The end of a relationship through divorce, legal separation, dissolution, or annulment in Medina, Brunswick or Wadsworth is an emotional roller coaster for which few Ohio couples are prepared. Couples going their separate ways face many unexpected hurdles, but one of the most jarring is the realization that the lifestyle they established while living together usually was supported by two incomes. Maintaining the same lifestyle might not be possible on just one income.
When the income of one of the spouses is far greater than the earnings of the other, being able to pay essential living expenses might be a challenge. This is particularly true when there a disparity exists in the education or job skills of the parties. Fortunately, judges in Medina, Brunswick or Wadsworth have authority under Ohio law to award spousal support to one of the parties in a divorce or separation proceeding.
Basics of Spousal Support
Spousal support was formerly known as alimony in Ohio. It is any payment or series of payments made by one spouse to another that is intended for the sustenance and support of the receiving party. Spousal support does not have to be in the form of a cash payment or payments. It can be in the form of an award of real or personal property, but a distribution of marital assets or a distributive award under the equitable distribution laws in Medina, Brunswick or Wadsworth does not constitute spousal support.
Amount and Duration of Spousal Support
Judges do not have formulas to determine the appropriate amount of spousal support to award in the same manner as they do with child support in Medina, Brunswick or Wadsworth. Factors that judges will take into consideration when deciding upon the amount, form and duration of spousal support to be awarded include:
- The income of each of the parties
- The earning abilities of each of the parties
- Retirement benefits to which the parties might be entitled
- How long the parties were married to each other
- Whether one of the spouses will be caring for minor children and limited in seeking employment
- The parties’ standard of living during the marriage
- The formal education of each spouse
- The assets and liabilities each of the spouses will have after they separate or are divorced
- Whether, and to what extent, one of the parties contributed to the education or training of the other
- The time needed for the receiving spouse to obtain the education or training necessary to obtain gainful employment
- The tax consequences for each spouse of spousal support
- The loss of income production experienced by one of the spouses because of family obligations such as raising the children of the marriage
- Such other factors as a judge states are relevant and equitable to the issue of spousal support
Can Spousal Support Orders Ever Be Changed?
Modifying a spousal support order requires a showing in Medina, Brunswick or Wadsworth of a change of circumstances. This is more than just an increase in a paying spouse’s income or an increase in the expenses of the receiving spouse. The change of circumstances must be substantial, and it must not have been one that was raised when the support was originally ordered.
A Medina Spousal Support Lawyer May Help
The financial health and well-being of a party to a divorce or separation might depend upon an order for spousal support. If you have questions or concerns about spousal support in Medina, Brunswick or Wadsworth, contact Thomas Erb Jr. today at .