The subject of spousal support raises many questions. Even an amicable divorce can become tense when the issue of finances arises.
Separating spouses can learn key facts about support in Oregon to avoid unpleasant surprises.
1. Spousal support typically has a time limit
The length of spousal support payments generally depends on the duration of the marriage and the health and age of each spouse. Marriages of many years or a spouse with a health concern that precludes self-support might lead to indefinite payments. Only a previous agreement by the couple can supersede the court’s determination.
2. A spouse could modify the agreement afterward
If there is a material change in circumstances, such as a job loss or a significant decrease in the paying spouse’s income, someone may be able to modify the terms of the agreement. The individual must demonstrate a substantial economic change to the court.
3. There are three types of spousal support
Oregon’s three categories of spousal support are transitional, compensatory and maintenance support.
- Transitional support intends to help a spouse adjust to living single.
- The court can award compensatory support when one spouse helped the other develop or advance in a career, thus enabling the partner to have a higher earning capacity.
- A spouse may receive maintenance support when the person needs financial assistance and the other partner has a significantly higher income.
4. There is no set calculation for spousal support
Oregon has no specific formula for determining spousal support as it does for child support payments. The court considers many factors, such as each spouse’s income, education level, work history, age, health and prior agreements between the spouses.
A marriage links the finances of two individuals, so separation creates complicated issues. A clear understanding of the guidelines can help ease the transition.