The conversation regarding financial support of an ex-spouse often tends to become more heated than the emotions that caused the relationship to dissolve in the first place. These heightened emotions and the resulting conflict often spill over into what should be a balancing of each spouse’s reasonable financial needs after the divorce or dissolution.
Ohio law defines spousal support as any payment to be made to a spouse or former spouse that is both for sustenance and for support of the spouse. No guideline spousal support formula exists in Ohio and the determination of the amount and duration of spousal support tends to be one of the most unpredictable aspects of divorce litigation or dissolution negotiation.
Determining what is reasonable and appropriate spousal support is not always a simple answer. When you need a skilled and experienced family law lawyer who understands how to help you make this determination, call Christopher M. Alexander at (513) 228 – 1100, mobile (513) 226 – 8489, or email him at Chris@awklegal.com.
Everyone Knows That Spousal Support is
One Year for Every Three Years of Marriage
Many people enter the divorce process having heard rumors of a rule of thumb that spousal support, if appropriate, will be awarded for one year for every three years of the length of the marriage. For example, if you have been married for 15 years, the Court is likely to award spousal support for a period of 5 years. While this may make for good conversation on social media, experienced family law lawyers know that a true spousal support award will be determined on a case-by-case basis after reviewing the statutory factors in connection with the facts and circumstances of the parties and their particular marriage.
In determining whether spousal support is appropriate and reasonable, and to determine the amount and duration of a spousal support award, the Court is required to consider all of the following factors:
1. The income of the parties;
2. The relative earning abilities of the parties;
3. The ages and the physical, mental, and emotional conditions of the parties;
4. The retirement benefits of the parties;
5. The duration of the marriage;
6. The impact of a minor child on seeking employment outside the home;
7. The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage;
8. The relative extent of education of the parties;
9. The relative assets and liabilities of the parties;
10. The contribution of each party to the education, training, or earning ability of the other party;
11. The time and expense necessary to acquire education, training, or job experience;
12. The tax consequences, for each party, of an award of spousal support;
13. The lost income production capacity due to marital responsibilities;
14. Any other factor that the Court expressly finds to be relevant and equitable.
In each divorce case, a Judge or Magistrate who is asked to establish a spousal support award is free to interpret and weigh these factors as they deem appropriate. In each dissolution negotiation, the spouses and their attorneys will also have to interpret and weigh these factors in connection with anything else that they find relevant to the determination of reasonable and appropriate spousal support. With so many possible interpretations and no guideline formula to rely on, it is easy to see how the determination of spousal support is typically one of the most unpredictable aspects of any divorce litigation or dissolution negotiation.
When you need a skilled and experienced family law lawyer to assist you in determining what is reasonable and appropriate spousal support, including the use of the statutory factors to achieve your goals, call Christopher M. Alexander at (513) 228 – 1100, mobile (513) 226 – 8489, or email him at Chris@awklegal.com.
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