When you get a divorce, one consequence is a significant change in your financial situation. In addition to immediate court fees and other costs, your long-term financial security will change. You will no longer be able to rely solely on your spouse’s income.
One helpful source of assistance is child support, which is mandatory when minor children are in the picture. What about spousal maintenance? Spousal maintenance is not automatic but depends on numerous factors.
Indiana decides whether spousal maintenance is applicable based on certain circumstances. The most easily identifiable reason is if you have a physical or mental incapacitation that prevents you from supporting yourself. Another is if you have a child with special needs requiring full-time care so that you cannot work, and you do not have enough assets to financially support yourself and care for your child.
If neither is relevant to you, there is another way in which you may qualify that relies on the following information:
- How much education you each had when you got married and how much you both have now
- If you had to stop your education or employment to care for the house and/or kids
- Each of your abilities to earn an income based on education and training, skills, job history and time spent in or away from a career
- How much time you would need to complete the necessary education or training to secure a job (with a three-year maximum)
The judge considers all these in the decision of awarding spousal maintenance, and if so, at what amount and duration.
This amount, however, can be subject to modification. If you undergo a significant and lasting change in your situation, you may petition for a greater amount. Likewise, if your ex meets the same conditions, he or she can file to pay a lower amount or nothing at all.