Learn about Divorce in Indiana and what it could mean to you.
Indiana is a presumptive 50-50 state. This means that the court presumes that a 50- 50 division of marital assets is fair. However, this presumption may be rebutted by several factors. Those factors include (1) disparity in earning ability, (2) dissipation of marital assets, (3) whether assets were acquired before the marriage, by gift or inheritance.
The disparity in earning ability means the court will look at and consider whether or not one party can earn more income than the other. If the court finds that one party has a much greater earning ability, it may give that party less than 50% of the assets.
The dissipation of marital assets means, that if the court finds that one party has wasted marital assets, it may give the other party more than 50% of the assets. For example, if one party has a gambling addiction, and has wasted large sums of money because of that addiction, the court could give them less than 50% of the assets.
Assets acquired before the marriage, received by gift, or received by inheritance can also affect the property division. In other words, if one party brought considerable more assets into the marriage (particularly in a short-term marriage), the court could consider that factor to give them more than 50% of the marital assets. The same is true if one of the parties inherited significant assets during the marriage or had property gifted to them during the marriage.
The court, however, should consider all of the factors that are relevant to the case, and if it feels one factor is more important than another, it can give more weight to that factor.
None of the above criteria, however, are absolute. The court is required to do what is fair but may consider these factors to make that determination. A divorce court is referred to as a court of equity because of this fairness requirement.
The Law Offices of Steven K. Deig, LLC have helped many people address property division issues related to their divorces and would be glad to discuss your situation.
Indiana does not recognize what is generally referred to as “alimony.” In some states, the spouse who earns less income may be entitled to alimony; as a result of the fact that they were married and divorced. Indiana law does not recognize such a right.
However, Indiana does recognize spousal maintenance. To receive spousal maintenance, the one spouse is required to prove the necessity for such assistance. The two situations which frequently involve an argument for spousal maintenance are rehabilitative maintenance and maintenance for a physical or mental disability.
Rehabilitative maintenance involves education of the lower wage-earning spouse. In other words, if a spouse has remained home and has raised children and provided household services, the court can award that individual spousal maintenance. This maintenance may be in the form of payments that can be used to obtain an education that will assist them in supporting themselves in the future. In those cases, the lower wage earner would present evidence to the court regarding educational costs and need for maintenance. The court then could order the other spouse to either pay the educational facility directly or make payments to the spouse that they can use for that purpose.
In the event a spouse is physically unable to support themselves due to a medical disability, the court may order maintenance as well. In that case, the maintenance may continue so long as the disability continues.
A factor that the court should consider in either case is the ability of the other spouse to afford such assistance. In other words, if the spouse not seeking maintenance does not have sufficient funds to support the other spouse, the court may hesitate to order maintenance, even if the spouse needs maintenance.
The Law Offices of Steven K Deig, LLC has attorneys on staff that are experienced in evaluating spousal maintenance cases. If you are interested in pursuing such a matter, do not hesitate to contact us.