In Ohio, a court may grant alimony that is “appropriate and reasonable” under the circumstances. Alimony is determined on a case-by-case basis. Unlike child support, alimony is not set by a specific formula. While Ohio generally uses the term spousal support, it may also be referred to as alimony.
Alimony is one of the most commonly contested items in a divorce. Because there are no statewide guidelines for determining the issue, it is critical to secure legal counsel. A Canton alimony lawyer can help ensure that you receive a favorable resolution to your case.
At Slater & Zurz LLP, our lawyers understand how challenging these proceedings can be. We offer dedicated representation for individuals seeking advice on alimony and other family law matters. If you would like to discuss your alimony rights, contact our office at (330) 968-2547 for a FREE consultation.
Most states recognize that when a marriage is terminated, there may be a disparity in incomes between the parties. In an effort to make finances more equitable between the spouses, a court may award alimony to one party. Ohio law allows for a court to order Alimony in an amount and duration that is reasonable and appropriate.
While there is no specific formula that a court must follow when determining what would be a fair amount of support, there are statutory factors that they take into consideration. Because Alimony is determined in a case-by-case situation, it is imperative to consult with a Canton Alimony lawyer as early as possible.
There are two types of alimony that can be ordered by a court. During a divorce or legal separation proceedings, either spouse may request temporary alimony. A court of common pleas may award temporary alimony to either party as long as it is reasonable. Once the divorce or legal separation proceedings are over, the court may issue a permanent order.
Permanent alimony may be awarded as part of the final divorce or separation decree. Unlike its name, permanent alimony is not necessarily permanent. A court will use its discretion to determine the nature, amount, terms, and duration of the support using 14 statutory factors.
According to the statute (Ohio Revised Code 3105.18), there are several factors that a court must consider when determining how much alimony will be awarded if any. A court may only issue a support order that is appropriate and reasonable as to the amount and duration.
Factors that must be considered by a court when determining alimony include each spouse:
- Earning capacity
- Physical, mental, and emotional conditions
- Retirement benefits
- Duration of the marriage
- Custody of minor children
- Standard of living established during the marriage
- Assets and liabilities
- Contribution to education, training, or earning ability of the other spouse
- Time and expense of acquiring education, training, or job experience
- Tax consequences
- Lost income production capacity due to marital responsibilities
While a court must look at all of these factors as well as any other that it finds relevant and equitable, two of the most important are the duration of the marriage and the income of each party. A long marriage coupled with a significant income discrepancy is more likely to result in higher support payments for a longer period of time.
To understand the factors that a court will consider when determining alimony, contact our Canton office at (330) 968-2547 for a FREE consultation.
Contrary to popular belief, alimony is not automatically awarded and is not always ordered. The court’s goal is always to make things equitable between the spouses following a divorce or separation. Either party may be entitled to support, and both parties can agree that neither one should receive it.
Alimony may be paid in a lump sum or by installments and can be satisfied through real or personal property as long as the court allows. The court, however, has discretion in determining how the payments will be made, the amount of each payment, and how long the support must last. The court begins with the premise that both spouses are considered to have contributed equally to the marital income.
To find out if you qualify for alimony, contact our office to speak with a highly-qualified Canton alimony lawyer. We will walk you through the process and help you understand your rights.
Under certain situations, the court may allow a modification of alimony. Generally, the court will allow a modification where there has been a significant change in circumstances by either party, and there is a provision in the final decree or separation agreement that authorizes the court to modify the terms and amount of support.
A change in circumstances that may be grounds for alimony modification includes but is not limited to an increase or involuntary decrease in a spouse’s:
- Living expenses
- Medical expenses
The change in circumstances must be substantial, making the existing award no longer reasonable or appropriate. In addition, the change in circumstance must not have been taken into account by the parties or the court when the existing award was ordered or last modified, whether or not it was foreseeable.
The court order or decree will determine how long the support will last before it terminates. While there are no statutory guidelines as to duration, the court will use factors such as the length of the marriage and the income of each party to determine how long a spouse should receive support. Generally, the longer the marriage and the greater the disparity in income, the more support a spouse will receive.
The court may also incorporate a provision that terminates support upon the remarriage or cohabitation with a new partner of the spouse receiving the support. In many cases, alimony will terminate upon the death of either spouse unless there is a provision expressly stating otherwise.
A Canton alimony lawyer can help you understand you navigate these proceedings and understand when your support will terminate. Contact our office at (330) 968-2547 for a FREE, no-pressure consultation.
In a dissolution of marriage, the parties must file a separation agreement that incorporates any alimony that will be paid by the parties. Therefore, unlike a divorce or legal separation, alimony is predetermined in the separation agreement.
Once the separation agreement is approved by the court and placed into the final order, the court may only modify the support if the circumstances of either party have changed and the agreement contains a provision authorizing the court to modify the amount or terms.
If you are required to pay alimony and do not make the payments, you could be found in violation of a court order. In order to avoid legal consequences, you need to consult with a Canton alimony lawyer as soon as possible. If you have had a change in circumstances that makes it difficult to make your support payments, you might be eligible for a modification.
It is never advisable to stop making alimony payments as there may be serious legal ramifications for violating a court order. The best way to ensure that you pay or receive a fair amount of support is by retaining experienced legal counsel.
Alimony is one of the most challenging and heavily disputed topics in divorce proceedings. A lawyer can help ensure that support issues are handled as amicably as possible while still diligently advocating for you to receive a favorable result.
At Slater & Zurz, our Canton alimony lawyers have extensive experience handling all family law matters, including alimony orders and modifications. While we work tirelessly to resolve cases as quickly as possible outside of court, we are always ready to take matters to trial when an equitable solution cannot be reached. We know Ohio law and will not rest until you receive the outcome you deserve.
If you are considering filing for divorce and need advice about alimony, contact our office. Call (330) 968-2547 to discuss your case with a Canton alimony lawyer today. All consultations are FREE, confidential, and without obligation to retain our firm.
Our attorneys have over 30 years of experience helping people navigate the Ohio courts. Do not wait; get the legal help you need call now.