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The basics of spousal support in Ohio

One of the most-feared issues in divorce is spousal support, which was referred to as alimony in the past. Spousal support is money paid by one spouse to another to help in the transition out of married life. Spousal support can be paid in one lump sum or in regular payments for a set schedule.

Statutory factors in Ohio help courts determine whether or not spousal support should be awarded, and if so, in what amount. However, courts are afforded significant discretion in setting the actual amount and schedule for payment.

Some statutory factors reviewed when the court considers whether spousal support is appropriate are:

  • The income of the parties, from all sources, including but not limited to, income derived from property divided, disbursed, or distributed under section 3105.171 of the Revised Code
  • 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 limited to any court-ordered payments be 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 is, in fact, sought
  • The tax consequences, for each party, of an award of spousal support
  • The lost income production capacity of either party that resulted from that party’s marital responsibilities
  • Any other factor that the court expressly finds to be relevant and equitable