During Ohio divorce or dissolution proceedings, spouses will often reach a point when they have to discuss payment of alimony. In Ohio, alimony is called “spousal support.” The court overseeing your divorce will award spousal support if one spouse requests it and the court finds the award reasonable and equitable.
In making a determination about whether to award spousal support and how much to award, the court will consider all of the following factors:
- The income of both spouses from all sources;
- The relative earning abilities of the spouses;
- The ages and physical, mental, and emotional conditions of both spouses;
- The retirement benefits of the spouses;
- The duration of the marriage;
- The extent to which it would be inappropriate for a spouse, because that spouse will be custodian of a minor child, to seek employment outside of the home;
- The standard of living of the spouses established during the marriage;
- The relative extent of the spouses’ educations;
- The relative assets and liabilities of the spouses, including, but not limited to, any court-ordered payments by the spouses;
- The contribution of each spouse to the education, training, or earning ability of the other spouse, including, but not limited to, any spouse’s contribution to the acquisition of a professional degree of the other spouse;
- 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 spouse of an award of spousal support;
- The lost income production capacity of either spouse that resulted from that spouse’s marital responsibilities;
- Any other factor the court finds expressly relevant and equitable.
If the court concludes, after analyzing all of these factors, that one spouse should award support to the other, it will also order a particular structure for the support. The court has the ability to allow spousal support to be paid with real or personal property or with monetary payments. The court can also set the duration and installments of the spousal support. Some spousal support will be paid in a lump sum, but most will be paid in temporary or permanent installments, depending on what the court deems appropriate. The spouses will then be able to modify this arrangement if circumstances change. One possible reason to change a spousal support agreement is a spouse becoming unemployed.
Many considerations go into an award of spousal support, and you need a skilled divorce attorney to advocate on your behalf. If you are concerned about potential spousal support during your divorce, dissolution, or separation, contact Dawes Legal, LLC, today by calling (614) 733-9999.