When a couple decides to divorce, one or both parties may request spousal support. In Ohio, there are several factors a court may consider when deciding whether to award spousal support.
Factors in determining spousal support
The court will look at the income of the parties from all sources, which may include income from employment and property. It may also consider each party’s earning capacity.
The court may order one spouse to pay the other spouse support in one lump sum or in installments, depending on what is equitable to each party. It may also issue a temporary order of support, which is sometimes less than the final order but is intended to provide financial assistance to the requesting spouse while the issue is pending.
In some situations, such as when the couple has children and one spouse stays home to care for them, the court may determine that it is not plausible for that spouse to seek employment. It may also consider the standard of living each spouse had during the marriage, the ages, physical and mental condition of the parties and the duration of the marriage.
Spousal support terminates when either party passes away, unless the court order states otherwise.
Spousal support modifications
Once a spousal support order has been issued by the court, there may be circumstances where the parties want to modify it. The court will allow the parties to modify the order when there is a change in circumstances that make it appropriate to do so, either the amount of the support or the terms of the order.
The court may consider whether one or both spouses had a change in income, either an increase or decrease. However, the change must be substantial so that it would make the existing order not reasonable. The court may also consider whether the change in circumstances was foreseeable when the original order was issued. There is additional information and assistance available to spouses seeking support in Ohio.