Spousal support in Ohio is to be determined based upon the factors set forth in the applicable statute in the Ohio Revised Code. This statute indicates that after a determination has been made as to how to divide the parties’ assets and liabilities, the Court is to consider the issue of spousal support; in other words, whether one spouse should be required to make periodic payments to the other spouse for that spouse’s support following the ending of the marriage, and if so, how much and for how long. This statute lists 18 separate factors that the Court is to consider in determining whether there should be spousal support, and if so, how much should be paid and for how long it should be paid. Unfortunately, none of these factors set forth a formula for calculating an amount of, or timeframe for, spousal support. Of all the issues that arise in cases involving the termination of a marriage, spousal support is often the most difficult to resolve. I should also add that one of the 18 factors that the statute sets forth is “anything else that is relevant”. Obviously, this permits the Court to consider any evidence that either party may seek to present in connection with this issue that the Court may believe is relevant to the determination of whether spousal support should be paid, and if so, how much and for how long.
For the foregoing reasons, it is important that a spouse who is involved in the process to terminate his or her marriage has an attorney with significant experience in dealing with this issue. Only an attorney with such experience will likely be able to express an informed and educated opinion as to whether it is a case where spousal support is likely, and if so, a range of the potential amounts and timeframe.