How is Spousal Support Determined?

While child custody is probably the most common source of discord for divorcing spouses, alimony, or spousal support, is a close second.

What is spousal support?

According to Ohio Revised Code § 3105.18, spousal support refers to “any payment or payments to be made to a spouse or former spouse, or to a third party for the benefit of a spouse or a former spouse, that is both for sustenance and for support of the spouse or former spouse.”

What factors does the court look at in determining spousal support?

The court does not use any set guidelines in determining if spousal support should be awarded. Instead, to determine the nature, sum, and terms and duration of payment, the court considers many different factors on a case-by-case basis, including:

  • All sources of the spouses’ income;
  • Relative earning abilities of the spouses;
  • Ages and physical, mental, and emotional health of the couple;
  • Any retirement benefits of the spouses;
  • Duration of the marriage;
  • If one spouse has custody of a minor child and will be unable to find employment outside the home as a result;
  • Standard of living of the parties established during the marriage;
  • Extent of education of the spouses;
  • Assets and liabilities of the couple, including but not limited to any court-ordered payments by the spouses;
  • Contribution of each spouse to the education, training, or earning ability of the other including, but not limited to, any spouse’s contribution to the acquisition of a professional degree of the other;
  • 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;
  • Tax consequences, for each party, of an award of spousal support;
  • Lost income production capacity of either spouse that resulted from that spouse’s marital responsibilities;
  • Any other factor that the court expressly finds to be relevant and equitable.

Depending on the terms of your divorce decree, modification of an existing spousal support order may be possible under certain circumstances. For more information, consult with an experienced divorce attorney.

Contact a trusted Columbus divorce lawyer today

If your marriage is ending, you need professional legal counsel. Jennifer Nielsen has the experience and knowledge to help you skillfully navigate divorce law in Ohio. Contact Jennifer Nielsen online today for a 30-minute consultation or call 614-505-5555 to discuss your case.