Spousal Support and Alimony
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Columbus Spousal Support and Alimony Laws
Spousal Support & Alimony specialists with OVER 63 YEARS of experience.
OHIO SPOUSAL SUPPORT & ALIMONY LAWYERS
Ohio laws governing spousal support can seem confusing and arbitrary to those who don’t understand them. When a couple decides to divorce, spousal support can become a serious issue. That’s because one party may have been a primary breadwinner while the other saw to the children’s needs and maintained the house. While one-income families are rarer than they used to be, the spouse who set aside her career ambitions in order to raise a family should not be shortchanged for that sacrifice.
Thus, Ohio allows one spouse to collect alimony or “spousal support” as it’s called in Ohio. If you are considering a divorce in Ohio, it is important to understand what spousal support is, how long it can last, and what factors are considered when awarding spousal support to one spouse.
Factors Considered When Awarding Spousal Support in Ohio
Ohio spousal support laws can be found in the Ohio Revised Code § 3105.18. When one spouse asks the court to force the other spouse to award them spousal support payments, there are a number of factors that the court considers. These factors include:
- The income of both parties including that which is divided in the process of divorce;
- The relative earning capacity of both spouses;
- The age, health, education, and emotional health of both parties;
- The retirement accounts of both parties;
- The length of the marriage;
- Whether custodianship of the children will interfere with one party’s ability to find employment;
- The standard of living of both parties during the marriage;
- The assets and liabilities of each party;
- Contributions made from one party to the other to further the education or career aspirations of the other party;
- Time and expense for the spouse seeking support to acquire an education or training for a career;
- The tax consequences for each party after a disbursement of spousal support;
- The lost income production capacity caused by marital responsibilities;
- Or just about any other factor that the court believes is relevant.
As you can see, there is a lot of room for interpretation there. Since each case is considered on a case-by-case basis, two very similar spouses entering the same courtroom in similar situations can achieve vastly different results depending on the quality of their lawyer, the strength of their case, and the quality of the opposing counsel.
In some situations, spouses that should not rightly be entitled to much of anything may be awarded handsome alimonies while another spouse that needs the money ends up not getting anything. It’s very important that you have a skilled advocate who will make your case to the court.
Modifying a Spousal Support Order Under Ohio Law
Once the court has mandated that one spouse pay spousal support to the other, it can be tricky to make amendments. In this case, it helps if the divorce decree specifically mentions that spousal support payments are revisited on a timely basis. Failing that, there would need to be a major change in either party’s finances to warrant revisiting the arrangement.
How Long do Spousal Support Orders Last?
The court may award spousal support orders for a “reasonable” amount of time. Again, much is left up to the court’s discretion. It’s important to understand that the courts award two different kinds of spousal support. Those are temporary spousal support and permanent spousal support. While technically neither are really permanent, temporary spousal support only lasts till the divorce is finalized. Permanent spousal support will end at a specific time or under specific conditions.
How Can a Spousal Support Attorney in Columbus Help Me in a Spousal Support Dispute?
Divorces can certainly be contentious and the number one reason that most couples fight is over money. Unfortunately, that is unlikely to change after you are separated. For those who believe that they’re entitled to spousal support, you will need to convince the court against your spouse’s protests that you should be awarded that money and why. If you’re on the other side, you want to ensure that your former spouse doesn’t take you for the proverbial ride during spousal support negotiations. In either case, an experienced spousal support attorney can help protect your post-divorce interests.
Why You May Need A Financial Planner For Your Divorce
The concept of spousal support and alimony is quite straightforward. Unfortunately, determining the ins and outs of this support, and which spouse is entitled to what is rarely simple. Some spouses may unfairly request alimony, or the amount of spousal support they request may be unreasonable. On the other hand, spouses that may be responsible for paying spousal support may try to hide assets or income to shield themselves from paying a fair, but higher, amount. These issues are incredibly complex to sort through on your own, which is why you need the help of a skilled family attorney, and other professionals, such as a financial planner.
A financial planner will know how to discover hidden assets and income, and can accurately evaluate a spouse’s need for support during the divorce, or once the process is finalized. A financial planner will understand the capacity for a spouse to re-enter the workforce, particularly if that spouse remained at home during the marriage to care for the children. A financial planner will also advise on the earning capacity of that spouse, which will help determine the amount of spousal support they need.
Financial planners are an integral part of determining if a spouse will receive support, and what type of support they need. While necessary, they are also sometimes a challenge for divorcing spouses, as they do not know where to go to get this valuable advice. At Lawrence Law Office, Attorney Linda Lawrence has an extensive network of experts, any one of which may be used during your divorce. That network includes financial planners that can be reached easily and at any time you need. Do not work with a lawyer that will require you to find these experts on your own. Work with a spousal support lawyer in Columbus that already has the connections you need.
Other Practice Areas
- Family Law
- Prenuptial Agreements
- Stepparent Adoption
- Grandparent Visitation Rights
- Spousal Support
- Equitable Distribution
- Military Divorce
- Social Media in Divorce
- Contempt & Enforcement
- Post Divorce
- Business Owners Divorce
- Tax issues
- Child Custody
- Grandparent Rights
- Same-Sex Couples Child Custody
- High Asset Divorce
- Retirement Assets
- Estate Planning
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Contact a Columbus Spousal Support Attorney Today
If you believe you’re entitled to spousal support or that your former spouse is trying to take advantage of the situation, the experienced Columbus, OH family law and divorce attorneys at the Lawrence Law Office can help protect your interests and advocate on your behalf before the judge. Give us a call or talk to us online and we can begin discussing your options.