Ending a marriage can put some individuals in dire financial situations. One person may have decided to help raise the children and put their career on hold. As a result, they may be unable to meet their financial needs after the divorce. In these cases, alimony (or spousal support) may be an option. Find out whether you qualify for alimony in Ohio.
Alimony in Ohio
While alimony is a commonly used term, it is typically known as spousal support. This court-ordered provision is a type of financial support provided to a spouse after a divorce. In Ohio, two types of spousal support are recognized under the law: temporary and permanent.
Temporary Spousal Support
Temporary support begins at the start of the divorce process and ends when the judge issues a new support order or judgment of divorce. This type of support often occurs when there is a discrepancy between the spouses’ incomes.
Temporary spousal support makes sure that both spouses can maintain their standard of living during the divorce process. Often, it is a financial lifeline for the spouse who may have less income or resources.
The amount and duration of temporary spousal support can vary based on several factors, including:
- Each spouse’s income and financial needs
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The length of the marriage
It is not meant to be a long-term solution. Instead, it is a short-term fix to help one spouse maintain their lifestyle while the divorce proceedings are ongoing.
All temporary spousal support orders are subject to change and may be modified or terminated based on changes in circumstances.
Permanent Spousal Support
This type of spousal support is a little different. The court can order this support for the short or long term. With this order, the spousal support payments will continue after the divorce for a certain amount and a set time. Courts reserve permanent alimony for cases where one spouse cannot be self-supporting.
For example, if one spouse left the workforce to raise a family or advance the other’s career, it might be difficult for them to reenter the workforce. Permanent spousal support can provide enough financial assistance to the supported spouse. In turn, they can get the required workforce training and become financially independent.
Permanent spousal support is also common in cases where one spouse has a disability or illness that prevents them from working. In these cases, permanent alimony can provide ongoing financial assistance to help them meet their basic needs.
Calculating Spousal Support
In Ohio, child support is calculated using a strict formula, but that is not true with spousal support. It is up to the courts to decide if a requesting spouse qualifies for support.
In some cases, the judge will follow a general rule of thumb that allows one year’s worth of spousal support for every three to five years of the marriage’s length. However, that may not always happen in every case. The judge will also need to rule based on each party’s income and property. Plus, if there is any impairment to the present or future earning ability of the party seeking maintenance, that is also taken into consideration.
Learn More About Alimony in Ohio
Understanding alimony in Ohio can be confusing. If you want to find out whether you need to pay spousal support or qualify for it, reach out to an experienced family law attorney.