Central Ohio Spousal Support Attorneys
Spousal support (formerly known as alimony) is sometimes awarded by the court pursuant to a divorce, dissolution, or legal separation. It is meant to provide for the standard of living for the payee spouse. There are a multitude of factors at play when the court determines whether to order support. And every judge and magistrate has their own policy on when spousal support is appropriate. If you are going through a divorce, dissolution, or legal separation, spousal support may be a factor in the overall outcome of your case. It is important that you have an attorney who has access to the software programs available that will help you determine the tax implications of such an award and who has knowledge of the various policies that guide each judge and magistrate in our system. If you think spousal support will be an issue in your case, our Columbus, Ohio office can help guide you through the implications, risks, and benefits inherent.
What are the factors that may determine whether spousal support will be an issue in my case?
Ohio law provides that the Court must consider several factors to determine whether to award spousal support:
- The income of the parties from all sources, including income derived from property divided pursuant to the divorce;
- The earning abilities of the parties;
- The ages and health of the parties;
- The retirement benefits of the parties;
- The duration of the marriage;
- Whether either party will be custodian of a minor child and unable to seek employment outside the home;
- The standard of living of the parties during the marriage;
- The education of the parties;
- The assets and liabilities of the parties, including any court-ordered payments;
- The contribution of the parties to the other’s education, training, or earning ability;
- The time and expense necessary to acquire education, training, or job experience so that the spouse seeking support can obtain employment;
- The tax consequences of an award of support;
- The lost income production capacity of a spouse resulting from marital responsibilities; and
- Any other factor the court expressly finds relevant and equitable.
As you can see, these factors provide the court with great discretion in fashioning a spousal support award.
How is spousal support paid? Monthly? Annually? In one lump sum?
Spousal support is typically paid monthly, though there is room to negotiate other ways to provide spousal support and the Court has discretion to determine how spousal support will be paid and for how long. Our attorneys have found creative ways to settle issues related to spousal support such as by arranging a lump sum payment or negotiating payment of a home mortgage in lieu of spousal support.
Do I have to claim spousal support as income on my taxes?
Yes. The federal tax code requires that spousal support be included as income for federal taxation purposes. The person who is paying spousal support has the option whether to claim the payments as a tax deduction, though it is beneficial to do so.
If spousal support is an issue in your case, whether on an original decree or in post-decree modification and enforcement proceedings, call our Columbus, Ohio office today at (614) 567-3031 to schedule an initial consultation. If you hire us, we will credit your account with the cost of your initial consultation.