Overview and General Information
Spousal support was formerly known as Alimony.
In Ohio, a spouse has a legal duty to support the other spouse. However, spousal support is not mandatory, and is based on the consideration of the facts of each case, the factors listed in O.R.C. 3105.18, and case law interpretations of the statute.
Spousal Support is defined as payment or payments to be made to a spouse or former spouse that is both for sustenance and for support of the former spouse.
Spousal Support may be ordered by the court in a Divorce or Legal Separation Case. The parties to a Dissolution may agree upon Spousal Support.
Unlike Child Support, Spousal Support is not determined by a set formula, worksheet, or other mandatory calculation. Spousal Support depends upon the facts and circumstances of a particular case and is subject to the discretion of the court.
Spousal Support is gender neutral and both spouses stand on an equal basis when the court considers the issue of spousal support.
Temporary Spousal Support
During the pendency of a Divorce or Legal Separation case the court may award temporary spousal support.
Temporary Spousal Support is not automatic or mandatory and only ordered after a hearing on the matter.
When addressing the issue of Temporary Spousal Support, the court will consider the present needs of the party requesting support as balanced against the present ability of the non-requesting party to pay.
Any order for Temporary Spousal Support automatically terminates once the Decree of Divorce or Decree of Legal Separation is filed, but the Court may order payment of any unpaid temporary support as part of the final Decree.
Final Spousal Support
Final Spousal Support may be ordered by the court as part of a Decree of Divorce or Decree of Legal Separation.
Final Spousal Support may be ordered as a single payment or a series of periodic payments.
Final Spousal Support may be ordered for a fixed term (i.e. number of months or years) or may be indefinite (i.e. no set ending date).
There is no specific formula to calculate Final Spousal Support. In determining whether an award of spousal support is reasonable and appropriate under the facts and circumstances of a particular case the court must consider certain “factors”. These factors are listed in O.R.C. 3105.18(C)(1). No single factor is dispositive and the court will weigh and balance the factors as part of any decision on Final Spousal Support.
In cases that involve child support orders, any spousal support ordered must be paid through the CSEA
Modification of Final Spousal Support
Spousal Support is presumed to be non-modifiable. However, under certain circumstances Final Spousal Support may be modified.
In order to be modified, the Decree of Divorce or Decree of Legal Separation must specifically state that the court retained jurisdiction to modify spousal support and whether the jurisdiction to modify relates to amount of support, duration of support, or both.
DISCLAIMER: THIS INFORMATION DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE. It is a general overview for informational purposes only regarding procedure. YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN ATTORNEY FOR LEGAL ADVICE REGARDING ISSUES SPECIFIC TO YOUR CASE.