With any divorce, no matter the complexity or animosity between spouses, difficult decisions need to be made. While some divorcing couples in Ohio and elsewhere can quickly reach an agreement, others can take time because of the complexity of the matter. When a spouse seeks spousal support, he or she does not only need to establish this need, the amount that should be paid and the duration of these payments, but one might need to seek modification in the future. Thus, one needs to understand the process of establishing and modifying a spousal support order.
Ohio spousal support laws
Based on Ohio law at Section 3105.18, spousal support is a payment made to a spouse or former spouse or a third party for the benefit of a spouse or former spouse. These payments are used for both sustenance and support. These payments do not include any payment that was made as part of the division or distribution of property.
Determination of spousal support
When determining whether spousal support is appropriate or reasonable during the divorce process, the court will consider various factors. This includes the income of each party, relative earning abilities, the age and physical, mental and emotional condition of each party, retirement benefits, the duration of the marriage, the appropriateness of it, the standard of living established during the marriage, education of each party, the assets and liabilities of each party, contributions made to the other party, time and expenses needed for the spouse seeking child support to acquire necessary education, training or job experience, tax consequences, lost income production capacity and any other factors deemed relevant by the court.
When spousal support is established, a provision authorizing modification is incorporated in the decree. Modification could occur when there is a substantial change in circumstances. This could include an increase or involuntary decrease in income, changes in living expenses, increased medical expenses or other circumstances that could warrant a change in the spousal support order.
Finances are often the root of many life issues. Whether it was the cause for divorce or not, it is certainly an issue that must be sorted in the divorce process. When spousal support is a key issue during dissolution, it is not only important to understand how best to navigate the matter but also realize who it might be necessary to revisit the matter after the divorce is finalized.