Law With a "Personal Touch"
Support orders involve the legal obligation to provide support to either a former spouse (either spouse) or the children resulting from the marriage. Spousal Support means any payment or payments to be made to a spouse or former spouse, or to a third person for the benefit of a spouse or a former spouse, that is both for sustenance and for support of the spouse or former spouse. Spousal support may be ordered either in real or personal property or both, or by decreeing that a sum of money be payable either in gross or by installments.
In determining whether spousal support is appropriate and reasonable, and in determining the nature, amount, terms of payment, and duration of spousal support, which is payable either in gross or in installments in the original Decree, the court shall consider all of the following factors:
- The income of the spouses, from all sources, including, but not limited to, income derived from property divided, disbursed, or distributed under section 3105.171 of the Revised Code.
- The relative earning abilities of the spouses.
- The ages and the physical, mental, and emotional conditions of the spouses.
- The retirement benefits of the spouses.
- The duration of the marriage.
- The extent to which it would be inappropriate for a spouse, because that spouse will be custodian of a minor child of the marriage, to seek employment outside the home.
- The standard of living of the couple established during the marriage.
- The relative extent of education of the parties.
- The relative assets and liabilities of each spouse, including but not limited to any court-ordered payments by each spouse.
- The contribution of each spouse to the education, training, or earning ability of the other spouse, including, but not limited to, any spouse's contribution to the acquisition of a professional degree of the other spouse.
- 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.
- The tax consequences, for each spouse, of an award of spousal support.
- The lost income production capacity of either spouse that resulted from that spouse's marital responsibilities.
- Any other factor that the court expressly finds to be relevant and equitable.
In determining whether spousal support is reasonable and in determining the amount and terms of payment of spousal support, each spouse shall be considered to have contributed equally to the production of marital income.
Spousal support is only modifiable if the original decree contained a provision authorizing future modifications. The domestic relations court must first determine whether there has been a change in circumstances of either spouse. If it finds a change of circumstances, it must then determine whether spousal support is still necessary and, if so, in what amount. An inquiry into the existence of a change in circumstances must commence from the time of the existing order.
Determining spousal support is extremely complex in either the original divorce action or during a motion for modification, and is frequently challenged by the spouse. I compare it to preparing your IRS 1040 tax return on steroids!
Monte utilizes advanced computer legal software to analyze all financial aspects of your situation.
It is recommended that you seek legal counsel in all spousal support actions.
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