As this blog has previously discussed, Ohio family law courts have the discretion to order one party to a divorce or legal separation to pay spousal support, which commonly gets referred to as alimony, to the other party.
Unlike many family law matters, spousal support orders which Ohio courts made can be re-examined and changed from time to time. However, Ohio law has some quirks with respect to spousal support about which Dayton residents need to be aware.
For instance, in Ohio, a divorce or separation decree must spell out explicitly that a court can review and modify spousal support at a later time. Otherwise, a spousal support order is permanent and irrevocable except for extraordinary events like the death of one of the spouses.
Even if the original order gives a court the authority to review and change the amount of spousal support, a person wanting a change has to show that the parties' circumstances have changed significantly and on a permanent or indefinite basis. Moreover, the change cannot be a matter of paying a few dollars more or less. Instead, a person has to show that, because of the change, the existing spousal support is no longer reasonable.
Finally, someone asking for a change in spousal support must demonstrate that neither the parties nor the court considered the change in circumstances as part of a previous ruling or agreement pertaining to spousal support.
Whether a Dayton resident is entitled to a change in his or her spousal support depends heavily on the specific facts of their cases, as how the law applies depends heavily on an individual's unique circumstances. As such, detailed questions about spousal support modifications should be directed to one's family law attorney.