Spousal Support

To determine the amount and duration of spousal support, the Ohio Domestic Relations courts consider a number of factors.  Unlike child support, in Ohio there is no set uniform computation used to determine the amount of spousal support a party may have to pay or may receive.  The factors the Court will consider in determining spousal support include the income and relative earning potential of the parties, the ages and 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 the 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 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, and any other factor that the court considers relevant and equitable. When determining whether spousal support is reasonable, and while determining the amount and terms of spousal support, the Court shall consider each party to have contributed equally to the production of marital income.

It is vital that you have an attorney representing you during a divorce, especially if spousal support is an issue.  One example of why is because current Ohio law allows the Court to either retain or not retain jurisdiction over the matter, in both the amount of spousal support and the duration of spousal support.  If jurisdiction is not retained, the Court will not modify the originally agreed upon amount of spousal support (unlike child support which may be modified upon a change of  circumstance/income).

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