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Spousal Support

Required Payments paid to or received from your former spouse

I can help you discover if you are entitled to spousal support, modify the support amount long after the divorce, or determine if you are still required to pay support after death.

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Are You Entitled to Financial Support?

Formerly known as “alimony,” spousal support is payments to an ex-spouse.

Formerly known as “alimony,” spousal support is payments to an ex-spouse which can be ordered by the Court or agreed to by the parties as part of a settlement.  ORC 3105.18 sets forth that “spousal support” means any payment or payments to be made to a spouse or former spouse, that is both for sustenance and for support of the spouse or former spouse.

How the Court Decides What is Appropriate

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.

Can Spousal Support be modified after my divorce?

Expect Changes to Spousal Support If There is a Change to You or Your Spouse's Income.

Often, courts will retain jurisdiction on the issue of spousal support.  This means that if circumstances change from the time of the original spousal support award, the amount and/or duration of the support may be modified or changed.  This generally happens if and when there has been a significant and unforeseen change in one spouse’s income.

Don't Try to Adjust Your Income to Avoid the Court.

If a judge finds that the paying spouse voluntarily quit his or her employment or voluntarily decreased his or her income, the court may impute income to the paying spouse.  This means that the court may calculate and order spousal support based on what the paying spouse could earn, not the artificially decreased amount of income.

Paying Spousal Support (Even After You Die)

Sometimes Continued Support Is Vital to Your Former Spouse.

According to Ohio Revised Code section 3105.18(B), “Any award of spousal support made under this section shall terminate upon the death of either party, unless the order containing the award expressly provides otherwise.”

While this topic may seem to be a common-sense approach, sometimes providing for the care of a spouse following the death of a payor spouse is vital. In situations where the payor spouse is significantly older or ill, you should request that your attorney attempt to provide for spousal support for a reasonable period of time.  As the statute clearly sets forth, the spousal support will only continue if your attorney is prescient enough to think the matter through at the time of negotiation.

This Provision Needs to Be Made Clear in Your Agreements.

If your case is proceeding in a dissolution, you should make a clear provision in the separation agreement that takes into account the circumstances, timing and funding method for spousal support upon the death of the payor spouse.  In 2002, Ohio enacted R.C. 3121.441 authorizing the court to order spousal support payments in real or personal property or both.  The same statute allows a court to allow payment in installments or one lump sum.  Using the law to secure your finances, your family and your future is what I do.

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