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Alimony

Alimony & Spousal Maintenance Lawyers in Carmel, IN

Serving Clients in Indianapolis & Across Central Indiana

Divorce proceedings can get messy. Our priority at Roberts Means Roncevic Kapela LLC is to help you negotiate the legal ramifications of divorce and deal with the emotional turmoil it brings. 

We can serve as your advocate in all spousal support negotiations, ensuring that the rights of all parties are respected and protected. You can peacefully put the past behind you as our Carmel spousal maintenance lawyers help you move into the next phase of your life. We represent clients in Carmel, Indianapolis, and throughout Central Indiana.

Need legal counsel during spousal support matters? See how we can help by calling (888) 211-3888. Schedule your initial case review with our Carmel spousal maintenance attorneys today.

What is Spousal Maintenance in Indiana?

Alimony, also called "spousal maintenance," is often ordered from one party to the other after a divorce. This is to help the supported party maintain the way of life they were accustomed to during the marriage. Alimony is not automatic in divorce; it must be requested and warranted.

The types of spousal support commonly seen in Indiana include:

  • Temporary Spousal Support: Also known as pendente lite support, this type of support is paid during the divorce process until a final spousal support arrangement is determined.
  • Rehabilitative Spousal Support: This support is provided for a specific period to help the recipient spouse become self-supporting. It's often granted when the recipient spouse needs time to acquire education or training to re-enter the workforce.
  • Permanent Spousal Support: This type of support continues indefinitely until the death of either party, remarriage of the recipient spouse, or a significant change in circumstances.
  • Lump Sum Spousal Support: Instead of periodic payments, a one-time lump sum payment may be awarded as spousal support. This can be useful when the paying spouse prefers to settle the support obligation upfront.
  • Reimbursement Spousal Support: This type of support is awarded to reimburse one spouse for expenses incurred during the marriage, such as supporting the other spouse through education or career advancement.

How Does The Court Determine Spousal Support?

In Indiana, eligibility for alimony is not solely based on one's gender or traditional roles within the marriage. Instead, eligibility is determined by various factors considered by the court. Generally, a spouse may be eligible for alimony if they can demonstrate a financial need for support and if the court determines that the other spouse has the ability to pay.

Judges will consider multiple factors when deciding whether alimony is appropriate, including its amount and duration.

These factors can include:

  • The income and earning potential of both spouses: The judge will consider the current income, employment history, and the ability of both spouses to earn an income in the future.
  • The length of the marriage: Generally, longer marriages may result in longer alimony periods.
  • The age and health of both spouses: If one spouse has health issues or is of an age where finding employment is challenging, it may influence the alimony decision.
  • The standard of living established during the marriage: The judge may attempt to allow both spouses to maintain a similar standard of living post-divorce.
  • The contributions of each spouse to the marriage: This includes income but also other contributions like homemaking, raising children, and financial contributions to the education or training of a spouse for better job opportunities or career advancement.
  • The education level of each spouse: If one spouse has less education and thus less earning potential, it might impact the alimony amount.
  • Whether the spouse seeking alimony can support themselves: The judge will consider whether the spouse asking for alimony can meet their needs without financial assistance.
  • The financial implications of custodial duties: If the spouse seeking alimony has custody of minor children, which may limit their ability to work, this will be considered.
  • Any misconduct or fault during the marriage: While Indiana is a no-fault state for divorce, marital misconduct may be considered in some cases.

    How Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements Affect Alimony

    Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can significantly influence alimony arrangements in the event of a divorce. These legal contracts allow couples to predetermine financial aspects of their relationship, including provisions for alimony. However, these agreements must meet specific legal requirements to be enforceable.

    If legal requirements are met, the court will generally honor the alimony terms of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. However, if circumstances have dramatically changed since the contract was made, or if implementing the agreement would cause one party extreme hardship, the court may choose to modify the agreed-upon terms.

    Turn to a Proven Family Law Firm in Indiana

    As laws and circumstances can be complex, seeking legal advice from a skilled attorney at Roberts Means Roncevic Kapela LLC is strongly recommended to navigate the matter of alimony in divorce or post-divorce situations accurately.

    With more than a decade of experience, our firm brings competent legal help and support in all alimony and other family law concerns.

    Contact us online or at (888) 211-3888 for help today.

    Why Choose RMRK?

    Qualities that Break the Stereotype
    • Placing a focus beyond the case to understand our clients’ objectives and big-picture goals.
    • Listening to and collaborating with our clients to develop a shared strategic vision.
    • Accomplished attorneys who are annually rated by their peers for inclusion on the prestigious list of Indiana SuperLawyers.
    • Unafraid to make difficult decisions and eager to confront the challenges facing our clients.

    Modifying Spousal Maintenance

    In Indiana, alimony modification typically requires a significant change in circumstances since the original alimony order was issued. This change can pertain to either the paying spouse's ability to pay or the recipient spouse's financial need. Here are the key requirements for modifying alimony in Indiana:

    • Substantial Change in Circumstances: To modify alimony, there must be a substantial change in circumstances that warrants a modification. This could include changes in either spouse's income, employment status, health, or living situation.
    • Involuntary Job Loss or Income Reduction: If the paying spouse experiences an involuntary job loss or a significant reduction in income, they may petition the court for a modification of alimony based on their diminished ability to pay.
    • Increase in Financial Need: If the recipient spouse experiences a significant increase in financial need due to factors such as health issues, increased living expenses, or loss of other financial support, they may seek a modification to increase the alimony amount.
    • Duration of Alimony Order: In some cases, alimony orders have a predetermined duration. If the original order specifies conditions under which alimony should be terminated or modified, those conditions must be met before seeking a modification.
    • Good Faith Effort: Both parties must demonstrate good faith efforts to comply with the original alimony order and any subsequent modifications. Courts may be reluctant to grant modifications if one party appears to be acting in bad faith.
    • Petition for Modification: To modify alimony, the party seeking the modification typically files a petition with the court outlining the reasons for the requested change and providing supporting evidence. The other party will have an opportunity to respond to the petition.
    • Court Approval: Any modification to alimony must be approved by the court. The court will review the circumstances presented by both parties and determine whether a modification is justified.
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    How Long Does Alimony Last?

    The duration of alimony can vary based on several factors. According to Indiana statutes, if spousal maintenance is granted, the court will determine the duration based on the above factors. However, if the court finds a spouse incapacitated, the maintenance might extend indefinitely.

    If this is true, the alimony payments will be paid until the court determines payments are no longer required. Typically, alimony ends when the supported spouse remarries or develops the necessary skills to support themselves. 

    According to Indiana law, alimony may also be modified or terminated if the recipient begins cohabiting with a partner in an intimate relationship. Cohabitation is generally defined as living together in a marriage-like arrangement. 

    Although no one-size-fits-all rule exists in cohabitation cases, courts will typically consider factors such as the length of the relationship, whether the cohabiting parties share expenses, and whether they present themselves as a couple in social and family activities. 

    The burden of proof lies on the party seeking to terminate or reduce alimony in all cases. Demonstrating substantial and continuing changes that would make the current alimony order unreasonable is necessary. 

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