Written by attorney Roberta Sue Fay

Ohio Spousal Support Factors

Ohio Courts consider various factors when deciding a spousal support case. These factors are outlined in Ohio Revised Code section 3105.18 and listed below: (C)(1) In determining whether spousal support is appropriate and reasonable, and in determining the nature, amount, and terms of payment, and duration of spousal support, which is payable either in gross or in installments, the court shall consider all of the following factors: (a) The income of the parties, from all sources, including, but not limited to, income derived from property divided, disbursed, or distributed under section 3105.171 of the Revised Code; (b) The relative earning abilities of the parties; (c) The ages and the physical, mental, and emotional conditions of the parties; (d) The retirement benefits of the parties; (e) The duration of the marriage; (f) The extent to which it would be inappropriate for a party, because that party will be custodian of a minor child of the marriage, to seek employment outside the home; (g) The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage; (h) The relative extent of education of the parties; (i) The relative assets and liabilities of the parties, including but not limited to any court-ordered payments by the parties; (j) The contribution of each party to the education, training, or earning ability of the other party, including, but not limited to, any party's contribution to the acquisition of a professional degree of the other party; (k) The time and expense necessary for the spouse who is seeking spousal support to acquire education, training, or job experience so that the spouse will be qualified to obtain appropriate employment, provided the education, training, or job experience, and employment is, in fact, sought; (l) The tax consequences, for each party, of an award of spousal support; (m) The lost income production capacity of either party that resulted from that party's marital responsibilities; (n) Any other factor that the court expressly finds to be relevant and equitable. Ohio courts are more likely to award spousal support in the following circumstances: if it is a long term marriage; if a spouse has serious health problems or a disability; if there exists a great disparity in the incomes or financial resources of the parties; if one of the spouses had to stay home during the marriage in order to care for the children of the parties while the other spouse worked full-time to support the family; or one of the spouses worked to help put the other spouse through college, law school, medical school, or the like. On the other hand, courts are less likely to award spousal support if the marriage was of a short duration or the parties earned comparable incomes and have similar financial resources.

Additional resources provided by the author

Ohio Revised Code 3105.18

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