Alimony/Spousal Support – What You Need to Know

I know that a divorce is a struggle and I want to talk to you today about how to relieve some of that struggle when it comes to alimony/future spousal support. The old saying, “What you don’t know can't hurt you” comes to mind. The information is not intended nor should it be interpreted as legal advice. Before acting on anything noted below CONTACT YOUR ATTORNEY.

The Courts Determine How Much (if Any) Spousal Support is to be Paid

Spousal support (sometimes also called “maintenance”, and formerly referred to as “alimony”) is an amount that may be awarded by the court for one spouse to pay the other spouse in connection with a divorce. In Ohio look up the statute R.C. 3105.18.

There are many factors that the court may consider:

  • Earning abilities of the two parties
  • Ages, physical, mental and emotional condition of both parties
  • Retirement benefits
  • Duration of the marriage
  • Custody of a minor-aged child
  • Education of the parties
  • The financial contribution of each party to the other’s education
  • Time and expense for the person seeking the support to get the education they need
  • Tax consequences
  • Other Issues


The first thing to understand is that the courts ultimately determine how much is to be paid. In most cases, the “breadwinner” spouse will want to pay as little as possible in support, while the “stay at home” spouse will want/need substantial monetary support.

The concern that I have and you would have in pursuing spousal support or spousal support payments is that the courts can make a monetary award based on facts or fiction.

Call now: 513-784-1333.

When You Need an Expert to Present the Facts of Your Position

The Facts are what an expert presents at trial based on the reality of your situation. A judge or magistrate will make their decision based on the information (evidence) put before them. Attorneys cannot testify but they can put before a judge or magistrate what they believe is the “correct” amount of spousal support. When they can put facts in front of the judge, there is a better than chance likelihood they believe the best evidence comes from experts.

Who hires experts:

  • The court doesn’t hire experts. Attorneys hire experts.

  • If your attorney doesn’t hire an expert, the court will either be left without expert direction or will have the opinion of your ex-spouse, your ex-spouse’s attorney or your ex-spouse’s expert trying to convince them. All of these scenarios can be less than fair for you.

  • For your spousal support consider a vocational expert. This type of expert can be hired by your attorney to evaluate the future earning potential of you and your ex, and to write a report detailing their conclusions. Vocational experts carefully evaluate:

    • your current employment,
    • your education,
    • the length of time that a spouse may have been out of the workforce,
    • local demand for the skills that a spouse may have,
    • factors that affect employability.
  • You can either accept what your ex has to offer, what your ex’s attorney thinks you deserve or what an expert can assert and defend in court.

What if I have not worked for a while?

If you have been a homemaker and haven’t worked in awhile your future earnings will be different then if you have been routinely employed. The difference can be slight or dramatic depending on your education and past experience.

What if my spouse chooses not to work?

If you have been the breadwinner, you may want/need your ex to share in their own support more than they care to do. What they can earn in the future is something a vocational expert can testify about. Call now: 513-784-1333 or email Dr. Manges at

What Can a vocational expert do for my Case?

A forensic psychologist and vocational expert, like Dr. Manges, can determine the reality of your specific situation and offer testimony in court.

Dr. Manges can:

  • Testify about the amount of money that you or your ex-spouse can earn
  • Determine how much time will be needed to become gainfully employed at a job if you or your spouse has been out of work for a while
  • Itemize the amount of money necessary for what your children may need for daycare
  • Help guide the court in making its decision
  • Rebut your ex-spouse’s counsel
  • Take the guesswork out of spousal support
  • Ultimately, the court makes decisions based upon the weight of the evidence presented. Consider Dr. Manges’ helping your attorney to make your case the best it can be.