When a couple divorces in Ohio, it is common for the court to order spousal support to be paid to one of the divorced partners. There are many variables that may affect how much that support will be. If the former spouses cannot agree on support payments themselves, the judge will determine the amount.
Income is typically one of the most important factors when deciding spousal support. The court will look at how much each person makes separately. If there is a significant disparity in income, then spousal support will be higher. Judges may also consider the duration of the marriage and the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage. A long-term marriage in which there is a strong history of one spouse providing most of the financial support will likely lead to higher payments.
Child custody can also play a strong role. While child support is separate from spousal support, caring for a young child may still have an impact on a person's ability to seek employment. Spousal support may be used to make up this difference.
If spousal support is awarded after the divorce is finalized, then the results of asset division will be taken into account. A spouse who gains fewer assets or more liabilities after division will have a stronger claim to spousal support.
A spouse's mental health or physical needs are another very strong factor. The divorcing spouse is expected to help pay for a disabled spouse's needs, and divorce is not usually a means of escaping these financial responsibilities.
When judges make spousal support decision, they also leave open the possibility for other unforeseen but important factors. For individuals going through a divorce, it may be wise to retain a lawyer. An attorney may be able to present information to the court in a way that could lead to a more favorable outcome.