Alimony Under Attack in Indiana Divorce Cases

“A pension plan for the less successful spouse,” is what the Huffington Post called alimony payments in Indiana.

Alimony in Indiana can be a critical component of any divorce settlement. Together with child support and property division, alimony can determine the future quality of life for both parties for years to come. One of the impacts of the recession is a renewed effort to limit alimony payments, particularly once a spouse reaches the age of retirement.
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William Quigley, who describes himself as venture capitalist, views the perceived inequity from a largely male perspective. A mother and wife may well have raised children while forgoing a career or advanced degree. She may have worked while the husband earned an advanced degree with more earning power. Make no mistake about it: Divorce is a major destroyer of wealth and one of the primary risks for poverty — particularly among older women.

Alimony can be a lifeline. Typically awarded for up to half the length of marriages lasting less than 10 years, alimony may be awarded indefinitely upon the termination of long-term marriages. For a former husband, unreasonable alimony can have a dramatically negative impact on his future quality of life. As in any divorce, an experienced Munster divorce lawyer must be called in to deal with the specific issues that come up in spousal splits, including alimony.

Quigley’s perspective aside, he goes on to suggest a marriage disclosure statement that sheds light on the legal burden each spouse inherits when tying the knot:

-You are entering into a legally binding contract.

-You are agreeing to assume debts acquired by your spouse during the marriage.

-You may be required to pay money to your spouse in the form of alimony in the event of divorce.

-You may face garnishment of wages or other state enforcement action to collect monies owed.

-Spousal support may be ordered for life, even if your spouse chooses divorce. Such payment could exceed 50 percent of your income and could increase if you remarry.

-Legal obligations of spousal support are not negated by spousal conduct, including infidelity.

Certainly, a premarital agreement may address some of these issues. And the letter of the law does not take into consideration how an experienced Northwest Indiana divorce attorney can improve your legal standing. But this look at the obligations you assume as part of a marriage should at least provide pause for those who are facing divorce without an experienced legal advocate at their side.

Make no mistake about it: Futures are routinely decided via property division and child support and alimony awards. Knowing the advantages, disadvantages and tax implications of each is vital to understanding what’s in the best interest of your client.

Highland Divorce Attorney Burton A. Padove offers free and confidential appointments on family law matters throughout Northwest Indiana, including Munster, Lansing, Porter and Crown Point. Call 219-836-2200.

Additional Resources:
A Modest Proposal: Why Can’t Couples Have a Proxy Statement for Their “Merger and Acquisition?” By William Quigley, Huffington Post.