Spousal Support Lawyer »

Spousal Support Lawyer

The issue of spousal support can be one of the most challenging aspects of a divorce, dissolution of marriage, or legal separation. It can be a highly emotional matter that can quickly turn an amicable relationship into a highly contentious one.

At Slater & Zurz LLP, we take great pride in our ability to effectively counsel our clients on the issue of spousal support as well as a full range of other family law matters. Our extensive skills and resources allow us to provide our clients with skilled legal representation in what is likely one of the most difficult chapters in their lives. We aggressively pursue a resolution that is in their best interests while also providing them with our unwavering support and thoughtful guidance throughout the entire process.

If you are looking to minimize the amount of support you will be ordered to pay, or you are seeking to establish the need for spousal support through the courts, our Ohio spousal support lawyers can help. We will carefully review your situation, pursue the most effective course of action, and fight diligently to get you the resolution you need and deserve.

Call 330.762.0700 or contact us online to set up your FREE consultation with our spousal support attorneys.

Ohio Spousal Support

When a couple decides to separate or officially end their marriage, financial support is often one of their biggest concerns. Transitioning from a two-income household to a one-income household can often prove quite challenging. And for spouses who did not work in order to raise their children or fulfill other marital responsibilities, transitioning to their new financial situation can be nearly impossible without financial assistance from their former spouse.

Spousal support sometimes referred to as “alimony” is a regular payment from one spouse to another as ordered in a divorce, dissolution, or legal separation. The purpose of spousal support is to assist a spouse who did not work or earned significantly less than the other spouse with their financial needs after the legal separation or divorce.

How the Courts Determine Spousal Support

Under Ohio Revised Code 3105.18, the courts consider fourteen factors when determining if spousal support is warranted, the duration of the support, and how much the support should be. Those factors are as follows:

  1. 1. All sources of income of both parties, including any income from property awarded in their divorce.
  2. Both parties’ earning capacity
  3. The ages and mental, emotional, and physical conditions of both spouses
  4. Each party’s retirement benefits
  5. The length of the marriage
  6. Whether the spouse is able to obtain employment (when he or she will have primary custody of the couple’s minor child or children)
  7. Each party’s level of education
  8. The standard of living established during the marriage
  9. The assets and liabilities of both spouses, including any court-ordered payments
  10. A spouse’s contribution to the education, training, or earning ability of the other spouse, such as the contribution to the acquisition of the other person’s professional degree
  11. The time and cost required for a spouse who is seeking support to obtain education and training needed to obtain gainful employment
  12. The lost earning capacity of either spouse resulting from that person’s marital responsibilities
  13. Each party’s tax consequences if spousal support is awarded
  14. Any other consideration the court finds to be relevant

To learn more about spousal support in Ohio, call 330.762.0700 today.

Modifying Spousal Support in Ohio

You and your former spouse have been divorced for a while now. But now, your or your former spouse’s circumstances have changed significantly, and you would like to modify or cancel the established spousal support order. Is this possible in the state of Ohio?

Whether your spousal support order can be modified depends on the details of your settlement agreement or divorce decree. If within the agreement or decree, it was explicitly stated that the court reserved the right to modify the order, then you can typically have the order changed. Grounds for modification include:

  • An increase or decrease in the party’s income
  • Increased or decreased living expenses

Under Ohio Revised Code 3105.18(F)(1)(b), the change, whether foreseeable or not, must not have been taken into account by the parties or the court when the current spousal support order was established.

Terminating Ohio Spousal Support

In Ohio, spousal support terminates on a certain date, after the occurrence of a specific event (such as the death of one of the party’s or the recipient’s remarriage), or is in place indefinitely.

If you are receiving or paying spousal support as part of your divorce, you may be wondering if it is possible to terminate that support order entirely. Under Ohio law, there are several grounds for spousal support termination, such as:

  • Change in circumstances – If the responsible party or the recipient has a significant change in his or her circumstances or financial situation, and the support is no longer warranted, the court may terminate the existing order. For example, if the recipient of the spousal support acquires a large sum of money, they may no longer need the support.
  • Remarriage – If the spouse who is receiving support remarries, it may be grounds for the termination of their support. If it can be shown the remarried spouse is receiving additional financial support from his or her new spouse, the courts may determine that support is no longer needed and terminate the order.
  • Cohabitation – If the recipient enters into a long-term relationship in which they share the same household and living expenses, it may be grounds for ending the established spousal support order.
  • Death – Except in rare cases, Ohio spousal support terminates when the paying or receiving party dies.

If you feel your situation meets one of the above grounds for spousal support termination, you can seek that termination in one of three ways.

  1. Agreement – If you and your former spouse feel the support is no longer necessary, you can agree together to terminate it. The court that established the existing spousal support order will generally honor your agreement when both you and your ex-spouse agree the support is no longer warranted.
  2. Mediation – A couple can seek the assistance of a mediator, or a neutral third party, to assist them in resolving their differences and agreeing to terminate the support order. The courts will typically end the support order when a fair agreement has been reached through mediation.
  3. Court petition – You can petition the court if you and your spouse don’t see eye to eye on whether to continue or terminate your existing spousal support order. The judge will ask you and your former spouse to explain your positions, review any evidence, and decide to either continue or end the order in place.

Speak to an Ohio spousal support lawyer today. Call 330.762.0700 or fill out this form.

Frequently Asked Questions about Spousal Support
Yes. If you do not have enough money to support yourself while you go through the often lengthy divorce or legal separation process, you can ask the courts for a temporary spousal support order. The judge will review your and your spouse’s situation and determine the amount of temporary support based on your spouse’s ability to pay and your need for money.
It depends. Spousal support can continue indefinitely, end on a certain date, or terminate when a specified event takes place. Events that can end spousal support include the death of either the payer or recipient or the recipient’s remarriage. However, when it is possible, Ohio courts will generally prefer to have a specific date of termination when issuing a spousal support order.
Generally yes. Often during the course of a spousal support order, the circumstances or financial situation of one of the involved parties may change considerably. Fortunately, unless there was a condition explicitly detailed in your current spousal support order, you have the right to ask the Ohio courts for a modification of spousal support to accommodate an unforeseen change in circumstances.

Experienced Spousal Support Attorneys in Ohio

To ensure you receive the amount and duration of spousal support you are entitled to or to ensure you will not be ordered to pay an excessive or unjust amount of support to your former spouse, we recommend obtaining legal guidance from an experienced and dedicated spousal support lawyer.

Our accomplished legal team at Slater & Zurz LLP knows precisely what factors are taken into consideration by Ohio courts when determining how much and for how long a person should receive spousal support. We will look at all the contributing factors and work to negotiate a favorable resolution outside of court. If we do not obtain an acceptable outcome through negotiations, our accomplished trial lawyers will skillfully present your case to the judge and advocate strongly to resolve your case in a fair and equitable manner.

We welcome you to contact our firm to learn more about how our Ohio spousal support lawyers can help. Our firm offers free initial consultations and has offices in Akron, Canton, and Cleveland to assist you with any family law matter. To schedule your FREE confidential consultation, contact us online or call 330.762.0700 today.