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Alimony modifications: Grounds and considerations in Ohio

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2024 | Modifications |

Alimony, also called spousal support, is a financial arrangement established during a divorce to help one spouse maintain their pre-divorce standard of living. While the initial alimony award is determined based on specific factors during the divorce, circumstances can change over time.

Ohio law recognizes this and allows for modifications to spousal support payments – provided that certain conditions are met.

Common grounds for alimony modification

As with other post-divorce modifications (like child custody and support), you must demonstrate a material change in circumstances since receiving your divorce decree. That means showing a significant and unforeseen alteration in your or your spouse’s financial situation. Examples of qualifying changes include:

  • Involuntary income changes: If the paying spouse experiences a substantial, involuntary decrease in income, it could justify a reduction in alimony payments. Sudden job loss and reduced hours are two common triggers for spousal support modification petitions.
  • Increased costs or medical expenses: The receiving spouse’s financial needs may increase due to unforeseen medical bills or a significant rise in their living expenses.
  • Remarriage or cohabitation: Sometimes, the remarriage or cohabitation of the receiving spouse can be grounds for alimony modification or termination.

When considering an alimony modification request, family courts in Ohio examine various factors beyond just the change in circumstances. Here are a few examples.

  • The purpose and duration of the original alimony award
  • Any existing agreements between the spouses regarding alimony
  • The economic resources and requirements of both parties

While modifying alimony payments after a divorce is possible, it requires meeting specific criteria. Getting experienced legal guidance is important to understanding your options and making a successful petition.