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My spouse abandoned his family, home and responsibilities. Can he get alimony?

Cleveland, OH |

Can my spouse file for a divorce and get alimony, even though my spouse abandoned the marriage and we have a minor child?

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Attorney answers 3


The answer to that question will be very fact-specific. Spousal support does not have a set formula for calculation as child support does. Spousal support is awarded when it is reasonable and appropriate. The Ohio Revised Code sets forth fourteen factors that must be considered when seeking spousal support. Those factors include the income of the parties, relative earning abilities of the parties, ages and physical/mental /emotional conditions, retirement benefits, duration of marriage, etc.

The list of factors does not include any comment on who left the marriage nor is it related to whether or not their are children. Do note that the court can consider any factor that it finds to be expressly relevant and equitable.

You need to seek a consultation with counsel in your area and get a good review of your specific facts and circumstances. This should be done sooner rather than later to also make sure that there are not other issues or matters that need to be addressed or that you need to be aware of.

I hope this was helpful.

This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. The answer presumes you are not currently represented by an attorney who knows your specific circumstances.

Attorney At Law
3573 Columbia Parkway
Cincinnati, OH 45226
phone: 513-632-5317
fax: 513-241-3332


I doubt it. Alimony is usually based on the length of the marriage and the need for a spouse to adjust to a divorce. If the wife was a stay at home mom taking care of children then she might need money to go back to school or to support herself whils she looks for a job.

This response is intended to be a general statement of law that should not be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.


Yes, it is possible for the absent spouse to file for divorce and get alimony. The court does not look to whose fault the divorce is when awarding alimony, the court looks to the financial status and conduct of the parties.

And abandonment is a specific legal term. Just because your spouse left you and filed divorce, it does not constitute abandonment. And abandonment is not a grounds for divorce.

The grounds for divorce is only willful absence for more than one year, so if you know where the person is and/or are getting support, you can still get divorced for willful absence even though you were not abandoned by your spouse. Abandonment is when your spouse basically disappears for more than a year without you knowing where s/he has gone, there is no contact of any kind and you have no support or other assistance being provided from the missing spouse.

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