The divorce process has many components. Depending on a couple's particular circumstances, issues like property division and child custody and become heated disagreements that are difficult to resolve. Another area of divorce that often devolves into emotional spats is alimony. Alimony, also known as spousal support, is sometimes awarded by a court to ensure that a spouse who makes little or no income will be able to support him or herself post-divorce.
The purpose of alimony is to ensure a spouse who forewent a career in order to support the family is not, in essence, punished financially. Therefore, the court may find that alimony is necessary to allow the spouse to develop the skills he or she needs to renter the workforce and support him or herself. Oftentimes the amount of alimony awarded allows the spouse to maintain the standard of living he or she enjoyed during the marriage.
Spousal support is determined based on many factors. Though a court has a lot of discretion when awarding alimony, it often looks to the marriage's length, the couple's standard of living, the amount of time needed for the spouse to acquire the education and training needed to support him or herself, and the age, emotional well-being, physical health, and financial state of each individual. A court will also look at the ability of the spouse seeking support to support his or herself.
Depending on which side of the dispute an individual is on, alimony can either be a financial lifesaver or a huge financial burden. Therefore, treating this matter seriously in crucial. An experienced attorney may be able to help Ohioans get a better grasp on their unique situation and how best to handle it.
Source: FindLaw, "Spousal Support (Alimony) Basics," accessed on Apr. 6, 2015