In Ohio, spousal support (also known as "alimony") means any payment that is made to a spouse or former spouse for the sustenance and support of that person. Spousal support is not subject to a rigid formula or worksheet like child support. Instead, under R.C. 3105.18, spousal support must be appropriate and reasonable. In determining the nature, amount, terms, payment and duration of spousal support, the Court is mandated to consider the following factors:
(a) The income of the parties, from all sources, including, but not limited to, income derived from property divided, disbursed, or distributed under [a distributive share];
(b) The relative earning abilities of the parties;
(c) The ages and the physical, mental, and emotional conditions of the parties;
(d) The retirement benefits of the parties;
(e) The duration of the marriage;
(f) The extent to which it would be inappropriate for a party, because that party will be custodian of a minor child of the marriage, to seek employment outside the home;
(g) The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage;
(h) The relative extent of education of the parties;
(i) The relative assets and liabilities of the parties, including but not limited to any court-ordered payments by the parties;
(j) The contribution of each party to the education, training, or earning ability of the other party, including, but not limited to, any party's contribution to the acquisition of a professional degree of the other party;
(k) The time and expense necessary for the spouse who is seeking spousal support to acquire education, training, or job experience so that the spouse will be qualified to obtain appropriate employment, provided the education, training, or job experience, and employment is, in fact, sought;
(l) The tax consequences, for each party, of an award of spousal support;
(m) The lost income production capacity of either party that resulted from that party's marital responsibilities;
(n) Any other factor that the court expressly finds to be relevant and equitable.
Spousal support may be ordered at the end of a case, as part of a temporary order, or not at all. As such, if you find yourself in a situation where you are in need of, or expect to pay spousal support, it is essential that you contact an attorney.