An Overview of Spousal Support or Alimony in an Ohio Divorce or Dissolution

alimony in OhioIf you’ve thought about, or actually filed for divorce, you may be wondering:  “What is spousal support and am I entitled to it?”

The analysis of that questions starts with a basic premise; In Ohio, husbands and wives have a legal duty to support each other during marriage.  So what happens when that marriage begins to crumble, and the husband and wife decide to separate?  If the couple agrees on all aspects of their separation, they can draw up a separation agreement and file for dissolution.  That separation agreement can contain several terms, including how the marital assets will be split, child custody schedules and a schedule for payment of spousal support or alimony (two terms essentially describing the same thing).

If the couples cannot agree on terms of their separation, one will have to file for divorce.  If one spouse is more financially stable then the other spouse, the spouse with less financial stability can seek spousal support.  The court doesn’t have a “hard and fast” rule, or a spousal-support calculator to determine if, and how much support a spouse with fewer resources should receive.  Instead, the court will look at several factors (outlined in O.R.C. 3105.18) when determining if and how much support is “appropriate and reasonable”.   Some of those factors include:  the relative earning abilities and income of the parties, the duration of the marriage, the health of both parties and the standard of living the parties established during the marriage.

The court is more likely to award spousal support when the marriage has lasted a long time, there is a large disparity in the incomes of both parties, one spouse helped put the other through college or had to for-go a career to stay home and raise children.  The court is not likely to award spousal support when the marriage was relatively short, or both parties are employed and earn around the same income.

When determining what, if any spousal support you’re entitled to, you should speak with an experienced Ohio divorce attorney.  For specific legal advice about a divorce or dissolution or to speak to a divorce lawyer experienced in Ohio, contact the law offices of Slater and Zurz LLP at 1-800-297-9191.  You can also contact us through our website:

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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