As in most other states, there are many factors for the court to consider when an Ohio spouse going through divorce requests spousal support, also known as alimony. Among the things a judge will consider when deciding whether to award alimony is each spouse’s relative education.
This is important for several reasons, among them the fact that, if one spouse has little education and work history, he or she may struggle to find a job after the marriage is over. And if the other spouse has a college or post-graduate degree, or special training, he or she likely could easily afford to pay alimony.
Also, in many cases, one spouse pursued an advanced education early in the marriage, while the other worked or otherwise supported the first spouse. The thinking is, now that the educated spouse is out of school and earning a good income, the other spouse should not miss out on the fruits of his or her sacrifice just because the marriage is over.
In New York, lawmakers believe that this consideration has been given too much weight in alimony rulings. As Bloomberg reports, that state’s legislature has passed a bill that would reverse a legal precedent in that state related to advanced degrees and professional licenses. In a case from the 1980s, a judge ruled that a woman who sacrificed her own career to help put her then-husband through medical school was entitled to alimony based on the ex-husband’s future earnings, based on his medical degree.
The bill is a compromise effort between many interested parties. It is intended to reduce alimony payments, while keeping the concerns of low-income people and victims of domestic violence in mind.
Determining alimony can be very complex, so it is important that a spouse have an experienced divorce attorney.