While once upon a time, alimony was almost always a guarantee for women of divorce, today, the courts award alimony on a case-by-case basis. Moreover, because more women than ever assume the role of family breadwinner, alimony is now gender-neutral, meaning a woman may have to pay her ex-husband spousal support.
Gender aside, you may wonder if you will have to pay your soon-to-be-ex-spouse alimony. It is important to anticipate this cost, as it could drastically alter your post-divorce lifestyle.
Considerations for spousal maintenance in Indiana
Indiana, like most other states in the Union, has almost entirely done away with permanent spousal support except for in select few circumstances. The courts today assume that most capable individuals can find gainful employment within just a few short years of divorce. As a result, rehabilitative alimony is more common than permanent support.
According to FindLaw, an Indiana court may award the lesser-earning or non-working spouse rehabilitative maintenance for up to three years after handing down the final divorce decree. In deciding whether rehabilitative maintenance is necessary, a judge will consider the following:
- Whether the spouse seeking support had to stop his or her education, employment or training to stay home with a child or maintain the household
- The education level of each spouse at the time of separation or divorce
- Each spouse’s earning capacity and length of absence from the job market
- The anticipated time and expense necessary for the lesser earning spouse to receive sufficient training or education before finding gainful employment
Circumstances that may warrant ongoing spousal support
The courts recognize that some individuals live with unique circumstances that may make it impossible for them to support themselves post-divorce. One such circumstance is if a person has a physical or mental disability that renders him or her unable to work. Another is if an individual lacks the means to provide for his or her own care, if that person is the primary custodian of a child with a physical or mental disability and if the child’s disability makes it impossible for the parent to work.