Indiana Alimony Laws and Guidelines: All About Spousal Maintenance in “IN”

The alimony laws governing spousal support in Indiana are different from what is obtainable in other states. Read further to grasp the peculiarity of the IN alimony law.

All 50 states in America are alimony states, meaning states that have enacted laws permitting a spouse who cannot work full time or with a lower income to request payments from the other spouse to support themselves after a divorce.

What is Alimony?

Also referred to as “spousal support” or “spousal maintenance” in Hoosier State, alimony is the series of payments made by one spouse (the payor spouse) to another (the supported or payee spouse) after the divorce.

Before the alimony payments commence, there has to be a written order or agreement which requires the payor to support the payee with a stipulated amount of money.

This agreement eliminates any disputes in the future about why the payment was made or when it’s not made.

Technically, in Indiana, there is no such thing as alimony, but there is “spousal maintenance.” This is in line with the difference between Spousal Maintenance and Alimony. Judges can now award maintenance to spouses who are in need of financial assistance because of a revised definition. (Ind. Code Ann. § 31-15-7-1 (2018).)

Indiana courts were specifically empowered to award “alimony” in divorce decrees prior to the introduction of the Dissolution Act of 1973, providing the award was “fair and proper.” The goal of such an award, however, was to resolve property rights rather than to give spousal support.

Indiana moved away from a stringent prohibition on spousal support or maintenance in the Dissolution Act of 1973. Courts were given explicit authority to award spousal maintenance for the first time. Despite this, the authority was relatively limited.

Type of Alimony Laws Practiced in IN

types of alimony

Types of alimony in Indiana

A court has the ability to order three forms of spousal support under Indiana Code 31-15: disability maintenance, caregiver maintenance, and rehabilitative maintenance.

Disability Maintenance in Indiana

If your former spouse or soon-to-be ex-spouse gets incapacitated, he or she will not be able to support themselves financially. This sort of spousal support can be issued for as long as the court deems appropriate. That is to say, it could be either temporary or permanent.

Caregiver Maintenance in IN

Caregiver maintenance is granted when your ex-spouse is given custody of a disabled child and is unable to support himself or herself due to the child’s care. This type of spousal support can be interim or long-term.

Rehabilitative Maintenance in Indiana

Is awarded if your ex-spouse will require additional financial assistance until he or she achieves financial stability. This sort of spousal support is only available for a maximum of three years. It is only awarded if one partner worked full-time during the marriage whereas the other stayed at home or worked part-time. The following are important aspects that can influence the process of rehabilitative maintenance:

  • During the marriage and at the time of the dissolution, your ex-educational spouse’s level, income, income potential, job, and employment skills.
  • If your ex-education, partner’s salary, income potential, job, or training was disrupted as a result of the marriage or divorce, you may be entitled to compensation.
  • The length of time and money it will take for your ex-spouse to obtain suitable education or skills training and find work.

Who Pays Alimony in Indiana?

In Indiana alimony law, the spouse that makes most of the money will share that income with the other spouse. The idea behind who pays for alimony is to considerably level up the living standard of the dependent spouse to what it was while the marriage was on.

Regarding the sex that pays, alimony in Hoosier State is gender-neutral, meaning either spouse can request support from the other. As long as the alimony can be provided to the requesting spouse, then it will most likely be granted.

So a husband can receive alimony from a wife in Indiana if the above conditions are met.

How Long Does Spousal Maintenance Last in IN?

How Long To Pay Alimony

The judge will decide how long alimony payment should last in Indiana

The duration to pay alimony in Indiana can differ depending on the individual judge and circumstances. However, you should expect to pay spousal support for a duration of 80-70% of the length of the marriage lasted. So assuming you were married for 10 years, the spousal maintenance duration will most likely be between 6 to 7 years.

As provided by the alimony laws of IN, rehabilitative and permanent support stops if either spouse dies or the supported spouse remarries.

How to Collect Spousal Maintenance Arrears in Indiana

When it comes to collecting spousal support in Indiana, you have a few choices if your ex-spouse has failed to make alimony payments as ordered by the court. Debts for spousal support are frequently given priority among debtors under US law.

Factors That Influence Spousal Maintenance in Indiana

The average amount payable as spousal support in Indiana after divorce is determined by various factors. But the major factor you have to understand is “the standard of living of the marriage.”

To determine the final amounts for rehabilitative and permanent support in IN, the courts in IN take into consideration the income of the spouses, plus other factors like:

  • earning capacity of each spouse.
  • the ability of the paying spouse to pay, considering assets, the standard of living, earning capacity, as well as earned and unearned income.
  • the extent of contribution the supported spouse gave to the other’s educational pursuit or professional license during the marriage
  • how long the marriage lasted
  • the needs of each spouse
  • the assets and debts of each spouse including separate property
  • each party’s tax consequences
  • the ability of the supported spouse to gain employment without interfering with their children’s care
  • each spouse’s health and age
  • each party’s balance of hardships
  • whether there is a documented history of domestic violence against the children or either party
  • will the dependent spouse be self-supporting within a reasonable period
  • any criminal conviction of an abusive spouse
  • any other factors which the court wishes to consider

This is the main measure the court uses to determine the amount to be paid in Hoosier State. The principle behind the standard of living of the marriage is that after the marriage breakup, both spouses should continue living within the same standard they lived while the marriage lasted.

How Alimony is Calculated in IN

How Alimony is Calculated

How Alimony is Calculated in Indiana

The amount to be paid as spousal maintenance in Indiana is calculated after considering the above-stated factors. Whichever option is adopted it is reflected in the Alimony Calculator

But to be explicit about how to calculate spousal maintenance in IN, you may need to consult your spousal support attorney.

>>> Indiana Spousal Support Calculator

Importance of Using a Skilled Indiana Spousal Maintenance Attorney

If you’re getting a divorce in Indiana and need to negotiate or re-negotiate spousal maintenance, you’ve definitely got a lot of questions and want to seek competent legal guidance. Though state Supreme Courts have supported lifetime spousal support,
your circumstances may or may not fulfill the requirements. IN courts may judge your case differently based on the merits of you and your previous spouse. There are so many variables to consider.

If you want to get spousal maintenance for the rest of your life or if you want to fight against it in Indiana, an expert divorce lawyer can help. Depending on the objective and the desire of the adversary attorney to bargain in good faith, you’ll need attorneys that are both empathetic and strong.

For the convenience of our members, we have an up-to-date directory of IN divorce and spousal support attorneys who can help with a variety of issues. For legal advice and
representation on spousal support that is powerful and well-informed.

Click Here to Get our Free Iowa Alimony recommendation.

FAQ About Indiana Alimony Laws

Here are Frequently Asked Questions about spousal maintenance laws in IN:

Can a Husband get Alimony in IN?

Yes. In Indiana, alimony payment is gender-neutral, meaning the sex that pays or receives is not the main determinant, but other factors as stated above. For details click here.

Who Qualifies for Alimony in Indiana?

Just as either spouse can pay or receive, the party that qualifies to receive spousal support is the dependent party while the marriage lasted. This means that in IN, the spouse that had lesser or no income when the marriage was on is also the one qualified to receive alimony. Click here for details

How Long do you have to be Married to get Alimony in IN?

To understand how long alimony lasts in Indiana, you have to take into consideration how long the marriage lasted.

However, bear in mind that there is no limit to the duration you can pay or receive alimony for marriages that lasted 10-20 years or more. Any marriage that lasted below 20 years will not pay nor receive alimony that exceeds 50% of the duration of the marriage.

Is Alimony Tax Deductible in Indiana?

Following the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which altered the link between alimony and taxes dramatically in Indiana and all over the US, alimony payments are no longer tax deductible for the payer and are no longer recognized as income for the recipient spouse as of January 1, 2019.

Is Alimony Mandatory in Hoosier State?

Alimony is mandatory in Indiana as long as one of the spouses earns or owns assets that can be relied upon to support the other spouse after the marriage breaks down.

Can Alimony be increased in Indiana?

Alimony amount or duration can be increased or decreased due to changes in the financial circumstances of the parties in different ways, including:

  • an increase or decrease in the income of the alimony recipient
  • if it’s determined that the original alimony awarded is inadequate
  •  loss to the alimony recipient’s financial assets
  • an increase in the justified expenses of the alimony recipient
  • when the financial condition of the receiving spouse fails to improve as originally expected

Can you go to Jail for Not Paying Spousal Support in IN?

Technically, you will not be jailed for not paying alimony in Indiana. While there are varying consequences for not paying alimony, you can still end up in jail as a result. Here is how.

If it’s an Indiana court-ordered spousal support that you refuse to pay, it means you are in violation of a court order meaning you can be prosecuted for being in contempt of court if contempt proceedings are brought up against you. This could attract a jail term in IN}.

How to Modify Spousal Maintenance in Indiana

How to Avoid spousal support

How to Avoid spousal maintenance in Indiana

When necessary, IN law allows for a spousal support modification. When it comes to alimony, courts in Indiana usually try to do their best to create judgments that are fair and effective in the long run. Nevertheless, conditions change over time, and these changes may compel a revision or modification of the initial order.

When filing for a spousal support modification in Indiana, keep in mind that the courts will only entertain the motion if there has been a significant and long-term change in circumstances. A brief problem is unlikely to be significant enough to warrant a revision in the initial alimony ruling. Likewise, dissatisfaction with the support order is not a valid reason for a revision in IN.

The following are some of the most common reasons for requesting an alimony modification in Indiana:

  • Retirement
  • Remarriage
  • Relocation
  • Changes in income or employment
  • Birth of a new child
  • Health changes, including disability
  • A new dependent

How to Avoid or End Spousal Maintenance in IN

In Hoosier State, the spouse paying the alimony can successfully avoid or stop the alimony payment if he/she is able to prove any or all of the following points:

  • that the dependent spouse is guilty of infidelity
  • the spouse proves that he has no source of income
  • the spouse remarries and has to take care of the new spouse however, he/she will continue paying the child support for children if any
  • if the spouse is disabled and unable to earn a living

Alimony Laws in all 50 States

A Alabama  |  AlaskaArizonaArkansas
C CaliforniaColoradoConnecticut
D-H DelawareFloridaGeorgiaHawaii
I IdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa
K-L KansasKentuckyLouisiana
M MaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontana
NebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth Dakota
P-S  PennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth Dakota
T-U  TennesseeTexasUtah
V-W  VermontVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

Deborah Kelly

Deborah Kelly

As a proud single mom who has seen it all, I encourage others by sharing my experiences & curating content on divorce, adoption, child & spousal support. My passion also includes spending quality time with my kids and giving back to my community.