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Family law: How does alimony work in Ohio?

This year, there will be quite a few married couples in Ohio who choose to call it quits on their relationships. In every one of these family law cases, each party is likely to have a million questions that they need answered before they finalize their divorces. One question commonly asked by both sides is: How does alimony work?

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is money provided from one spouse to the other. Spousal support can be negotiated as part of a divorce agreement or it can be fought for in court. If the issue goes to court, there are no guarantees that a judge will grant an alimony request. There are certain factors that have to be considered before the court will approve the request for spousal support. Some of these factors are:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The ages of both parties
  • Income level of each spouse
  • Standard of living
  • Marital contribution of each party
  • Lost income potential
  • Financial need of the petitioner

At the end of the day, the court could ask for any information it deems relevant when determining if alimony is appropriate in one's case. If it is, the individual ordered to pay has a few options. He or she can pay in monthly installments for the duration of the order -- which typically lasts a few years unless permanent support is ordered -- or he or she can choose to pay it in one lump sum. At any time, either party can seek a modification to the order if they believe they have sufficient cause to do so.

The purpose of alimony is to ensure the financially dependent spouse has the means to make it during his or her transition from married life to post-divorce life. Those who feel that they need it can certainly ask for it. Those who feel that they should not have to pay it have every right to ask a judge to deny the alimony request. A family law attorney can assist Ohio residents with spousal support issues, regardless of which side of the fence they sit.

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