How Does Alimony Work in Ohio?
Alimony, also called spousal support, is available in Ohio divorces. However, spousal support is not guaranteed.
When deciding on whether to award alimony, an Ohio judge will consider:
- Each party’s total income;
- Earning abilities of the parties;
- Retirement benefits of the parties;
- Duration of the marriage;
- Whether either party is the caregiver of a minor child;
- Standard of living of the parties during the marriage;
- The education level of both parties;
- Contribution of each party to the other party’s earning ability and professional degree;
- Tax consequences of spousal support.
Some of these factors may surprise divorcing spouses.
For instance, the judge will take into account the labor of a stay-at-home spouse and give those years of labor monetary value.
The judge will also consider how one spouse supported the other spouse’s career.
This support often factors in when it limits a stay-at-home spouse’s professional development.
The judge will try to ensure that each spouse can maintain the standard of living they became accustomed to during their marriage.
Related: What to Know About Alimony in Dayton, OH
If the spouses have a similar ability to earn, the judge is not likely to award spousal support.
To account for income-producing property in each spouse’s annual earnings, the judge will decide spousal support after dividing the property.
The longer the marriage, the more likely one spouse may receive alimony.
Short-term marriages are unlikely to see awards of alimony.
Temporary vs. Permanent Alimony
A judge may award temporary or permanent alimony.
Temporary alimony presents several advantages:
- Allows one spouse to get a college degree or vocational training;
- Enables higher earning potential;
- Promotes eventual financial independence.
The judge may award temporary spousal support while the divorce is pending, and make a permanent alimony decision when the divorce proceedings end.
Obtaining temporary spousal support does not mean that the spouse gets permanent alimony.
Permanent alimony could include marital property, a one-time cash payment, or installment payments.
The judge may amend a permanent alimony decision if a spouse requests a modification in a separate court proceeding.
How Do I Get Custody in Ohio?
Child custody decisions concern the best interests of the child.
The judge determines which custody arrangement best serves those interests.
A judge also considers factors of safety and stability in child custody decisions.
Ohio judges usually award joint legal custody if both parents can provide safe and loving environments.
In joint legal custody, both parents make decisions for the child.
Unless the non-custodial parent is a danger to the child, judges usually grant visitation rights.
The visitation schedule varies by case and depends on factors like the parents’ work schedules and the child’s school schedule.
If a parent poses some danger to the child, the judge may allow supervised visitation.
To file for custody of your child in Ohio, complete the following steps:
- Write a parenting plan, including a visitation schedule for the other parent;
- File a Motion for Child Custody form with the parenting plan attached;
- While filing, request a custody hearing;
- Send a copy of the Motion for Child Custody to the other parent;
- Attend all hearings on your Motion for Child Custody;
- Answer discovery requests from the other parent.
Though these steps may seem complex, an experienced family law attorney in Dayton can walk you through the process.
How Much Will I Have to Pay for Child Support?
State law determines the child support amount.
The law contains an Ohio child support formula that takes into account each parent’s income.
Each parent is allowed to take deductions from gross income, taking into account factors such as:
- Child support for other children;
- Spousal support for former spouses;
- Income tax;
- Value of a federal dependency exemption.
The judge also considers daycare and medical insurance costs when determining child support.
One parent must typically carry insurance for the child.
Uncovered medical expenses are usually shared between the parents, proportioned according to their income.
A cash medical support order provides for the child’s medical costs if insurance is lost or not obtained. If the child has public health coverage, this cash medical support reimburses the state agency providing insurance.
Parents pay child support until their child reaches age 18 or graduates high school. Children who are 18 or over but still in high school are still eligible for child support.
If a child drops out of high school and does not live with the custodial parent, child support ends early.
Special rules apply to disabled children. The length of child support for these cases depends on a court order.
Some parents may agree in their divorce decree to support their children beyond the age of 18. In those cases, the divorce decree will determine the length of child support owed.
Related: Child Support Attorneys in Dayton, OH
Consult with a Family Lawyer in Dayton, Ohio
If you are in need of a family law attorney, call Gounaris Abboud, LPA for your free consultation.
Remember, time is of the essence in all family law matters. It’s essential to contact an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible.