Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Alimony FAQ

No, Indiana does not have alimony. Yes, Indiana has maintenance.

What is the difference?

As I understand alimony, it is support paid to the former spouse usually until such time as the former spouse remarries. Here is the definition on's legal dictionary.

How does a person get maintenance?

First, there is temporary maintenance - which lasts till the end of the divorce - and post-dissolution maintenance.

IC 31-15-7-2 defines post-dissolution maintenance for the Indiana courts. Indiana law provides for maintenance in three circumstances:

  1. The spouse has a physical or mental incapacity materially affecting the ability of the incapacitated spouse to support himself or herself.
  2. The spouse is given custody of a child with such a physical or mental incapacity that the spouse cannot work and the spouse lacks sufficient property to support herself.
  3. Rehabilitative maintenance is for a spouse who gave up educational opportunity for homemaking or child care and wants to go back to school.
How long does maintenance last?
  1. Where the spouse has a physical or mental incapacity, till that incapacity ends.
  2. Where the child has the incapacity, "for a period of time that the court considers appropriate."
  3. For rehabilitative maintenance, for as long as appropriate but "not to exceed three (3) years from the date of the final decree."
  4. One can also modify an Order for post-dissolution maintenance

Can I modify maintenance after the divorce?

Yes, IC 31-15-7-3 sets out the law but the summary is as follows:
  1. Circumstances have changed so substantially and continuously as to make the original order unreasonable.
  2. There is also a child support order that has not been modified in the past 12 months and now differs by 20% from the amount in the child support guidelines.
Can my spouse and I agree to alimony?

Yes. The court cannot order it which means the State of Indiana cannot impose alimony but the parties can agree to alimony.

What if I agree to pay alimony?

Alimony was once part of the property division. Under the law of property division, there is no modification of alimony. If your spouse wants you to pay alimony, get the advice of a lawyer before signing any agreement.

No comments: