Experience. Knowledge. Dedication. Aggressive Advocacy On Your Side SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION

How Long Does a Spouse Get Spousal Support in Ohio?

Douglas A. Ball Attorney at Law Jan. 5, 2024

Judges Gavel, Soundboard And Bundle Of Money On The TableAlso known as alimony, spousal support is a payment made by one spouse to another during and after a divorce to ensure a relatively equitable standard of living. Spousal support is often awarded when one spouse earns significantly more than the other and the lesser-earning spouse would be left with a substantially lower income without it. 

Spousal support is usually seen as a temporary form of financial assistance to help a former spouse get back on their feet after a divorce. It can also be used to compensate for any sacrifices made by the lesser-earning spouse, such as giving up a career to take care of the household or children. 

In some cases, spousal support may be awarded even when both spouses have similar incomes. This is known as "equalization" and aims to ensure that both parties are able to maintain the same standard of living after the divorce. 

The amount and duration of spousal support can vary greatly depending on the specific circumstances of the divorce. Consult with a family law attorney in your area for counsel tailored to your goals and interests. 

Factors Considered in Determining Spousal Support 

In Ohio, the courts don't just pull a number out of thin air when determining how long spousal support will last. They consider a range of factors to establish whether spousal support is necessary, its amount, terms, and duration. These factors include: 

  • income levels of both parties,  

  • their relative earning capabilities,  

  • their ages,  

  • their physical/mental/emotional conditions,  

  • their retirement benefits, and  

  • the duration of the marriage.  

They also consider the standard of living established during the marriage, education level, assets/liabilities, and contribution to the other party's education or earning ability. 

Furthermore, the court may consider any other relevant and equitable factors. For instance, changes in circumstances for either party, such as an involuntary increase or decrease in wages, other income, living or medical expenses, can lead to a modification of the spousal support order. However, it's important to note that the divorce decree must include a provision allowing for such modifications. 

Duration of Spousal Support 

In Ohio, the duration of spousal support orders is not fixed and can vary based on the specific circumstances of each case. Permanent spousal support orders are determined by what the court deems reasonable, taking into account the factors discussed above. These orders provide ongoing financial support to the recipient spouse. 

On the other hand, temporary spousal support orders are temporary and typically last for the duration of the divorce process. They're designed to provide immediate financial assistance to the dependent spouse until a final divorce decree is issued by the court. Once the court makes its final decision, the temporary spousal support orders will be terminated. 

The specific duration and terms of spousal support orders in Ohio can vary from case to case, so it's essential to consult with a legal professional to understand how these factors may apply to your situation. 

Modifying a Spousal Support Arrangement 

In Ohio, modifying a pre-existing spousal support order is possible. The individual seeking the modification must first file a motion with the court. This motion should clearly outline the reasons why they believe a modification is necessary. Once the motion is filed, the court will review it along with any supporting evidence. 

Next comes the hearing, where both parties have the opportunity to present their case. If the court determines that there has been a change in circumstances that warrants a modification, they will issue a new spousal support order. However, keep in mind that the process can be complex and time-consuming, which is why it's crucial to have experienced legal representation. 

The court will consider various factors when determining whether to modify a spousal support order. These may include significant changes in circumstances for either party, like an involuntary increase or decrease in wages, other income, living or medical expenses. However, it's crucial to remember that for a spousal support order to be modified, the original divorce decree must include a provision allowing for such modifications. 

Get Personalized Legal Advice 

Understanding how long a spouse can receive spousal support in Ohio is crucial for individuals going through a divorce or separation. The court takes into account various factors when determining spousal support, and the duration of support can vary depending on the circumstances.  

It's always recommended to consult with an experienced Ohio divorce attorney like Douglas A. Ball for tailored counsel regarding your alimony matters. He understands how the law applies to your specific case and will work tirelessly to protect your rights to an equitable standard of living. His practice, based in Batavia, Ohio, serves clients throughout Batavia County, Clermont County, Hamilton County, Brown County, and Warren County. Reach out today to schedule a time to discuss your situation and how to move forward.