Spousal support (alimony) is authorized under Ohio Revised Code 3105.18 and is not granted automatically. Rather, it is only available to married parties going through a divorce, dissolution or legal separation. A party seeking spousal support must specifically request it early on in the proceeding.
Whether to award spousal support will only be addressed after the court first divides the marital assets and debts between the parties. Thereafter, the court may grant spousal support so long as it is “appropriate and reasonable” under the circumstances. “Appropriate and reasonable” is a flexible standard that is applied differently depending on a number of factors, including the length of the marriage, and the health, education and earning potential of each of the parties.
In any matter involving spousal support it is important to coordinate the payment of spousal support, with child support and the division of marital debts and assets in such a way that it does not result in unexpected tax or financial distress for the parties.
Spousal support can be ordered for only a few months or for an extended period of time, depending on the circumstances. For example, a spouse who was a stay-at-home parent for twenty-five years raising the children is likely unable to sustain the lifestyle enjoyed during the marriage. Or, a person who developed a disabling condition during the marriage may be entitled to longer or permanent spousal support. Furthermore, spousal support can be set at a fixed amount, or fluctuating amounts depending on the circumstances.
As a tax matter, the party paying spousal support (the “obligor”) can deduct the spousal support payment and the party receiving spousal support (the “obligee”) must pay taxes on the amount received. There are certain federal tax requirements unique to the payment and deductibility of spousal support, so it is important that you seek legal advice from an attorney well versed in family law matters.
Columbus, Ohio Spousal Support Lawyer