Cleveland Spousal Support Attorney
Representing You During Your Spousal Support (Alimony) Case
In a spousal support (or alimony) arrangement, one spouse supplies their ex-spouse with financial support after divorce. This financial support allows the spousal support recipient to maintain the same quality of life post-divorce that they enjoyed while married.
Since most spouses are reluctant to supply their ex-spouse with assets post-divorce, spousal support cases are often contentious. At Laubacher & Co., our family lawyers in Cleveland will work with you to pursue an equitable spousal support agreement with your partner.
Who Is Eligible for Spousal Support in Ohio?
Either spouse can receive spousal support in a divorce under Ohio law. In addition, both spouses are potentially eligible to receive temporary spousal support while their divorce is pending.
Spousal support awards terminate on the death of either party unless the court order states otherwise.
How Do Courts Calculate Alimony in Ohio?
Ohio courts will consider the following factors when determining the amount, duration, and terms of a spousal support award:
- The spouses' respective incomes, earning abilities, and educations;
- The ages and physical, mental, and emotional conditions of both spouses;
- The spouses' retirement benefits;
- The duration of the marriage;
- The extent to which the duty to raise a child prevents either spouse from seeking employment outside of the home;
- The standard of living established during the marriage;
- The relative assets and liabilities of each spouse, including child support obligations;
- Each spouse's contributions to the education, training, and earning ability of the other, including payment for any professional degrees;
- The time and expense necessary for the spouse seeking support to acquire satisfactory education, training, and job experience;
- The tax consequences of a support award;
- Whether either spouse's earning capacity was diminished because of his or her marital responsibilities, and;
- Any other factors that the court finds relevant and equitable.
How Long Does Spousal Support Last? What Happens If My Spouse Gets Remarried?
You or your spouse may be awarded temporary spousal support while your divorce is pending. This obligation ends when the divorce is final. If you or your spouse is ordered to pay permanent spousal support, the duration is determined on a case-by-case basis. You may receive short term or long-term support based upon several factors, including your ability to earn a living.
In situations where a spouse could hypothetically support themselves but currently lacks the skills or experience to do so, the court often sets a specific end-date for spousal support. This end-date serves as a sort of deadline for the recipient to gain the necessary skills to support themselves or reenter the workforce.
In spousal support cases where certain conditions (such as finding employment) play a role in the case, the court may request frequent updates from the recipient and payor to ensure both parties are doing their utmost to uphold the arrangement.
Typically, you can ask the court to terminate a spousal support order in the case of death or remarriage. You can also request termination in the case of cohabitation.
Can I Change My Spousal Support Order?
For the Ohio courts to modify an award of spousal support, two requirements must be met. First, there must be an unforeseeable change in circumstances that makes the existing award "no longer reasonable and appropriate." Second, the parties' divorce decree or separation agreement must contain a provision specifically authorizing the court to modify the original spousal support award.
Examples of changed circumstances include increases and involuntary decreases in either spouse's wages, salary, bonuses, living expenses, or medical expenses.
At Laubacher & Co., we will work with you to either modify an existing spousal support arrangement or help you navigate an ongoing spousal support case.