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Guide to alimony and spousal support in Ohio

Spousal support is granted to Ohio divorcees in the event that one party has a significantly higher income than the other. The logic behind spousal support is that it enables the lower-paying spouse to maintain a standard of living similar to the duration of the marriage. This may be temporary or permanent, depending on the length of the marriage and the employability of the recipient partner.

Deciding an amount for alimony payment is not an exact science. Rather, it is determined by an Ohio judge based on a number of factors including income, earning capacity, ages and health, retirement and pension benefits, non-economic contributions and more. Issues such as child care and relative assets and liabilities may also come into play where relevant.

Additionally, spousal support payments in Ohio may affect and be affected by the overall property division through the marriage. A judge looks at a divorce agreement in its entirety to determine its overall fairness and determine alimony that way. If spouses can come up with an agreeable alimony amount, it may save the Court of Common Pleas some time; otherwise, the judge will order support based on the above factors.

A divorce lawyer may provide valuable support during the process. This includes providing mediation services to couples with minor disagreements, advocacy at the settlement table during more contentious divorces and court representation. A lawyer may be a guide throughout the divorce and might also be able to provide valuable insight and strategy for ensuring a property, alimony and custody split that is most fair and equitable for a client.

Source: Divorce Support, "Ohio Spousal Support/Maintenance/Alimony Factors", September 11, 2014

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