You don’t hear the term “alimony” used very often these days. While it has long been associated with divorce, and most often referenced disparagingly by ex-husbands because they were the ones who usually did the paying, the divorce environment has changed so much that the term just doesn’t seem to work anymore. Enter the concept of spousal support.
These days, there is more of a tendency by the courts in Ohio to make spousal support determinations with an eye toward achieving equitable balance. As a result, a wife may be just as likely to be ordered to pay her ex-husband support as the other way around. And since there is no clear criteria for setting amounts or how long they will be paid, there is a greater need than ever for both parties to have the benefit of legal counsel to make sure their needs are articulated and rights upheld.
The reason for this move toward balance is that statistics call for it. As a recent article in Forbes noted, the days of women being at economic disadvantage to men are considered by many to be over. The U.S. Labor Department says three-quarters of women are in the workforce and the number of women who are the major breadwinners of the family is about 40 percent.
In light of that data, it should be no surprise that among the factors that Ohio courts are directed to employ when assessing spousal support issues are the following:
- All income of both parties from all possible sources
- The potential earning power of each party
- Whether or not care of a child might prevent one party from working
- The time that might be needed and the cost that might be incurred if one spouse needs some education or training to find work
- The tax consequences each party might face as a result of an award
These are just a few of the elements that can come into play when spousal support is being considered. Providing an understanding of them all is something that an experienced attorney can supply.
Source: Forbes, “Stay-at-Home Mom Facing Divorce? Don’t Expect Alimony,” Emma Johnson,” Oct. 27, 2014