In Ohio, the court typically orders spousal support as part of a divorce settlement. Spousal support provides financial assistance to the lower-earning spouse, especially when there is a significant income disparity between the spouses.
Courts modify spousal support orders under certain circumstances. A significant change in income for either party is one of the most common reasons for modification. The courts recognize various factors such as job loss, promotion or retirement as substantial changes.
Procedure for modification
When a significant change in income occurs, the party seeking modification files a motion with the court. The court evaluates the request and determines if the situation warrants a modification.
The court considers several factors when assessing spousal support modification requests, including:
- The financial resources and needs of both parties
- The standard of living during the marriage
- The duration of the marriage
- The earning ability of each party
- Any contributions made by one spouse to the other’s education, training or career
- The tax consequences of spousal support
The court only considers a modification when it deems the change in income to be significant. Typically this means an increase or reduction in income of 10 percent or more.
Temporary vs. permanent modification
Spousal support modifications are either temporary or permanent. Temporary modifications are for a specified period until the income situation stabilizes. Permanent modifications result in a long-term change to the support order.
In some cases, spouses may agree on spousal support modifications without going to court. Negotiation or mediation may offer tailored solutions that meet both parties’ needs.
Spousal support in Ohio is a dynamic and adaptable system that recognizes changes in financial circumstances. When income changes significantly, the state’s courts can assess and modify spousal support orders to ensure fairness and equity for both parties.