I am often asked: “Will I receive spousal support?” Spousal support, also commonly referred to as “alimony”, is a common challenge in a Columbus Ohio divorce. Many dissolutions, and divorce cases involving spouses with equivalent incomes do not involve spousal support. However, cases that involve alimony or spousal support can be quite complex, and it is important to work with an experienced attorney in these matters.
My experience as a Certified Specialist in Ohio family relations law, and as a Collaborative Divorce professional can be quite valuable to my clients as we discuss spousal support. While child support has been extensively addressed in Ohio law, and “guideline calculations” often can be quickly applied, spousal support remains quite open to the discretion of each Ohio Judge or Magistrate. While the Ohio law on spousal support includes a long list of factors that the court should take into consideration before exercising discretion and making a decision, there is a high degree of uncertainty in contested divorce cases, as orders vary from Judge to Judge and from county to county here in Ohio. While there are some factors that may be more significant than other factors and there may be some practice “rules of thumb,” there is little predictability about the amount of spousal support or the length of time spousal support will be ordered, in contested divorce cases.
This is one of the advantages of the collaborative law process. Spousal support should be a reflection of many issues, including the length of the marriage, and whether one spouse has sacrificed their career or earnings in favor of another’s profession or advancement. Spousal support should take other factors into consideration such as the age of the parties, the education level and the likelihood of successful employment in the short and long term, as well as other asset distribution and parenting time allocation.
Spousal support can be ordered for a specified period of time, based upon an event such as remarriage, or extended for life. If you are concerned about whether you will receive spousal support in a Columbus divorce I invite you to contact me at 614-764-0423. We can schedule an appointment to review your unique circumstances and to discuss the likelihood of spousal support or alimony in your case.