Does Ohio Spousal Support Continue Until Death or Remarriage?

Many Ohioans believe spousal support (often referred to as “alimony”) continues forever until a former spouse dies or remarries.  While this may be true for marriages of long duration, it simply doesn’t apply to the majority of permanent spousal support orders.  Judges covering divorce and dissolution cases here in Columbus and Central Ohio often invoke a time frame for the spouse receiving support to become financially self-sufficient.

Ohio Spousal support will not continue forever in these cases.  It is interesting that the Judge may establish benchmarks or time frames for self-sufficiency even when the spouse receiving support is technically “working.”  The Court may believe the person is “under-employed” and not working enough hours or taking the right type of work based upon their qualifications to be self-sustaining.

Ohio law does not provide guidance to the Court in terms of a specific time frame for the spouse receiving support to become self-sustaining.  Each case is unique, and the Judge will base the time frame given (if any is given at all) upon multiple factors.

Another reason for a change in Ohio spousal support is a substantial change in the “Status Quo” of one or both of the parties.  Generally speaking, well-crafted settlement agreements should specify the existing “Status Quo” thus setting up a benchmark against which future levels of change in income or other circumstances  would warrant a post decree modification of spousal support orders

If you have questions about spousal support in Columbus or Central Ohio we invite you to contact us or call (614) 289-1227 to schedule an appointment.  The seasoned family law attorneys at The Law Offices of William L. Geary protect our client’s interests in these cases.  We use our proven trial skills, negotiation, experience and expertise to achieve our client’s goals and the best possible outcome in their case.

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