An Ohio divorce can be a quick path to financial hardship, as you may find yourself not only dividing all of your property with your ex but now suddenly on the hook for making regular payments to them. Child support payments are often a necessity when you have minor children or an older child with disabling medical conditions.
Spousal support, on the other hand, is not automatic. It is only available when one spouse requests it from the other, and even then, the spouses either have to agree or show that their circumstances meet very specific rules set by Ohio state law.
How can you determine if your spouse has grounds for a claim for spousal support following your divorce?
There are specific factors that determine eligibility
Ohio state law outlines numerous considerations that a family law judge must factor into their spousal support decisions. These factors include how long the marriage lasted, the financial contributions of each spouse to the household, the standard of living established during the marriage, the income and likely future earning potential of each spouse, childcare demands that may make one spouse unable to work outside of the home, health matters and the ability of the other spouse to pay support.
If your spouse worked a job while you finished your graduate degree and then stayed home to raise the children while you developed your career, they would likely have a strong case for spousal support while they go back to school themselves or try to restart their professional life. On the other hand, if your spouse already earns about as much as you do and has not had to leave the workforce to support your family, they may have a harder time convincing a judge that they need support.
You can settle the matter outside of court
If your financial circumstances are such that it is likely a judge will grant your spouse support, you can still take control of the situation. You can cooperate with your spouse to negotiate a specific financial settlement, including how you divide your property and what support they can receive from you. That way, you have control over the outcome instead of being at the mercy of a judge’s opinion.
Providing your lawyer with copies of your household financial records can be an important starting point for evaluating the likelihood of a special support order in your upcoming divorce.