Nancy L. Sponseller

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Spousal support in Ohio divorces

On behalf of Law Office of Nancy L. Sponseller posted on Friday, July 25, 2014.

In Ohio, as is the case around the country, the rate of divorce has increased significantly in the past 20 years. While most couples whose marriages are ending are able to come up with an amicable agreement regarding most matters, the issue of spousal support can become a sticking point that ends up being determined by the court. Section 3105.18 of the Ohio Revised Code sets forth the procedures and guidelines followed by the court in awarding spousal support.

Spousal support includes payments, whether in installments or a lump sum, that are made to a former spouse for the purposes of sustenance and support of the recipient. It does not include any payments that are made as part of a property division order. Although historically, such payments were made by the ex-husband to the ex-wife, either party can request it. All spousal support terminates upon the death of either party.

The court has a degree of latitude in assessing the amount of the award as well as its duration and is allowed to make its determination on what it believes to be appropriate and reasonable. In making its decision, however, the court is required to consider certain factors. These include, among other things, the income and comparative earning abilities of both parties; their ages, physical, emotional and mental conditions; the standard of living they enjoyed during the marriage; and the time it would take for the party seeking support to gain the necessary training or experience in order to find a suitable job.

Under certain conditions, a modification of an existing spousal support award can be obtained upon a showing of a change in financial or other circumstances of either party. A lawyer with experience in these matters can explain the requirements to a client who is contemplating a divorce.

Source: Lawriter Ohio Laws and Rules, “ORC 3105.18 Awarding spousal support – modification of spousal support.“, July 11, 2014