In some marriages, one spouse sacrifices their career aspirations to take care of the household so the other can achieve the professional success needed to support the family financially. When divorce occurs, the stay-at-home spouse is naturally worried about how they will support themselves until they acquire the skills or training needed to become self-sufficient.
Understanding your rights and obligations is crucial to ensuring a fair outcome. At Cathy R. Cook, Attorneys at Law, we recognize the sensitive nature of these issues and are here to help you understand how spousal support works in Ohio. Whether you are seeking support or are required to pay it, our goal is to protect your financial interests and help you secure a stable future.
Why Hire Cathy R. Cook, Attorneys at Law, for Your Cincinnati, OH, Spousal Support Case?
Choosing the right spousal support lawyer can significantly impact the outcome of your case. Cathy R. Cook, Attorneys at Law, stands out in the Cincinnati area for our dedicated and effective approach to handling spousal support cases. With a team deeply versed in family law, everyone on our team brings a wealth of experience and understanding to each case they handle.
When you work with us, you benefit in the following:
- Concentration in Family Law: With their extensive experience in family law, our team is well suited to handle spousal support cases.
- Dedicated Attention: Our Cincinnati, OH, spousal support lawyers provide individualized attention to each client, ensuring that your needs are thoroughly understood and addressed. You are integrated in the process as part of the team.
- Strong Negotiation Skills: By using our strong negotiation skills, we strive to achieve a fair, equitable spousal support arrangement for you.
- Compassionate Approach: We provide empathetic yet professional support throughout the divorce process.
- Proven Track Record: We have a history of successfully handling the most complicated spousal support cases. Your best interests are always our priority.
How is Spousal Support Calculated in Ohio?
Unlike child support, which follows uniform guidelines across the state, spousal support is subject to much more discretion by the courts. This means that spousal support orders can vary significantly by county. When calculating payments, Ohio courts must consider several factors outlined in Ohio R.C. 3105.18. They include, but are not limited to:
- The duration of the marriage
- The standard of living during the marriage
- Each spouse’s income and earning ability
- Each spouse’s age and physical condition
- Each spouse’s retirement benefits
- The training and education the requesting spouse would need for employment
- The extent of each spouse’s education
- Relative assets and liabilities of each spouse’s
Income differences and the length of the marriage are typically the most influential factors. For example, a five-year marriage might lead to a spousal support order amounting to 20-25% of the income difference. In contrast, a marriage lasting 30 years or more could result in income equalization or 50% of the total income.
Duration of Spousal Support
The duration of the marriage plays a critical role in determining both the length and amount of spousal support. Courts generally won’t consider support for marriages that last less than five years. For longer marriages, the guideline is often to award spousal support for one-third of the length of the marriage. For instance, a 15-year marriage might result in a five-year support period. However, for marriages extending 30 years or more, courts often consider indefinite spousal support.
Temporary vs. Permanent Spousal Support
There are two types of spousal support orders that can be issued during and after a divorce proceeding: temporary and permanent. Both serve different purposes and are subject to change based on various circumstances.
Temporary Spousal Support
Temporary spousal support is designed to provide financial stability while a divorce is pending. The amount provided, which might differ from the final order, is based on immediate financial needs and may not reflect all relevant factors that will influence the final spousal support order.
Permanent Spousal Support
The term “permanent” in this context does not necessarily mean forever. It refers to the final spousal support order issued at the completion of the divorce proceedings. The duration can vary: for long marriages, it might indeed be long-term or indefinite. However, for shorter marriages, the duration of spousal support might be considerably less.
With both temporary and permanent spousal support orders, the amount and duration are subject to the court’s discretion and are based on the specifics of each case. It’s crucial to have effective legal representation to ensure that your interests are well-represented and that any spousal support order is fair and appropriate under the circumstances.
For an extensive discussion of spousal support, see the Spousal Support Report.
If My Spouse Was Unfaithful, Will I Get Spousal Support?
No. In Ohio, infidelity does not directly impact the award of spousal support. The state’s laws regarding support are primarily concerned with the economic needs of the spouses and their ability to pay, rather than the reasons for the marriage’s breakdown.
However, it’s important to understand how economic fault is considered by the courts. If your spouse has spent a significant amount of marital funds on a third party, and you can provide proof of this spending, this can affect the financial aspects of your divorce. Specifically, any marital money that was used in this manner will be “added back” into the marital assets for division. This means that the court will take into account this spending when dividing marital assets and liabilities, potentially affecting the overall division of property and finances.
Therefore, while your spouse’s unfaithfulness might impact the division of marital assets if there was economic fault involved, it does not directly lead to an award of spousal support.
Is Spousal Support Reviewable After Divorce?
Yes, spousal support is generally reviewable after a divorce. The concept of spousal support being a fixed amount and duration is no longer the standard practice, reflecting the dynamic nature of people’s lives and careers.
The process for reviewing spousal support can be initiated in two ways:
- The parties involved can voluntarily share their financial information to assess whether a modification in spousal support is warranted. This approach is often more amicable and can lead to a mutually agreed-upon adjustment without needing court intervention.
- If a voluntary agreement is not possible, either party has the option to file a motion with the court requesting a review of the spousal support. This method involves a formal legal process where the court examines the current financial circumstances of both parties to determine if a modification is necessary.
However, the original divorce decree must allow for a review of spousal support. In cases where the divorce decree explicitly states that spousal support is non-modifiable, the terms are fixed and cannot be changed. As a result, it’s important to consider the possibility of future modifications when finalizing a divorce agreement.
Speak to a Cincinnati, OH, Spousal Support Lawyer Today
Whether it’s temporary support needed during a lengthy divorce process or permanent support to adjust to life after marriage, spousal support plays a key role in ensuring fairness and stability. At Cathy R. Cook, Attorneys at Law, our team is committed to guiding you through every step of this process. We will help you navigate these changes confidently, leaving you reassured that your best interests are in capable hands. For more information or to schedule a free phone consultation with a Cincinnati, OH, spousal support attorney, call Cathy R. Cook, Attorneys at Law at (513) 241-4029 or contact us online today.