Courts in Ohio are required to review the facts and determine whether spousal support or alimony should be awarded. These Courts review factors set forth in the law, including your age, your income, your work history (did one spouse stay home and raise the kids?) your training and education and other factors. (See below for the list of factors).
However, most divorce attorneys will tell you that 2 factors really matter and they are...
Length of Marriage and the Incomes of the parties. Typically, if you have been married for a significant amount of time, you will likely receive spousal support/alimony for at least 1 year. Some courts follow a 1 for 3 or 1 for 5 year ratio- meaning that if you are married for 10 years, you may get 2-3 years of support depending on the ratio. Courts will also look at your "after tax -net- incomes" and attempt to "level the playing field" by giving the lesser earning spouse a percentage of the difference between the incomes. Each person's specific circumstances will have an effect on potential spousal support. Once you retain an attorney, he or she will explain how your specific facts and circumstances will affect the award of spousal support.
There are also strategies an experienced divorce attorney may have to increase or decrease support including trading debt or assets for a different support figure.
(1) In determining whether spousal support is appropriate and reasonable, and in determining the nature, amount, and terms of payment, and duration of spousal support, which is payable either in gross or in installments, the court shall consider all of the following factors:
(a) The income of the parties, from all sources, including, but not limited to, income derived from property divided, disbursed, or distributed under section 3105.171 of the Revised Code;
(b) The relative earning abilities of the parties;
(c) The ages and the physical, mental, and emotional conditions of the parties;
(d) The retirement benefits of the parties;
(e) The duration of the marriage;
(f) The extent to which it would be inappropriate for a party, because that party will be custodian of a minor child of the marriage, to seek employment outside the home;
(g) The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage;
(h) The relative extent of education of the parties;
(i) The relative assets and liabilities of the parties, including but not limited to any court-ordered payments by the parties;
(j) The contribution of each party to the education, training, or earning ability of the other party, including, but not limited to, any party's contribution to the acquisition of a professional degree of the other party;
(k) The time and expense necessary for the spouse who is seeking spousal support to acquire education, training, or job experience so that the spouse will be qualified to obtain appropriate employment, provided the education, training, or job experience, and employment is, in fact, sought;
(l) The tax consequences, for each party, of an award of spousal support;
(m) The lost income production capacity of either party that resulted from that party's marital responsibilities;
(n) Any other factor that the court expressly finds to be relevant and equitable.