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Ohio alimony agreements balance spousal financial disparity

Changes in society influence the modification of laws. Although spousal support is not gender specific, ex-wives have been the traditional recipients of alimony following Columbus divorces. That's because women often were disadvantaged economically when a marriage ended.

It was once more common than it is today for wives to stay home to support a husband's career and raise children. To satisfy economic needs or by personal choice, married women began to enter the workforce and establish separate earnings and careers. Marital income no longer was based on a single paycheck.

Just because both spouses are employed, doesn't mean they share an equal economic status. One spouse may earn considerably more than another. Spousal support attempts to balance financial disparity following divorce, when one spouse's employability and income are significantly different from the other spouse's.

Alimony may not be necessary for divorcing spouses with comparable earnings or earning capacities. Spousal support agreements and court orders arise out of one party's financial need and the other's spouse's ability to satisfy it. Alimony may be temporary or long term, depending on several factors.

Ohio judges making alimony decisions consider how long a couple was married and the degree of wealth and comfort spouses enjoyed during marriage. The age and health of spouses can influence alimony terms. The education and earning capabilities of the potential support recipient are also factors, including the time it would take for an ex-spouse to reach a level of economic self-sufficiency.

Spousal support may be conditional. Alimony payments commonly end when a recipient remarries or a payer dies. Support can stop sooner, according to agreement terms like rehabilitative alimony, which is paid for a predetermined time coinciding with a spouse's education or job training.

Alimony agreements, like child support orders, are enforceable. Attorneys help clients pursue modifications of spousal support when financial or other conditions for a payer or recipient change significantly.

Source: FindLaw, "Spousal Support (Alimony) Basics" Aug. 03, 2014

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