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When a couple goes through the different processes of divorce, one of the more stressful points of discussion can often be the subject of alimony. Under circumstances of legal separation or divorce, alimony refers to the financial maintenance or spousal support that someone receives. When combining aspects of individuals’ lives through marriage, there can be shared income or assets that were jointly used throughout the former partner’s marriage. In some cases, there is a financially dependent partner that was married and shared in the joint financial aspects of marriage.
Through the divorce processes however, alimony is put into place to help provide the struggling partner with support to assist them in maintaining the same standard of living that they had while they were married. Alimony can be difficult to understand, especially if you are going through these processes for the first time. An affordable alimony lawyer is someone who will help you understand the ins and outs of the concept of alimony and how it will apply to your particular circumstance.
What Does an Alimony Lawyer Do For You?
An alimony lawyer, or attorney, is also referred to as a spousal support attorney. During the process of divorce or legal separation, a financial amount will be negotiated to help support the partner of the former marriage under certain circumstances. An alimony lawyer can be utilized to represent you during these legal proceedings. They can advocate for you by –
- Negotiating what the alimony amount is going to be
- Debating to try to change a prearrange amount
- Starting a lawsuit if the negated amount is not being paid by the former partner
Divorce lawyers may not have experience that alimony lawyers have that specializes in spousal support cases. This specific skill set and knowledge of each state’s laws adds the effectiveness of alimony lawyers in these circumstances of divorce.
Factors of Deciding the Spousal Support Amount
Across different states there are different qualifications in regards to the factors of determining the spousal support amount. In Ohio, there are a few specific factors that a judge looks at when a former spouse is trying to claim spousal support. Some of these factors that a judge considers includes:
- The income from all parties and from all sources
- Mental, emotional and physical conditions of each party – particularly how that relates to their earning capabilities
- How long the marriage lasted
- The standard of living throughout the marriage
- Assets and liabilities among each party
While the divorce is pending and alimony is being discussed, the courts and judge will use discretion during these proceedings. They will take into account these, and other pertinent factors, to help determine whether or not spousal support will be awarded and how much that support amount will be.
Two Types of Alimony in Ohio
In Ohio, alimony is typically referred to as spousal support in most cases. As with the different factors that help determine the spousal support amount, the different types of spousal support vary from state to state. Having an alimony lawyer on your side with knowledge of Ohio’s laws and process can help you understand your rights to create the best possible alimony agreement for your situation. For Ohio, there are two forms of spousal support that you could be awarded but they are subject to change based on various factors even after alimony has been awarded.
Usually at the start of a divorce process, temporary alimony is awarded to the spouse in need. This temporary alimony agreement will typically be concluded, and a new permanent alimony agreement will be drawn up, when the judge has finalized the divorce proceedings and has weighed all of the important and the impending factors. The temporary alimony is usually calculated in a similar manner to how child support is calculated – through a guideline calculator. Just because a temporary alimony was awarded also does not guarantee that a permanent alimony agreement will be drawn up after the divorce has been finalized.
Towards the end of the dissolution process is when the judge will order spousal support payments to be set for a certain amount of time after the marriage has ended. Permanent alimony is usually awarded when one spouse is not in a position to be financially independent at the moment. So while this is technically categorized as a permanent alimony agreement, it can be either on a short-term or long-term basis depending on the need. The financial assistance that is provided through this type of alimony can last until the former partner is trained and in a position to be financially independent or if they get remarried.
Modifying Spousal Support
These spousal support agreements can change depending on different circumstances that can arise during the post-divorce era. In the state of Ohio, to change a spousal support order that is already in place, you have to be able to show that circumstances have changed since the last order was signed. The significant factors that could cause the modification of spousal support can include:
- Being impacted by illness or disability
- Experiencing an involuntary decrease in income
- Having your living expenses exceed what you can afford
After demonstrating that there have been significant changes to a former spouses’ circumstances, a judge will deliberate the case and keep or make the appropriate changes to the order. The lawyers at Affordable Family Law are committed to representing you in this time of change and will assist you in bringing up the changes that will help to serve your best interests.
The Lawyers at Affordable Family Law for Spousal Support
With the thousands of people who need family law assistance in Ohio, we are so proud to offer support and representation in these challenging times. We understand that it takes a lot more than legal knowledge to effectively make changes and impact the lives of those we serve. It takes heart and the understanding that we will do whatever it takes to achieve your goals and fight for your interests. If you are looking for an alimony lawyer to be on your side through these processes to ensure the best possible outcome in the Toledo, Ohio area, make sure to contact us today.