Child Support & Alimony

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The information below is general and based upon current Ohio law. If you wish to learn how the laws apply to your situation and what will happen in your case contact us for a free case evaluation.

Alimony (Spousal Support)

Alimony, now known as spousal support, is essentially a division of the marital income where one party pays a portion of their earnings to the other party. It is generally awarded when there is a big difference in the parties’ incomes.

Will I have to pay or can I receive spousal support?

There is no specific formula in Ohio to determine when someone must pay or can receive spousal support. The law does tell the court to examine a number of factors, including:

  • The income and assets of the parties
  • The earnings of the parties
  • The ages, the physical mental and emotional conditions of the parties
  • The parties retirement benefits
  • How long the marriage was
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • The extent its necessary for one party to stay home with minor children
  • The parties educational levels
  • The liabilities of the parties
  • Contribution one party may have made to the others education
  • Training or earning ability,
  • How long it will take for the persons seeking spousal support to obtain job experience, training or education to obtain appropriate employment
  • The tax consequences of the parties
  • Lost income resulting from the parties marital responsibilities.

Our office is experienced in estimating the actual dollar figure of support by utilizing these factors. Contact us for a free case evaluation which will include a calculation of support levels in your case.

What is a temporary support order?

A temporary support order is issued by the court in order to insure the continued financial stability of the marital estate. Essentially, the court wants to make sure that bills get paid, mortgages get taken care of and nothing falls into default. Since the purpose of temporary support is to maintain the status quo, the fact that someone receives temporary support or has to pay temporary support is not an indication of whether or not they would receive support after the divorce is finalized.

How long will support last?

Spousal support can last for a specific time frame, such as one year etc., or it may be ordered to continue indefinitely. Specific time periods can be negotiated by the parties or the court can determine what would be appropriate. When a court orders indefinite spousal support the court generally reserves jurisdiction to modify the order, if circumstances change.

Modification of Support.

If in a divorce decree the court reserves jurisdiction to examine the issue of spousal support at a later date, the court at the request of one of the parties can change the amount and in certain cases the duration of support. The court looks to determine whether there is a change in circumstances, such as the retirement of the party paying. A change in employment status could also justify a change in support levels. However, if the change is considered “voluntary” the court may decline to modify support.

What happens if someone quits or is fired from their job?

It is frequently asserted by one party that they will quit their job to avoid the payment of support. Also, sometimes people do loose their jobs. In these circumstances the court must determine whether or not this was a voluntary act. It should be noted that being fired from a job is generally considered to be voluntary. If a person “voluntarily” decreases their income they generally will not receive a reduction in support levels. Leaving them in the terrible position of having to pay support set at a level of income they no longer have.

What other reasons are there to reduce or modify support?

The court can examine the following reasons to make a determination whether a modification of support is appropriate.

  • Involuntary decreases in income
  • Remarriage of the recipient
  • Death of either party
  • Cohabitation in certain situations
  • An increased ability to pay
  • The retirement of the payee
  • Other appropriate circumstances.

What are the tax consequences of support?

Alimony is taxable income to the recipient and deductable from the payor’s gross income.

How much will it be?

Unfortunately, unlike child support, there is no “standard calculation” for the award of alimony. The exact amount depends on the factors listed above and the court in which your action proceeds. Attorneys familiar with the courts in your area should be able to give you a good estimate of what would be ordered in your case.

Can a man receive alimony?

The award of alimony is gender neutral. While it is unusual, if all the factors are met, a man can receive alimony.

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