Spousal Support

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Posted Date:May 6, 2016 | Categories: , ,


Alternate dispute resolution (ADR) can take many forms, but one widely cited definition from the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University is that an alternative dispute resolution is “any means of settling disputes outside of the courtroom.” In family law matters, pursuing an ADR can spare loved ones the time, expense, and emotional hardship of a lengthy court trial. ADRs also usually yields outcomes that all parties to a dispute find more equitable and acceptable.

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What Does a Vocational Expert Do and How Is That Related to Alimony?

Posted Date:March 26, 2016 | Categories:

vocational expert and alimony

Divorce court judges who issue spousal support orders use the disparity between the partners’ current and future earnings as one the most significant factors for calculating alimony payments. Spousal support can also be mediated in a marriage dissolution, but the difference between what one spouse does and could earn and the earnings of the other spouse will still represent a starting point for negotiations.

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I Want a Divorce but my Spouse is Mentally Ill, How Should I Proceed?

Posted Date:October 12, 2015 | Categories:

Mental Illness Divorce

Mental illness recognizably has an impact on a marriage. However, in the State of Ohio insanity, serious mental illness, or drug abuse are not grounds – or reasons – for divorce.  That being said, Ohio is a “no fault” divorce state, and grounds for divorce may be cited as “incompatibility.” 

Mental illness will influence issues such as visitation and custody. The court’s primary concern in custody and visitation issues is the best interests of the child or children. Mental health issues will not necessarily disqualify a parent from visitation or even custody. There is, of course, the chance that the parent could receive treatment or the condition may be mitigated by medication.

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Does My Spouse Need To Agree To A Divorce

Posted Date:September 7, 2015 | Categories:

Spouse Agree To A Divorce

In Ohio, you may file for divorce based on either “fault” or “no-fault” grounds. No-fault grounds include incompatibility, or living separate or apart without cohabitation for one year. Fault grounds include bigamy, willful absence for one year, adultery, extreme cruelty, fraudulent inducement to marriage, gross neglect of duty, habitual drunkenness, imprisonment in a state or federal institution at the time of the filing of the complaint, or an out-of-state divorce.

While having your spouse agree to the divorce may make coming to agreement on other aspects of the divorce less contentious, it is not essential to have agreement in order to complete the divorce.  The court’s role and goal is the equitable division of any property from the marriage and the custody of your children, if any.

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How Spousal Support Can Affect Your Taxes

Posted Date:August 6, 2015 | Categories:

Spousal Support Affect Taxes

If you are the recipient of alimony payments, those payments are taxable as additional income to you. Because no taxes are withheld from the alimony payment, you may want to consider how you will plan to pay the taxes on this income. If you have no other income, you should think about filing quarterly tax payments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Here is a link to useful information from the IRS about alimony that the recipient should be aware of: http://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch18.html Also, the IRS has a publication that will help you estimate your taxes (IRS Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Taxes) and one that will give you more information you should know regarding alimony income and your taxes IRS Publication 504, Divorced or Separated Individuals). Both of these publications are available at www.irs.gov

If you pay alimony, the annual amount you pay is deducted from your income on line 31 of the 1040 IRS form. The payer must also enter the ex-spouse’s social security number so payment amounts may be cross-checked against how much the ex-spouse claims as income. However, child support is not deductible or taxable. Also be aware that the IRS will scrutinize your first three years of alimony payments in order to be assured that you’re not trying to hide property distribution or other post-divorce settlements such as attorneys’ fees as deductible support.

Also, if you tie spousal support in any way to child support – such as terminating it once the children graduate high school – that will give the IRS latitude to question whether you’ve actually been paying child support while claiming alimony. Remember, alimony is deductible, but child support is not.

What should be clear from this short article is that there is a great deal to be considered in structuring your divorce settlement, whether you are the payer or the recipient. There are strategies that a seasoned, experienced attorney can help you employ so that the settlement you agree on is to the best possible advantage of both you and your children. Remember it is imperative that you discuss the tax consequences of your overall settlement with your attorney prior to signing off on the final settlement.

Do You Need Information About Spousal Support?

At Edward F. Whipps & Associates, our family attorneys understand the complexities posed by structuring your divorce settlement and can help you navigate those difficulties to the best possible advantage of you and your children. Our experienced attorneys can help you on this journey. 


Posted Date:July 15, 2015 | Categories:

At an extremely stressful time in my life, Attorney Whipps’ genuine concern made me immediately comfortable. He sincerely took the time to listen and due to his experience and knowledge of the law and psychology, he quickly evaluated my situation and determined how he would proceed. He is truly compassionate, honest, respectful and professional – a true advocate for his client. Ed’s associate, Chelsea, demonstrated utmost professionalism and valuable legal counsel. She is to be commended for her dedication to my case and the extremely positive outcome. She truly makes you feel you are her most important client.

The services of Edward F. Whipps & Associates were truly client-oriented. They have excellent communication with clients and a willingness to delve into every aspect of the case. They also have an excellent reputation with peers and are highly respected in the courtroom.

My successful outcome will provide me with security for my future. I feel blessed to have been represented by this firm and would highly recommend them to anyone seeking family law representation. They care about clients.

When to Hire a Vocational Expert in Divorce Proceedings

Posted Date:June 12, 2015 | Categories: ,

Vocational Expert in Divorce

Vocational experts evaluate a person’s education, abilities, interests, experience and other qualifications and look at that in light of the current employment market. They assess the likelihood that a person can get a job, and what s/he can expect to earn, both immediately and long term. Employability assessments can help determine the amount of support a spouse can contribute, the degree to which a spouse is entitled to support, and whether a spouse is capable of contributing to his or her own support and support of the children.

If you’re involved in an acrimonious divorce, both sides want to be sure that the conclusions reached regarding support and contribution to support is fair and reasonable.  If your spouse’s attorney requests a vocational analysis, it would be wise to hire your own expert to conduct an analysis as well. Even if your spouse’s attorney has not hired a vocational expert, you may want to employ one to be sure the financial arrangements, such as spousal and child support, are equitable.

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Guide to Spousal Support & Alimony in Ohio

Posted Date:May 12, 2015 | Categories:

Guide to Spousal Support

The periods before, during, and after a divorce can be devastating for all parties involved. The courts take this into consideration and offer aid that can reduce the financial impact of divorce. Financial assistance that provides such support is called alimony, or spousal support in Ohio.

Spousal support is financial assistance paid from one former spouse to another. The spouse who is at a financial disadvantage will receive financial assistance from the former spouse who is at a financial advantage. This assistance helps them maintain the standard of living they had during the marriage and gain financial independence.

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Marital vs. Non-Marital Assets: How to Determine the Difference

Posted Date:April 28, 2015 | Categories:

Marital and Non Marital Assets

Divorce is a complicated business.  One of the difficulties in handling a divorce is deciding whether an asset is a marital asset, and thus subject to division between the divorcing parties by the court, or a non-marital asset, and thus not subject to division by the court. Ohio law assumes that all assets are marital assets, unless an individual can prove otherwise. 

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How Job Loss Affects Spousal Support

Posted Date:April 22, 2015 | Categories:

Job Loss Affects Spousal Support

Job loss and other economic factors can have a huge impact on your life.  Many workers have faced lay-offs, downsizing, and job loss due to factors outside their control.  This is especially concerning when you are required to pay a specific amount to your ex-spouse in the form of spousal support.  Rather than face the possibility of missing payments and fighting a new court battle, take a look at how hiring an attorney can help keep everyone happy. 

Spousal support is generally negotiated as part of the divorce decree that you sign with your former spouse.  Formerly known as alimony, spousal support payments are important to discuss before you sign a divorce decree.  When you agree that divorce is the best option, then assets are split and spousal support payments are paid to the lower earning spouse.  In Ohio, judges use many factors to determine the initial amount of spousal support to award to the lower earning spouse of a divorce.   One such factor is the earning capacity of both spouses.  This is subject to change as the job market and economy fluctuate, but it gives the judge an idea of the appropriate amount of financial support that newly divorced spouse should receive. 

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