Exploring Ohio Spousal Support: A Look at Various Outcomes Achieved in Mediation

alimony/spousal support
determining Ohio Spousal Support

In initial meetings with individuals facing divorce, recurring concerns resound—questions that often torment and exacerbate the already stressful process. These shared anxieties, like "Can I hold onto our home?" and "How will I secure health insurance?" keep individuals awake at night as they navigate the intricate web of divorce proceedings.

In divorce mediation, these common fears invariably revolve around one pivotal element—finances. At the heart of negotiating an Ohio divorce settlement lies one of the most intricate and contentious matters: spousal support, known as alimony or spousal maintenance in certain regions. We use the terms interchangeably. Spousal support is when one spouse provides financial support to the other spouse beyond the termination of the marriage. Today, we delve into Ohio mediation and the various alimony outcomes achieved in recent cases.

Related post: How much spousal support will I get?

Factors Influencing Ohio Spousal Support

When it comes to determining spousal support, it's important to understand the factors that come into play. While there's no predefined formula or calculator, several key elements are considered. These factors include the duration of the marriage, each spouse's income, job history, and earning potential, the standard of living during the marriage, the relative assets of each spouse, the age and health of both parties and any sacrifices made, such as one spouse supporting the other's education or career. Moreover, the presence of children and their custody arrangements can also impact the spousal support decisions. You can read about these and other factors in the Ohio code here

What do other people agree to when it comes to spousal support?

Sometimes, clients ask me what other people do regarding spousal support in Ohio. There truly is no one way to handle it. The creative spousal support agreements I've witnessed in mediation illustrate the control parties have in mediation. This post is by no means meant to be a recommendation, nor is it intended to be legal advice. Instead, it can give you some ideas for how others have found a resolution to this issue.

5 Sample Spousal Support Resolutions:

A Traditional Resolution

A traditional alimony award in Ohio is when one spouse agrees to pay spousal support to the other spouse as a fixed monthly amount for a specified period. The amount of spousal support payments and time frame vary significantly from case to case, with various factors considered since there is no spousal support calculator in Ohio. The primary factors considered tend to be each spouse's income and the duration of the marriage. Some parties try to devise a solution that provides both spouses with the same income. Others may negotiate a payment that allows the lower-earning spouse to stay in the primary residence.

Sometimes, parties negotiate that spousal support can't be modified, and others negotiate the criteria under which the parties can modify spousal support in the future.

Spousal Support Buyout

Sometimes, one or both parties do not want to deal with the issue of an ongoing payment. Thus, they will negotiate an upfront payment in place of monthly payments and/or a larger asset allocation to one of the parties instead of ongoing spousal support. For example, in one case, the parties agreed that one of the spouses would keep all of the equity in the marital home instead of spousal support. They divided the rest of their assets equally.

Related post: Considering an alimony buyout? Here's what you need to know.

A Tiered Approach

In another case, the wife just went back to work full-time after staying home with her children for many years. The husband was the primary earner for the last 10+ years. The children were teenagers during the mediation, and the wife obtained employment at a lower wage than the husband. However, the wife could earn more once she was back in the workforce for some time. The parties decided that the husband would pay the wife a spousal support payment that was highest in the first two years of payment. It then declined annually over each of the following three years.

Assignment of Assets with Greater Cash Flow

In another sample case, the wife came from a family of significant wealth. The husband had built a business during the marriage. However, the parties primarily lived off the income stream from the wife's inherited assets. While much of the portfolio was considered separate property, the clients determined that certain assets that would offer higher income be assigned to the husband. That way, the wife could avoid paying ongoing spousal support.

Related post: What is considered separate property in a divorce?

No Spousal Support

I've seen plenty of cases come through where parties determine there will be no spousal support. It is not a foregone conclusion that spousal support will be negotiated during mediation. Most of the cases that I've seen where the topic of spousal support is not discussed involve two parties with careers of their own. There tends to be a minimal difference in income between the spouses.

Spousal Support Increasing with Inflation

There are times when spousal support is negotiated to cover an extended period. This seems to be the case when one spouse is the primary earner, and the other is responsible for the home and the children. I've also seen this when one of the parties suffers from a chronic illness. Sometimes the primary earner wants to ensure the other spouse is taken care of even though the marriage did not work out. Over time, inflation can have a significant impact on general living expenses. Thus, some parties choose to negotiate an inflation factor when resolving the issue of spousal support.

How much spousal support should you ask for in Ohio?

Navigating the intricacies of spousal support mediation in Ohio can be overwhelming, especially without a set formula. If you find yourself grappling with questions about alimony, it's advisable to consult with professionals like Certified Divorce Financial Analysts (CDFA). They can help you assess your overall financial situation, including income, expenses, and future needs. Armed with this knowledge, you'll be better equipped to negotiate spousal support confidently, ensuring a smoother transition into the next phase of your life.

Whether you're in Ohio or any other part of the country, our team is here to provide comprehensive financial guidance, empowering you to make informed decisions during the challenging process of divorce. We are committed to your financial well-being and are just a consultation away from helping you plan your future with confidence.

Related post: How to Calculate Ohio Child Support


Frequently Asked Questions About Spousal Support in Ohio

Q: How do I know if I am eligible for spousal support in Ohio?

A: Eligibility for spousal support is determined based on several factors, including the length of the marriage, each spouse’s earning capacity, age, health, and the standard of living during the marriage. There is no automatic entitlement, and each case is considered individually.

Q: How is the amount of spousal support calculated?

A: Ohio does not have a specific calculator for spousal support. The amount is determined by considering various factors, such as each party's income, the duration of the marriage, and the standard of living established during the marriage. You can read about all of the factors in the Ohio code here

Q: Can spousal support be modified after the divorce is final?

A: Spousal support can potentially be modified post-divorce if the initial settlement agreement or court order allows for modification. Typically, these agreements include provisions that outline specific circumstances under which spousal support may be reviewed and altered. Common triggers for modification include significant changes in income, employment status, or living conditions of either party. It's crucial to review the original terms regarding modifiability and to consult with a legal professional to understand your options.

Q: Is spousal support taxable?

A: For divorces finalized after December 31, 2018, spousal support is no longer taxable to the recipient or deductible by the payer for federal tax purposes. While state tax laws vary, Ohio has followed the federal laws.

Q: How long does spousal support last in Ohio?

A: The duration of spousal support can vary greatly. It may be for a set period, which could be a few years, or until certain conditions are met, such as retirement or the recipient's remarriage. Some courts determine the duration of support based on a percentage of the length of the marriage.

Q: Can we decide on spousal support without going to court?

A: Yes, just like in the examples provided above, alimony can be negotiated through mediation. This allows for more flexible and creative resolutions.


About Intentional Divorce Solutions

At Intentional Divorce Solutions, we're committed to guiding individuals through the complexities of divorce with an approach centered on empowered choices and respectful outcomes. Our team provides comprehensive support and expertise in several key areas:

  • Divorce Financial Planning and Analysis: Providing in-depth financial insights and strategies for a secure future post-divorce.
  • Divorce Mediation: Facilitating respectful and balanced negotiations to reach mutually beneficial resolutions.
  • Divorce Coaching: Offering personalized support and guidance to help you navigate through emotional and practical challenges of divorce.
  • Divorce Support Groups: Creating a space for sharing experiences and finding strength in community support.

Please Note: We focus on providing support and solutions in various aspects of divorce. However, we are not attorneys and do not offer legal advice.

Work With Us

If you are on the journey of divorce and seeking professional, empathetic support, we are here to assist you. Reach out to us to discover how our services can be adapted to your unique needs, empowering you to make informed decisions for respectful and positive outcomes.

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