Spousal Support & Alimony
In Ohio, alimony is generally referred to as spousal support. Unlike other states that have different types of alimony, Ohio just has it all labeled as spousal support.
The Ohio Revised Code Section 3105.18 sets forth the factors that a court should consider in determining the amount and duration of spousal support. The factors include:
- The income of the parties from all sources.
- The relative earning abilities of the parties.
- The ages and the physical, mental, and emotional conditions of the parties.
- The retirement benefits of the parties.
- The duration of the marriage.
- The extent to which it would be inappropriate for a party, because that party will be custodian of a minor child of the marriage, to seek employment outside the home.
- The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage.
- The relative extent of education of the parties.
- The relative assets and liabilities of the parties, including but not limited to any court-ordered payments by the parties.
- The contribution of each party to the education, training, or earning ability of the other party, including, but not limited to, any party’s contribution to the acquisition of a professional degree of the other party.
- The time and expense necessary for the spouse who is seeking spousal support to acquire education, training, or job experience so that the spouse will be qualified to obtain appropriate employment, provided the education, training, or job experience, and employment is, in fact, sought.
- The tax consequences, for each party, of an award of spousal support.
The biggest considerations are over the duration and amount of spousal support. The duration would be the length of time the payor would pay spousal support to the payee. There are plenty of circumstances when the parties are similarly situated economically where a court will not order spousal support. You will generally find that spousal support ordered when one party earns significantly more than the other party. How long you are going to pay spousal support in large part can depend on the length of the marriage. The longer the parties are married, the longer the duration of the award. If the parties have been married for 20 years or longer there is a possibility that the spousal support will be ongoing. The amounts of spousal support differ from county to county, court to court and judge to judge. There is a large range of possible amounts depending upon where the case is pending, the child support implications, and the property division of that particular case.
One of the benefits of collaborative law is that it gives the parties an opportunity to sit down and look at their meaningful income and expenses while trying to come up with a spousal support order that is most equitable to both parties and their circumstances. You are not going to find a court that is going to be able to be equitable to everybody in every instance in deciding spousal support order.
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