Spousal-support-300x200In Ohio, the legal term “spousal support” has replaced the previous legal term “alimony.” Spousal support works differently in each state. In Ohio, either spouse can be ordered to pay support to the other; gender does not determine who is the obligor (the party who pays support) and who is the obligee (the party who receives support).

Spousal support in Ohio is determined entirely at the court’s discretion. There are fourteen statutory factors that the court will consider when determining an appropriate amount and duration of spousal support. These factors include, but are not limited to, the relative earning ability of each party, the standard of living during the marriage, the education level of each spouse, tax consequences and assets.

Spousal support may be ordered for a specific amount of time, or it may be permanent. Terminating factors for spousal support may include the remarriage of the obligee, or the death of obligor or obligee.

In many cases, a court will retain jurisdiction over the amount and/or term of spousal support, even after a divorce is finalized. Whether or not the court can address post-decree modification of spousal support depends on whether or not the court maintained jurisdiction over spousal support in the decree. If the court did retain jurisdiction, the court may later determine, upon request of either party, if the initial spousal award should be modified. This occurrence typically happens when there’s been an unanticipated or substantial change in the income of either party.