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Common questions about Ohio spousal support

During a divorce, questions often arise regarding spousal support. There may be uncertainty about the circumstances under which it may be awarded, and there may be concern about the fairness of having to financially support a former spouse after the end of the marriage. Under Ohio law, spousal support may be ordered as a part of a divorce decree. Therefore, it is important for any party in a divorce proceeding to have a basic understanding of what may be required.

In Ohio, many factors may be considered in determining spousal support. These include the length of the marriage, the parties' respective earning capacities and the medical disabilities or other special needs of a party. One question that may arise is whether someone can choose not to work and instead receive spousal support. While one spouse may have left a career to raise the kids, that lifestyle may no longer be feasible following a divorce. A finding that the person is employable but refuses to work may affect a support award. In that case, the income the person could be earning is considered in determining whether he or she should receive financial support.

Another question is whether a support order ever can be modified. For example, if one party later remarries, can the ex-spouse get out of a continuing alimony obligation? The answer depends on whether the court reserved jurisdiction to modify the order. If the parties didn't specifically request the court to retain the power to modify a spousal support order, there may be no ability to change it later on.

When going through divorce, it is beneficial to seek the advice of a knowledgeable divorce attorney. Appropriate legal representation can help protect interests and prevent ramifications that could have been avoided with proper preparation or properly drafted and detailed paperwork.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "After split, if wife can work, she might have to," Jeffrey A. and Andrew Grossman, Jan. 20, 2013

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