There are three types of spousal support in Oregon: transitional spousal support, compensatory spousal support, and spousal maintenance. Many people still refer to spousal support as “alimony” but it’s more properly referred to as “spousal support.”
Transitional Spousal Support in Oregon
Transitional spousal support is typically awarded to assist a party in transitioning to re-entry into the workforce, or to help the party attain economic self-sufficiency by funding education or training for career advancement, or to develop an employment plan to achieve a more consistent income.
Oregon law instructs the Court to consider the following factors in awarding transitional spousal support: The duration of the marriage; a party’s training and employment skills; a party’s work experience; the financial needs and resources of each party; the tax consequences to each party; a party’s custodial and child support responsibilities; and any other factors that the Court deems just and equitable. ORS 107.105(1)(d)(A).
Compensatory Spousal Support in Oregon
Compensatory spousal support is typically awarded when the Court determines that one party has made a significant financial or other contribution to the education, training, vocational skills, career or earning capacity of the other party.
Oregon law instructs the Court to consider the following factors in awarding compensatory spousal support: The amount, duration, and nature of the contribution; the duration of the marriage; the relative earning capacity of the parties; the extent to which the marital estate has already benefited from the contribution; the tax consequences to each party; and any other factors that the Court deems just and equitable. ORS 107.105(1)(d)(B).
Oregon Spousal Maintenance Awards
Spousal maintenance awards are more often seen in long-term marriages, in marriages where the disparity in incomes between the parties cannot easily be remedied, and in marriages where one party has serious health problems that prevent economic self-sufficiency. Spousal maintenance can be for a specified or an indefinite period of time.
Oregon law instructs the Court to consider the following factors in awarding spousal maintenance: The duration of the marriage; the age of the parties; the health of the parties, including their physical, mental, and emotional condition; the standard of living established during the marriage; the relative income and earning capacity of the parties, recognizing that the wage earner’s continuing income may be a basis for support distinct from the income that the supported spouse may receive from the distribution of marital property; a party’s training and employment skills; a party’s work experience; the financial needs and resources of each party; the tax consequences to each party; a party’s custodial and child support responsibilities; and any other factors the court deems just and equitable. ORS 107.105(1)(d)(C).
It’s important to note that, with all three types of support, there is no automatic formula for determining the level of support. However, attorneys have access to cases from the Oregon Court of Appeals and summaries of Circuit Court awards which provide examples of support awards. By comparing facts, attorneys can often estimate the amount of spousal support or spousal maintenance which may be ordered in a given case.
Spousal Support and Taxes
It used to be the case that spousal support was deductible for tax purposes for the paying party. It also was subject to reporting as income for the receiving party. However, beginning January 1st, 2019, spousal support or separate maintenance payments are no longer deductible from the income of the payer, or includable in the income of the payee, if made under a divorce or separation agreement executed after December 31st, 2018. More information on this change is available on the IRS website.
Oregon Alimony Attorney
For more information on alimony, contact our office. We represent clients in Oregon divorce cases and can assist with all of the following:
- Calculating a proper spousal support award,
- Enforcing a spousal support award (when an ex-spouse is not paying what or when they should),
- Modifying a spousal support award (based on an unexpected change of circumstances), and
- Terminating a spousal support award.