Spousal Support

A state law gives Ohio courts discretion to award spousal support to either party in a divorce or dissolution proceeding. As a family law attorney, Rick Marks assists clients with obtaining spousal support in proceedings in Portage and Summit Counties. For more than 25 years, Rick has dedicated his practice solely to domestic relations law. He has extensive experience and knowledge of the Ohio laws and practice relating to spousal support.

Experience and Practice Approach

In 1995, Rick Marks co-founded Marks & Chandler Co., L.P.A. with his wife, Beth Chandler-Marks. From the beginning, the law firm focused exclusively on family law. After Beth transitioned her practice to education law, Rick continued Marks & Chandler as a solo practice law firm, which it remains today. His practice has always been limited to family law.

Rick understands that all family law matters, including spousal support, are significant issues with life-changing potential that can affect your financial security and, in many cases, the future financial well-being of your family. He knows that spousal support issues can be extremely difficult, emotional, and stressful to navigate.

Rick’s compassionate, client-centered approach includes close communication with you throughout the entire process. He provides legal and moral support to minimize the stress of the situation and to help you make the best decisions for yourself and your family, both short-term and long-term. You can always reach Rick to ask questions or address concerns — including evenings and weekends.

The success of Rick’s approach to practice is demonstrated by the fact many of his clients come through referrals from former clients and other attorneys.

Ohio Spousal Support Law

A specific state statute governs award of spousal support (previously called alimony in Ohio) in a divorce or dissolution proceeding. The law gives the court authority and discretion to award spousal support to either spouse. Generally, the court does not address the issue of spousal support until issues relating to division of property are resolved.

The court determines whether spousal support is “appropriate and reasonable,” based on the specific facts and circumstances in the case. Support may be awarded as a lump sum or in installments, from future income or otherwise, and in real property or personal property or both.

The law includes a list of 13 specific factors that the court must take into account “in determining the nature, amount, and terms of payment, and duration of spousal support.” The factors set out in the law include:

  • Duration of the marriage
  • Income, assets, and liabilities of the parties, including as the result of the division of property
  • Standard of living established during the marriage
  • Age, physical, mental, and emotional condition of the parties
  • Relative earning capacity and education of the parties
  • Retirement benefits of the parties
  • Each party’s contribution to the education, training, or earning ability of the other party
  • Lost income production capacity that resulted from either party’s marital responsibilities
  • Tax consequences of a spousal support award for each party
  • Extent to which it would be inappropriate for a party with custody of a minor child of the marriage to seek employment outside the home due to custodial responsibilities
  • Time and expense necessary for the spouse requesting support to become qualified for appropriate employment, if the employment is sought

The statute also permits the court to take into account any other factor it “expressly finds to be relevant and equitable.”

Other than the above list of factors for the court to consider, there are no general rules that determine whether a spouse is entitled to support or what amount of support is appropriate. Individual judges may use their own general guidelines in making the determinations.

An award of spousal support may include a provision that the support terminates if the receiving spouse remarries or cohabits with another person. However, that provision is not required by the law.

Seeking Spousal Support

If the circumstances of your divorce make a spousal support request appropriate, the broad range of factors in the law provides many opportunities for your lawyer to gather relevant information for the court to consider.

In settlement negotiations with the opposing attorney and in court proceedings that are part of the process, Rick provides vigorous, effective representation as your advocate. He works hard on your behalf to solve problems and find resolutions for issues. He protects your interests to the full extent necessary in order to achieve a result that is fair and reasonable. If an acceptable resolution does not come through negotiations, Rick represents you aggressively at trial, providing the court with detailed evidence and legal arguments to support your position.

Schedule a Consultation

To talk with Rick Marks about spousal support in a divorce or dissolution or any other family law matter, please call (330) 677-9000 or use the online contact form. From his office in Kent, Rick assists clients in Portage County and Summit County.