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Considerations for Spousal Support in Ohio

 Posted on August 01, 2019 in Divorce

Medina County family law attorneyThe decision to end a marriage is not easy, especially if the couple was married for a long time. One of the factors that concerns many people about getting a divorce is the financial aspect. The thought of how to divide assets or the loss of one whole income can be daunting. In some cases, one spouse may have earned significantly less than the other spouse did or even gave up his or her career to raise a child. In many states, such as Ohio, an award of “alimony” or now called “spousal support” may allow the spouse with the lower income to maintain his or her standard of living after the divorce. But, what happens to those support payments if one of the ex-spouses remarries?  

Determining Spousal Support in Ohio

In the state of Ohio, the court may order temporary spousal support during the divorce proceedings since some divorces can take a long time. Permanent spousal support payments may then be ordered once the divorce is final. While some states have guidelines for calculating the amount and duration of spousal support payments, Ohio divorce law leaves these decisions up to the court’s discretion. A judge must consider several factors when deciding whether or not to award spousal support payments.

Some of the issues the court will review include: 

  • Each party’s income earning potential; 
  • Length of the marriage;
  • Age and health of each party;
  • Retirement benefits;
  • Standard of living;
  • Educational level of each party;
  • Assets and liabilities of each party; and
  • Tax consequences of support payments.

Modifying Spousal Support in Ohio

Under Ohio law, a judge can modify spousal support when it is determined that the life circumstances of one of the ex-spouses has changed enough that the existing support payments are no longer “reasonable and appropriate.” A change in circumstances can include the loss of a job or gaining new employment, illness, injury, or remarriage. This typically means a decrease or increase in one or more of the following for each party:

  • Salary/wages;
  • Bonuses;
  • Living expenses; and
  • Medical expenses.

Spousal support can be modified as circumstances change, but a provision for such modification must be included in the original divorce decree. In any case, the court will request to see specific documents as a way of verifying income, expenses, and more to determine the orders. This documentation can include a marriage license or paycheck stub. If one spouse remarries, he or she may now have an additional income from his or her new spouse.

There are other changes in circumstances that may allow for modification of the spousal support order, but only in cases where the change is significant and deems the current order unreasonable and inappropriate. It can also be amended if the change was not considered when the court ordered the initial payments.

Contact a Medina County Divorce Lawyer

A divorce can be traumatic in many ways, emotionally and financially. Many people rely on spousal support payments after a divorce to maintain an adequate lifestyle. If you are considering remarrying, you may be concerned about how that will affect any future payments. The Law Office of Whitney K.S. Miller, LLC has handled numerous divorce cases and will thoroughly explain how spousal support is calculated and modified. Call a skilled Wadsworth spousal support attorney at 330-725-4114. We offer free consultations in most cases.


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