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How long does alimony last after an Ohio divorce?

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2023 | Spousal Support (Alimony) |

Sometimes, spouses who decide to divorce are navigating very different financial circumstances. One may have spent the entire marriage developing their career while the other one took care of the family. In a scenario where there is a significant discrepancy in personal resources or income between divorcing spouses, the courts may sometimes order alimony, which people also refer to as spousal support payments. Such payments help close the gap in financial circumstances between spouses.

Alternatively, spouses can agree to alimony as an element of their property division strategy. Both the person paying alimony and the spouse receiving payments will need to know how long payments will last to more effectively budget.

Temporary support ends with the decree

The family courts have the option of ordering temporary spousal support until the judge approves the divorce. In other words, the temporary support order only lasts until the end of the marriage. One spouse may have to continue paying temporary support for as long as the divorce proceedings take, even if they take the better part of a year or longer. When temporary support orders end, a lower-earning or dependent spouse could potentially receive support through a long-term or permanent alimony order.

How long does post-divorce support last?

Despite the name, permanent spousal orders usually don’t last indefinitely. The length of the marriage determines the duration of the support order in most cases. Typically, people need to stay married for at least five years to qualify for any degree of spousal support after a divorce. Long-term support is usually only an option after lengthy marriages, and even then, a judge often only grants support for a third of the duration of the marriage. However, if the marriage lasted for 30 years or longer, then a judge might order permanent spousal support.

Changes to support may be possible

There are scenarios in which a judge would modify or alter a spousal support order. Changes in income, remarriage, cohabitation or death are all potential reasons for the courts to modify or terminate spousal support orders in Ohio.

Learning more about the factors that influence the outcome of divorce proceedings in Ohio can help people prepare themselves mentally and financially for the process and can inspire them to ask truly informed questions when speaking with an attorney.