Skip to main content
Find a Lawyer
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Ohio Alimony Laws

In Ohio, courts award alimony, or spousal support payments, to one spouse at the end of the divorce process. Either spouse may request alimony. Alimony is not automatic or guaranteed to either spouse.

Alimony payments help the recipient spouse maintain a reasonable standard of living following the divorce while they become self-sufficient. Judges base the amount of alimony on one spouse’s need and the other spouse’s ability to pay.

Any married couple may request alimony during a divorce. However, domestic partners cannot request alimony. Alimony and spousal support are available only for dissolution of marriage.

Note: State laws are subject to change through the passage of new legislation, court rulings (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. FindLaw strives to provide the most current information available. You should consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) before making any legal decisions.

Ohio Alimony Laws

Ohio Revised Code Section 3105.18 defines spousal support and the factors Ohio courts use to determine the amount, length, and type of spousal support payments. The party requesting support must demonstrate a need for financial support and the ability of the former spouse to pay such support.

Judges must consider:

  • Both spouses’ income and earning ability

  • Age and health of both parties

  • Duration of the marriage

  • Current living expenses

  • Each party’s education, employability, and job experience

  • Marital responsibilities and contributions to the marital estate, including homemaking and childcare

  • Time needed for the recipient spouse to acquire education or training to become self-sufficient

  • Child custody of minor children requiring full-time care

  • Retirement benefits

  • Debts and liabilities assigned to both parties

  • Tax consequences to both parties

  • Any other factor found by the court to be relevant and equitable.

The spousal support amount is not affected by any child support order. Parents must contribute equally to the child’s care.

Duration of Spousal Support

A temporary spousal support order, sometimes called alimony pendente lite, is a court-ordered payment awarded during divorce proceedings. The temporary order gives the lower-income spouse assistance for immediate needs. This support ends with the issuance of the divorce decree.

A permanent spousal support order may last as long as the judge deems necessary. In many states, the order is one-half the length of the marriage. Ohio law lets the judge set the final date on the period of time for a permanent order.

A permanent order may be periodic and paid out monthly, yearly, or as a single lump-sum payment. The precise nature of the payment depends on the nature of the award.

Modification of a Spousal Support Order

The divorce decree must include a provision for modification to change an award of spousal support. There must be a “substantial change of circumstances” for either party, making the current order unreasonable.

A change of circumstances could include an involuntary and unforeseeable loss of wages, medical expenses, or improved job conditions.

Research the Law

Ohio Alimony Laws: Related Resources

Get Legal Advice From an Ohio Family Law Attorney

When you’re considering divorce or legal separation, you need to know about spousal support law. Get advice from an experienced Ohio divorce attorney to protect your financial rights.

Was this helpful?

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.

Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • Divorces are tough and a lawyer can seek the best outcome
  • A lawyer can help protect your children's interests
  • Divorce lawyers can secure alimony, visitation rights, and property division

Get tailored divorce advice and ask a lawyer questions. Many attorneys offer free consultations.


 If you need an attorney, find one right now.

Copied to clipboard

Find a Lawyer

More Options