Divorce can be difficult to endure emotionally, but it can also be a financial shock for one of the spouses. Under certain circumstances, any partner can order financial support or as it is also called ‘alimony’ or ‘spousal maintenance’ which can be paid while the divorce is pending or after it is granted.
What is alimony?
Alimony is financial support that is paid from husband to wife or vice versa, depending on the financial circumstances of the parties. Each solution on alimony is unique, so the judge makes a decision depending on the peculiarities of each pair. The duration of the spousal maintenance and its amount also depends on the characteristics of the marriage. Thus spousal support can be paid only while the divorce is pending. Or payments can begin only after the divorce has already been granted. In addition the amount can be paid lump sum or every month over a certain number of years.
How to receive alimony?
It is worth saying that the spouse who is in a difficult financial situation as a result of the divorce can apply for alimony. A wife who has devoted herself to raising children, while her husband has built a career, has the right for marital support. Or a husband who cannot get a job because of his illness (for example, a disability) may require alimony from his ex. Of course the spouses can agree between themselves regarding the amount that would satisfy both of them, and the duration of the
spousal support and sign it in the settlement agreement. In this case, the judge will simply approve the decision of the partners. But if the spouses failed to find a compromise, the judge will have to consider and analyze a number of circumstances that have developed in the family. These circumstances include:
- The duration of the marriage. If less than 3 years have passed since the wedding, the chances of getting financial support are almost equal to 0.
- The time and financial resources necessary for a poorer spouse to receive additional education and skills or take special courses and trainings to help him or her get a job.
- Financial capabilities and needs of each spouse, as well as the current level of education.
- The difference between the educational level of the spouses, when they got married and when the divorce was initiated.
- The contribution of each spouse to the maintenance of the family, including the arrangement of the household and the upbringing of children.
- Health of each spouse.
How long does alimony last?
The payment of alimony lasts until a certain time specified in the final decision by the judge or settlement agreement. If there is no date, then the alimony is paid until the receiving spouse starts to support himself / herself. If the receiving spouse gets married or begins to cohabit with someone, then the payment of alimony also ends. Alimony automatically stops if either spouse dies. Spousal maintenance may be reviewed at any time after divorce (provided that there’s no petition regarding alimony was filed during last 12 months) at the request of either spouse if the financial capacity of the receiving spouse has improved.
How to calculate alimony?
In Indiana, there are no clear rules and formulas for calculating marital support, in this matter the courts have a lot of freedom and make decisions based on the circumstances of each couple. But general recommendations suggest that alimony can make up to 40% of the net income of the payer’s spouse (if there are underage children in the family, the spouse must pay child support first) or not exceed 50% of the net income of spouse who pays.
Any spouse, regardless of gender, has the right to apply for spousal support. Partners can agree on the payments and conditions that are acceptable to them or rely on the decision of the judge. In any case, the issue of alimony is unique for each pair and requires careful analysis of the many circumstances of the marriage.