Though it is common in Ohio for both spouses to work outside the home, a lot of other couples agree to have one spouse be the sole breadwinner, while the other takes care of the home and does the majority of the child-rearing.
When a single-income marriage ends in divorce, one spouse may worry about how they will make ends meet. They may not have worked for years, if they ever had a career. If the spouse is older and has several children to care for, going back to school to update their skills may seem impossible.
This is where alimony, also known as spousal support, comes in. Alimony is payment from one former spouse to the other as part of the divorce order.
Ohio law requires alimony requests to be determined on a case-by-case basis. The relevant statute contains 14 factors that the court must consider. Among those factors are the length of the marriage and each spouse’s income.
The court is supposed to reach an equitable result, which could mean temporary alimony, to help support the spouse until they are able to be financially independent. How long the order lasts varies, but some judges and magistrates use a formula of one year of spousal support for every three to five years the couple was married.
Of course, a couple may be able to negotiate alimony as part of an out-of-court settlement, or it may be part of their prenuptial agreement. A person going through divorce who believes they need alimony, or who expects their spouse to ask for support, should bring up the matter to their attorney.