluted regarding when spousal maintenance is required and how to prove eligibility. A passionate Indianapolis spousal support attorney at Eskew Law, LLC can evaluate your case and instruct you on how to proceed. We take this privilege and responsibility seriously for all of our clients throughout Indianapolis and Central Indiana. To schedule a consultation, call Eskew Law, LLC at (317) 974-0177 now or contact us online.