Child and Spousal Support are often misunderstood and contentious issues between opposing parties, whether they are parents separating or a couple who is divorcing. There are a number of factors impacting child and spousal support. The best way to know for sure what you are responsible for or entitled to is to create a strategy using an experienced Ohio family law attorney.
Child support in Ohio serves the purpose of providing for the health, wellbeing, and physical needs of children whose parents are not together. While many may think of child support as being a result of divorce, it can also apply to situations in which parents were never married. The issue of child support is more complex than simply conducting a math problem or defaulting to the party who earns more. The Court has discretion to deviate the child support amount upwards or downwards based upon a myriad of factors, such as those listed below.
- What the custodial arrangement is (sole or shared)
- How many minor children the parties have together
- How many minor children each party has from other relationships
- Annual income from each parent
- If there are childcare expenses
- Who pays for health insurance
- Spousal support obligations
- If either parent is receiving any other benefit on behalf of the minor child(ren)
- How many overnights the child support obligor has per year
Spousal support (referred to as alimony in some states) is a monthly payment from one spouse to another for living expenses. Spousal support is awarded when one spouse earns a significantly greater income than the other. The amount of spousal support is determined by the respective annual income of the parties. Either spouse can receive spousal support in a divorce under Ohio law. In addition, both spouses are potentially eligible to receive temporary spousal support while their divorce is pending. A court has the freedom to determine the duration, scope, and amount if awarded.
- Annual income or earning ability of each spouse
- Length of marriage
- Age and health of the parties
- How other assets, debts, and property has been divided
- Standards of living and expenses during the marriage
- Child support obligations
Even if you have an understanding of the basics of child and spousal support calculations, they can quickly feel overwhelming. Consulting with a competent family law attorney can help with understanding variables and deviations that can affect your specific situation directly.