Determining spousal support during the divorce process can be challenging, complex and may be acrimonious in some circumstances. Spousal support is a payment one former spouse makes to the other following a divorce. If a request for spousal support is made during divorce, it is important for both spouses to be familiar with how spousal support requests are handled and awarded during divorce.
Spousal support may be awarded by the family law court based on the evaluation of a list factors. Factors used to determine spousal support in Ohio include:
- The incomes of both spouses;
- The earning capacities of both spouses;
- The ages and physical, mental and emotional conditions of both spouses;
- The retirement benefits of each of the spouses;
- The assets and liabilities of each of the spouses;
- The education levels of each of the spouses;
- The duration of the marriage;
- The standard of living established during the marriage;
- If one spouse contributed to the education, training or earning capacity of the other spouse;
- Lost income potential of either of the spouses due to their marital responsibilities;
- If one of the spouses may need to stay home with minor children rather than seek employment;
- The time and expense it would take for the spouse seeking spousal support to acquire the education, training and job skills necessary to obtain appropriate employment;
- The tax consequences of a spousal support award; and
- Any other factor the family law court determines is relevant to achieving an equitable outcome.
All of these different factors will be considered to determine if spousal support will be awarded and, if so, how much and for how long. It is essential during the divorce process for both spouses seeking spousal support, and those that will be paying spousal support following their divorce, to be familiar with how spousal support is determined which will allow them to better protect their interests.