Spousal Support

What You Should Know About Spousal Support

Spousal Support Lawyer in Columbus Ohio

In Ohio spousal support is determined by the Trial Court based upon a set of criteria are commonly referred to as the spousal support factors. These spousal support factors can be found in Ohio Revised Code 3105. 171. Unlike child support, in Ohio spousal support is not based upon a formula but rather is within the sole discretion of the Trial Court employing 19 factors. Also when making an award of spousal support a trial court is required to make an award which is both appropriate and reasonable based upon all of the facts and circumstances of the particular case. Also, under Ohio law a trial court in awarding spousal support may award spousal support to either spouse based upon the circumstances of the case.

Ohio Courts of Appeal which have addressed the issue of spousal support have determined that it is not necessary for a trial court to find all 19 factors to be present in a case in order to award spousal support. Rather, a trial court may award spousal support even if it finds that only one of the 19 spousal support factors are present. In addition, Ohio Courts of Appeals have held that all of the 19 spousal support factors have equal weight and that no one factor is of more importance in awarding spousal support than another factor. The 19 spousal support factors which a trial court employs to award spousal support are:

(a) The income of the parties, from all sources, including, but not limited to, income derived from property divided, disbursed, or distributed under section 3105.171 of the Revised Code;
(b) The relative earning abilities of the parties;
(c) The ages and the physical, mental, and emotional conditions of the parties;
(d) The retirement benefits of the parties;
(e) The duration of the marriage;
(f) The extent to which it would be inappropriate for a party, because that party will be custodian of a minor child of the marriage, to seek employment outside the home;
(g) The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage;
(h) The relative extent of education of the parties;
(i) The relative assets and liabilities of the parties, including but not limited to any court-ordered payments by the parties;
(j) The contribution of each party to the education, training, or earning ability of the other party, including, but not limited to, any party's contribution to the acquisition of a professional degree of the other party;
(k) The time and expense necessary for the spouse who is seeking spousal support to acquire education, training, or job experience so that the spouse will be qualified to obtain appropriate employment, provided the education, training, or job experience, and employment is, in fact, sought;
(l) The tax consequences, for each party, of an award of spousal support;
(m) The lost income production capacity of either party that resulted from that party's marital responsibilities;
(n) Any other factor that the court expressly finds to be relevant and equitable.