Spousal Support FAQ
When facing a divorce, one of the decisions you will need to make is how your financial future will look. Spousal support is a way of helping a party of lesser financial means to be able to maintain a reasonable standard of living until he or she has a reasonable opportunity to become self-supporting. For long-term marriages of more than 20 years, spousal support is also used a way maintain a reasonable division of the parties’ total income for an extended period of time. You need an attorney who will fight for you every step of the way. At Sowald Sowald Anderson Hawley & Johnson, we are committed to putting your best interests first. Below is a list of frequently asked questions. To discuss your options, contact our Columbus office today at 614-556-4231 or fill out our contact form.
Q: How does the court determine alimony?
A: There are many things the court looks at when determining what is fair. They will take a look at each spouse’s age, their financial standing, the standard of living during the marriage and the length of the marriage, among other things.
Q: Can alimony payments be modified in the future?
A: In some cases, the answer is yes, but not in all. Whether the court can modify a spousal support order depends on whether the terms of the original order give the court the authority to modify the spousal support obligation. If the original order does say that the court may modify the support obligation in the future, then the court may consider the current circumstances and determine if a modification is warranted. If the terms do not say that the court may modify the obligation, then the court has no authority to make a change. If the court does have the authority to modify the original spousal support obligation, it will consider whether there has been a change of circumstances, such as a significant change in a party’s income and the cause of that change to determine if a modification is appropriate.
Q: There was a new federal tax bill that was passed. How does this affect divorce and spousal support?
A: Under the new tax law, spousal support is no longer deductible from the payor’s income for tax purposes and it is no longer considered taxable income to the recipient. The new law only applies to spousal support orders that were issued after January 1, 2019. If you have a spousal support order that was issued prior to that date, the support remains deductible from the payor’s income and is still considered taxable income for the recipient.
Q: We are both working full time. Can I still expect spousal support?
A: Even if both parties have full-time jobs, the court will still often order spousal support if there is a significant disparity between the parties’ incomes.