In Indiana, there is no statute or provision for “alimony”. Whereas in other states, a spouse may receive alimony payments after a divorce or legal separation as a type of allowance for support or to maintain a lifestyle, Indiana does not recognize this. However, there are some limited circumstances where a former spouse may be awarded money due to certain conditions/circumstances. In Indiana, this is called spousal maintenance1.
Spousal maintenance can be awarded as a preliminary matter, while the divorce is pending. This often occurs when one party is not working, or is living in the marital residence with all of the bills and responsibilities without the continued income flow of the other party. If spousal maintenance is preliminary only, it will not continue after the divorce is finalized.
Rehabilitative maintenance is another type of temporary maintenance. Rehabilitative maintenance can be paid for up to a period of three (3) years, and is designed to give the party receiving same the ability to acquire sufficient education or training to obtain employment. For example, if a parent has been a stay-at-home parent, and is seeking a degree for employment purposes, he/she may request spousal maintenance while in school for a period of up to three (3) years.
A potentially longer-term type of spousal maintenance may be awarded when a parent is a custodian and caretaker for a child with a mental or physical disability, making the parent unable to work. Spousal maintenance can be awarded during this period of care to support the parent.
Finally, spousal maintenance can be awarded to an ex-spouse with a physical or mental disability that impacts his/her ability to support himself/herself (i.e. work or work full time). Some incapacity can be temporary and the incapacity cured or reversed over time. Some is permanent, and requires the person receive ongoing support.
If you believe maintenance may be an issue in your case, in that you either seek it or the other party is requesting it, it may be of assistance to speak with an attorney about your options, and how best to address the issue of spousal maintenance in your case. We hope that this blog post has been helpful in exploring the types of spousal maintenance. This is not intended as legal advice. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. practices throughout the state of Indiana. This blog post was written by attorney, Jessica Keyes.
- See Ind. Code 31-15-7-2.