Spousal Support

Spousal support, also known as alimony, provides financial support for a spouse with lower income after the marriage ends. When two people get married, their joint financial situation may justify a decrease in income or work for one spouse. The idea behind spousal support is to ensure this spouse is protected even when the finances are no longer shared.

14 Factors That Affect Spousal Support

The factors that lead to spousal support can vary greatly from each state. The following 14 factors, courtesy of Divorce Source, can affect the outcome of a spousal support case in Ohio:

  • The income of both individuals, including income that resulted from property division during the divorce.
  • The earning abilities of each individual. 
  • The physical, mental, and emotional state of each individual.
  • The anticipated retirement benefits of each individual.
  • The length of the marriage.
  • The likelihood that the spouse with lower income can seek better employment.
  • The standard of living that the individuals established and shared during the marriage.
  • The education of each individual. 
  • The assets and liabilities of each individual, including court-ordered child support that resulted from the divorce.
  • The contribution of each individual to the other’s education, training, or earning ability (such as obtaining a professional degree).
  • The anticipated time and expense that the spouse with lower income would have to put forth to acquire higher income or furthered education.
  • The tax consequences each individual would endure if they received spousal support. 
  • The income capacity that a spouse lost as a result of their marital responsibilities.
  • Any other factor that the court finds to be relevant.

Ohio courts are anything but apathetic when it comes to determining who (if anyone) will receive spousal support and what amount of financial support is in the best interest of both individuals. An attorney can walk you through what to expect, whether you’re hoping to receive support or you’re asked to provide support for your ex-spouse.

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5 Main Types of Spousal Support

It is important for both the supporter and supported to know upfront that, in most spousal support cases, any support awarded will not last forever. The court will usually order one of the following alimony sentences:

  • Temporary alimony, which is ordered when the parties are separated prior to the divorce. Even the process of going through the divorce may be too expensive for a spouse who stopped earning income during the marriage, and temporary alimony can help relieve that pressure.
  • Rehabilitative alimony, which provides support for the spouse with lower income. In most cases, this support is only provided until said spouse can increase their income and become self-sufficient.
  • Permanent alimony is the only type where the individual with higher income supports the individual with lower income until their death or remarriage.
  • Reimbursement alimony covers expenses that incurred during the marriage. These are most commonly educational expenses like tuition and student loans.
  • Lump-sum alimony, which is a fixed payment paid all at once.

The wide variety between each of these options should not be taken lightly. Each circumstance can yield wildly different consequences for both the supporter and the supported. This is why it’s imperative that you work with an attorney who understands the nuances of each type and can help you determine which one is in your best interest.

Spousal Support Attorney in Cleveland, OH

Attorney Sherry Naegele has been practicing law in the state of Ohio since 2000. Her practice encompasses all areas of family law, and her experience and compassion can help you through life’s most difficult situations. Contact her today to get started.