Spousal support, also known as alimony, involves one spouse making payments to the other in a divorce or marriage dissolution. Its primary purpose is to help the recipient spouse adjust to the economic changes of divorce and maintain a reasonable standard of living.
Ohio law recognizes two main types of spousal support: temporary and ongoing or permanent. If you plan to ask for alimony or expect your spouse to, ensure you understand what it means for you under the law.
Temporary spousal support
Temporary alimony may be possible while a divorce is pending and usually ends once finalized. The amount and duration of this type of support depend on the spouses’ income, expenses and needs during the separation period.
Temporary spousal support does not guarantee that the recipient spouse will receive an award of permanent alimony after the divorce.
Permanent spousal support
A judge may order reasonable ongoing alimony as part of your final divorce decree. The support may continue until a court terminates the order or modifies it. The amount and duration of permanent spousal support depend on several factors. Here are a few examples:
- Each spouse’s income, assets, debts and retirement benefits
- Each party’s earning abilities and education levels
- Their age and physical condition
- Length and quality of the marriage
- Standard of living established during marriage
- Custodial responsibilities of the parent with the children
Judges may also look at factors unique to your situation, such as each spouse’s contributions to the other’s education, career or earning capacity.
It can be hard to predict how the court will respond to a request for either type of spousal support. A legal representative can help you present your case to the judge clearly and convincingly, whether you are seeking alimony or concerned about paying it.