Spousal support or spousal maintenance is a financial payment that one spouse makes to another after a marriage has ended. A spousal maintenance agreement is usually part of a divorce decree. A court can order that spousal maintenance be paid on a temporary or permanent basis depending on circumstances. Many of the factors that are considered in the decision to order spousal maintenance include: earning potential of each party, if there is insufficient marital property apportioned to the spouse to meet their needs, and the education level of each spouse at the beginning of the marriage as well as the end.
In a dissolution proceeding spousal maintenance may be ordered by the court based on a disparity of income levels between the two parties. This can happen when one spouse leaves the workforce in order to raise children and care for the residence. Depending on the amount of time that a spouse was out of the workforce and the education level they obtained prior to or during the marriage, it may be necessary for them to pursue a higher education in order to become gainfully employed. For this reason, a spouse could be awarded a temporary spousal maintenance award to help them complete their education and find a job.
There are also some reasons why the court may determine that spousal maintenance will be paid on a permanent basis. If a spouse is mentally or physically incapacitated and cannot care for themselves due to a limited ability, the court may order permanent spousal maintenance payments. Similarly, if a spouse is caring for a special needs child who requires care that does not allow for the spouse to obtain regular employment, the court may order spousal maintenance payments.
In Indiana you may be entitled to receive spousal maintenance payments if your marriage ends. There are several factors that the court will weigh in making the decision to order payments. Spousal maintenance can be ordered on a temporary or permanent basis. Spousal maintenance payments can also be terminated if the spouse dies or remarries.
If you have questions about your legal rights regarding the payment or receipt of spousal maintenance, contact us. Our experienced Indiana family law attorneys can advise you of your legal rights and options. Every case is different so be sure to discuss your concerns you’re your legal counsel. Our family law attorneys are tough in negotiations and have a depth of experience taking cases to trial. We can help give you power to your voice.