Under Ohio law, one spouse may have to provide financial support to the other during the couple’s divorce, and for a period after their divorce or dissolution is final. Spousal support (also called “alimony”) is a contentious issue in many divorces, and at Laubacher & Co. we provide experienced representation for spouses facing alimony disputes throughout the Cleveland area.
When going through a divorce in Ohio, spousal support is one of the four major issues (along with property division, child support, and child custody) that you will need to resolve with your spouse, either amicably or through litigation at trial. Unlike child support, there is no set formula for calculating spousal support in Ohio. Instead, the courts (and spouses seeking to negotiate an amicable resolution) consider a list of factors and based upon these factors one spouse may be awarded support during and/or after the couple’s divorce.
With offices in Cleveland, Laubacher & Co. is an Ohio family law firm that represents divorcing spouses throughout Cuyahoga County. If you are anticipating a divorce and have questions about spousal support, we invite you to contact us for a free initial consultation. As you prepare for your divorce, it will be important to make informed decisions about protecting your financial interests. One of our attorneys will be happy to meet with you in confidence and help you understand what you need to do every step of the way.
Factors Affecting Spousal Support Calculations in Ohio
In Ohio, neither the wife nor the husband is automatically entitled to spousal support. Depending upon the circumstances, either spouse can receive spousal support; or, it may be the case that no support award is justified in light of the spouses’ respective finances.
When considering whether to make provisions for spousal support in an Ohio divorce (and if so, the amount and duration of support to be awarded), the relevant factors include:
- Age, physical, mental and emotional condition(s)
- Contributions of either spouse to the education, training, or earning ability of the other during the marriage
- Each spouse’s income
- Each spouse’s earning ability
- Each spouse’s relative level of education
- Length of the marriage
- Post-divorce parenting arrangements
- Retirement benefits
- The spouses’ standard of living during the marriage
- The spouses’ total assets and liabilities
- The time and expense necessary for one spouse to acquire the necessary education or training
- Tax consequences of any support awarded
Importantly, Ohio law only provides for modification of spousal support awards in very limited circumstances. As a result, when establishing support in your divorce – whether as the payor or as the recipient – it is critical to approach the issue with a long-term perspective. For more information, we encourage you to review our Ohio Spousal Support FAQs.
Spousal Support: Tax Considerations
As referenced in the list above, tax consequences are among the factors considered in establishing spousal support in Ohio. Typically, spousal support payments are tax-deductible for the payor and must be included in the recipient’s reported income. When structuring spousal support arrangements, divorcing spouses should carefully assess the tax implications involved. It will generally be in both spouses’ best interests to minimize their overall tax liability following their divorce; and, from re-structuring support payments to modifying their proposed property settlement, divorcing spouses will typically have a number of tax planning options available.
Speak with a Cleveland, OH Lawyer at Laubacher & Co.
If you would like more information about how spousal support may factor into your divorce, contact our Cleveland, OH law offices for a free initial consultation. Evening and weekend appointments are available. To speak with one of our experienced attorneys in confidence, please call (440) 336-8687 or request an appointment online today.