Ohio Alimony and Spousal Support Laws

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Ohio courts may grant one spouse support at divorce if there is disparity between the parties or there is another reason to do so. The court will look at the circumstances surrounding the parties and determine all support awards on a case-by-case basis.

Types of Spousal Support

  • Temporary – a temporary award of alimony prior to the final dissolution.
  • Short-Term – an award of alimony for a limited period of time, often granted to allow one spouse the opportunity to gain new skills.
  • Long-Term or Permanent – an award of alimony for a long period of time.

Who is Eligible for Alimony in Ohio

The court may grant spousal support to either party to a divorce. The needs of the parties and the below factors will be utilized by the court to determine what is just.

Ohio Alimony Guidelines (Factors for Awarding Alimony)

An Ohio court will look at the following factors to decide whether to grant alimony in a case:

  • Income and earning abilities;
  • Ages and conditions of the parties;
  • Retirement benefits of the parties;
  • Duration of the marriage;
  • Appropriateness of a custodial parent seeking employment;
  • Standard of living established during marriage;
  • Education, assets and liabilities of the parties;
  • Contribution of each party to education, training, or earning potential of the other party;
  • Time and expense necessary for the spouse seeking support to acquire education, training, or job experience so that the spouse will be qualified to obtain employment;
  • Tax consequences;
  • Lost income due to marital responsibilities; and
  • Any other considerations the court finds to be relevant.

Reasons for Termination or Modification of Alimony in Ohio

The following circumstances may be grounds for modification or termination of spousal support:

  • Altered economic conditions;
  • Remarriage of support recipient;
  • Death;
  • Entering into a relationship in another state that would constitute a valid marriage in Ohio;
  • Cohabitation in some situations; and
  • Retirement.

The court has discretion to hear petitions for modification. Other grounds may also be considered.

Marital Fault in Ohio

Ohio allows the following grounds for divorce:

  • Incompatibility, unless contested by either party;
  • Living separately for at least one year;
  • Desertion for at least one year;
  • Bigamy by either party;
  • Adultery;
  • Extreme cruelty;
  • Fraudulent contract;
  • Gross neglect of a marital duty;
  • Habitual drunkenness; or
  • Imprisonment.

How Long Does Spousal Support Last in Ohio?

Spousal support can be for a specified length of time, continue indefinitely, or be ordered to terminate upon the occurrence of an event. The court has discretion in making the determination of how long support is to last.

Ohio Alimony Taxes

Alimony is claimable as a federal income tax deduction by the paying spouse. Likewise, the payee spouse is to claim alimony as income. An attorney can advise you of your rights and the best way to structure your alimony for tax purposes.

Find an Alimony Attorney in Ohio

To protect your assets and your rights during divorce, it is best to discuss your situation with a knowledgeable attorney. An Ohio family law attorney will help you sort out the complexities of the legal process, protect your assets and guide you through the paperwork.

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