Spousal support, often referred to as alimony or spousal maintenance, can be a significant financial consideration in divorce proceedings. It may feel like a burden, a duty, a blessing or a right — it depends on your perspective and what side of the funds you find yourself.
However, spousal support is not an emotional consideration. Rather, it is about fairness. It is meant to establish a reasonable, equitable standard of living for both spouses in the aftermath of a divorce if there is a substantial income gap.
What factors determine support amounts?
There is no specific formula for spousal support in Ohio. Courts have a wide degree of discretion in deciding support arrangements. The court considers numerous factors before determining an equitable solution. The factors include:
- Income of both parties
- Relative earning capacity of both parties
- Age and health of both parties
- Retirement benefits of both parties
- Duration of the marriage
- Caretaking responsibilities for minor children
- Education level of both parties
- Contribution of both parties to the education and professional abilities of the other party
- Time and expense necessary for one party to acquire education or training to support themselves in a manner equivalent to the standard of living established in the marriage
- Tax consequences of an award of support
- Lost income from marital responsibilities, such as parental duties
- Other miscellaneous factors
Once the court awards temporary or permanent spousal support, modifications can be made if a significant change in circumstances is proven.