While the IRS still calls it “alimony,” the courts prefer the term “spousal support.” Spousal support may be temporary, short term or long term depending on a number of statutory factors that the court must consider.
Spousal support may be granted for a specific purpose, i.e., for education to qualify for certain jobs. It can also be granted on a permanent basis until the spouse receiving support dies, remarries or starts living with another person.
Even with permanent spousal support, the court can still keep ongoing jurisdiction over your case and can reconsider and amend the support amount upon a change of circumstances.
The person who pays the spousal support may be entitled to income tax deductions if the proper requirements are met.
For additional information, refer to Tax Topic 452, Alimony Paid (this topic covers alimony under decrees or agreements after 1984) and Publication 504, Divorced or Separated Individuals.
The income of the parties, from all sources, including, but not limited to, income derived from property divided, disbursed or distributed under section 3105.171 of the Revised Code
The relative earning abilities of the parties
The ages and the physical, mental and emotional conditions of the parties
The retirement benefits of the parties
The duration of the marriage
The extent to which it would be inappropriate for a party, because that party will be custodian of a minor child of the marriage, to seek employment outside the home
The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage
The relative extent of education of the parties
The relative assets and liabilities of the parties, including any court-ordered payments by the parties
The contribution of each party to the education, training or earning ability of the other party, including, but not limited to, any party’s contribution to the acquisition of a professional degree of the other party
The time and expense necessary for the spouse who is seeking spousal support to acquire education, training or job experience so that the spouse will be qualified to obtain appropriate employment,
provided the education, training or job experience is, in fact, sought
The tax consequences, for each party, of an award of spousal support
The lost income production capacity of either party that resulted from that party’s marital responsibilities
Any other factor that the court expressly finds to be relevant and equitable