Columbus, Ohio Spousal Support Attorneys

Spousal support is another word for alimony. It may be awarded in a divorce after a consideration of numerous factors, including the disparity of income of the parties, the length of the marriage, the education of the parties and the ages of the parties. After a consideration of these many factors, spousal support may be awarded to either spouse, regardless of gender. Spousal support is awarded at the discretion of the court, which means a judge decides whether or not spousal support is awarded and the amount and duration of the support order.

Spousal support can be ordered on a temporary basis or it can be awarded indefinitely, or until the death of one of the parties. In certain circumstances, either party can petition the court to modify a spousal support order based on a change of circumstances, such as a change of income, retirement or disability. If a petition to modify is based on retirement, a judge may consider at what age the paying party planned to retire at the time of divorce and whether or not the decision to retire was voluntary. A change in the need for spousal support, such as remarriage or cohabitation, can warrant a petition for modification.

A judge will look at the earning capacity of a spouse who is asking for spousal support and may also consider the duration of the marriage. Factors that influence the spouse’s earning capacity include education, work experience, years since the person has been in the work force and current age compared to expected retirement age. A non-working spouse who has been married a long time is more likely to be awarded spousal support than a non-working spouse who has not been married as long.

Spousal support is separate from child support. Spousal support is tax-deductible for the person paying, while child support is not. The person receiving spousal support must pay taxes on the payments.

A person who is concerned they might be ordered to pay spousal supportor is seeking spousal support in a divorce should speak to an experienced attorney. Judges generally do not consider marital fault when awarding spousal support but may consider equitable factors related to the earning abilities of each spouse.