How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Roger Your Own Question

Roger
Roger, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 26596
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
6704987
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Roger is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Does a husband and wife in Ohio have to be married at least ...

Resolved Question:

Does a husband and wife in Ohio have to be married at least three years in order for the wife to collect spousal support or is it awarded for less than three years depending on the circumstances?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Roger replied 6 years ago.

In Ohio, there is no time limit that the marriage must last before spousal support can be awarded. However, the duration of the marriage is a factor in determining support. Usually, the shorter the marriage, the less support a court will award - be aware that this is only one factor in determining spousal support.

Below is an article on spousal support in Ohio. I think it will answer many of your questions.

Ohio law simply requires that a married person support his or her spouse. Spousal support is an allowance for nourishment or sustenance which the court may compel one spouse to pay to the other when they are living apart or have been divorced. While spousal support, whether temporary support during the pendency of the divorce action ("spousal support pendente lite," also commonly referred to as "temporary alimony") or permanent (regardless of the actual length of time) is ordinarily granted to the wife, Ohio law provides that in appropriate cases, spousal support may be granted to the husband.

An award of spousal support pendente lite is discretionary with the court. The court may include in a temporary spousal support award expenses for such items as housing (i.e. rent or mortgage payment), food, medical expenses, transportation and attorney fees. A temporary spousal support award automatically terminates after a divorce, annulment or legal separation decree has been entered.

With regard to a temporary spousal support award, there is no precise formula for determining the amount that will be awarded. The court must use its judicial discretion and take into consideration the ability to pay of the party who is to be paying the temporary spousal support and the present needs of the party to whom the temporary spousal support is to be paid. The court is required to take into consideration the standard of living of the parties immediately prior to the time of separation of the parties or the beginning of the marital discord.

When determining whether to grant permanent spousal support and if it is granted, the nature, amount and duration of the payments, the trial court is required to consider fourteen factors. These factors are:

  1. The income of the parties, from all sources, including, but not limited to, income derived from property awarded as part of the property division in the divorce proceeding;
  2. The relative earning abilities of the parties;
  3. The ages and the physical, mental and emotional conditions of the parties;
  4. The retirement benefits of the parties;
  5. The duration of the marriage;
  6. The extent to which it would be inappropriate for a party, because he/she will be custodian of a minor child or children of the marriage, to seek employment outside the home;
  7. The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage;
  8. The relative extent of education of the parties;
  9. The relative assets and liabilities of the parties, including, but not limited to any court-ordered payments by the parties;
  10. 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;
  11. 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;
  12. The tax consequences, for each party, of an award of spousal support;
  13. The lost income production capacity of either party that resulted from that party's marital responsibilities; and
  14. Any other fact that the court expressly finds to be relevant and equitable.

If the court determines that permanent spousal support is warranted, when determining the amount of the award, the court must consider the ability to pay of the party who is to be paying the spousal support and the needs of the party to whom the spousal support is to be paid.

Spousal support can be for a specified length of time (i.e. 24 months, 48 months, etc.), may be ordered, in the appropriate case, to continue indefinitely, or may be ordered to terminate upon the occurrence of a specified event (i.e. remarriage of the payee-spouse or death of either party). The preference is for the termination of support "at a date certain," but the court has discretion in making the determination. The court may order spousal support for a specified length of time and maintain jurisdiction of the support issue so that it can be reviewed again to see if it should continue as is, be modified or terminated.

If the decree that orders permanent spousal support makes a specific provision that permits the court to modify the spousal support award, the court retains jurisdiction to hear any motion requesting a modification of the existing award. The court can expressly reserve jurisdiction in its order in a contested divorce matter or the parties can agree, in a separation agreement that is subsequently incorporated into a divorce decree, to make spousal support modifiable. If there is no provision contained in the divorce decree (or a separation agreement incorporated into a divorce decree) that reserves the jurisdiction of the court to modify the spousal support award, the award in not modifiable.

Because of a change in the law, divorce decrees filed before May 2, l986, and not arising out of a separation agreement incorporated into a decree, do not have to have a specific reservation of jurisdiction in order for the court to consider a modification or termination of spousal support.

Divorce decrees which incorporate separation agreements and which were entered on or before June 23, l976 are not modifiable unless there has been a mistake, misrepresentation, fraud, or an express reservation of jurisdiction to modify. Divorce decrees which incorporate separation agreements and which were entered after June 23, l976 but before May 2, l986 are modifiable and such modification is not limited only to situations of mistake, misrepresentation, fraud, and the separation agreement or decree does not have to have an express reservation of jurisdiction to modify.

If the court has retained jurisdiction to modify spousal support (or under the other situations described above where the court may modify), it may only do so where the court determines that there has been a material or substantial change in the circumstances of either party that could not reasonably have been anticipated at the time of the original decree. A change in circumstance includes:

  • Altered economic conditions (i.e. an involuntary decrease in income);
  • Remarriage of the recipient;
  • Death;
  • Entering into a relationship in another state that would constitute a valid marriage in Ohio;
  • Post-decree cohabitation in certain situations;
  • Payor's increased ability to pay;
  • Retirement; and
  • Other circumstances.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
My attorney said there is a general rule of thumb. Any marriage less than ten years prorates the spousal support. His attorney said you have to be married at least three years. Which attorney is correct?
Expert:  Roger replied 6 years ago.

There is no set duration of marriage under Ohio law which entitles one to spousal support. The amount of support is ultimately up to the discretion of the court.

However, the duration of the marriage will reduce the support amount one is due, but no number of years completely erases a person's right to spousal support. If you're married, a month, spousal support is available.

Roger, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 26596
Experience: BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
Roger and 2 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
< Last | Next >
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    8085
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    8085
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

    LawTalk

    Attorney and Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    6424
    27+ years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    6336
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    5987
    I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    5773
    JD, 15 years legal experience including family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BrianTMayer/2010-01-06_200119_BM.jpg Brandon M.'s Avatar

    Brandon M.

    Family Law Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    3810
    Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TU/TUSA/2012-6-6_55219_test.64x64.png Thoreau (T-USA)'s Avatar

    Thoreau (T-USA)

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    2634
    Attorney