Oregon Alimony Laws – What You Need To Know

Oregon Alimony Laws - What You Need To Know

The laws of filing for divorce can be complicated due to the different steps that must be followed, one of which is alimony or spousal support.

Alimony is a court-ordered financial support payment made to a spouse following a divorce.

Alimony rules differ widely from state to state, and judges often have discretion on a case-by-case basis in determining whether to grant alimony, the amount of the award, and how long the alimony payments will continue.

Sticker with word Alimony and Cash Wyoming

How does the process of calculating alimony in Oregon work?

If you filed for divorce in Oregon, you should be aware of the alimony proceedings.

In Oregon, alimony or spousal support is awarded following the dissolution of marriage or legal separation when the court determines that one spouse is unable to maintain the standard of living established during marriage independently of the other.

Alimony will be awarded based on a variety of variables connected to the marital and economic lives of both parties involved in the case.

Spousal support or alimony is classified into three types: transitional, compensatory, and maintenance.

The transitional type seeks to assist a party in obtaining the education or training required to rejoin or advance in the employment market.

When a party requires additional resources to transition back into independent living, the support is frequently provided in brief marriages.

In compensatory support, it’s suitable for cases in which there’s a significant contribution by one party to the education, training, vocational skills, career or earning capacity of the other party or when one party is giving substantially more in the divorce.

This form of spousal support is somewhat rare.

Maintenance support is a financial commitment made by one spouse to the other for a set or indefinite period.

Support is often awarded after a long-term marriage when there’s a considerable disparity in the earning capacities of both parties or when one spouse is unable to get decent employment.

Alimony considerations can include criteria such as earning capacity, skills, educational attainment, physical and mental health, and both parties’ current estates.

Other factors to examine include both parties’ contributions to the marriage and any children’s well-being, any time spent as a homemaker throughout the marriage, which spouse currently has custody of any children, and many more. Child support ordered to be paid between the parties may not be considered by the court.

Any other aspect that the court deems relevant to the case will also be considered in the decision.

In the end, the decision on spousal support or alimony will be made by the court and judge hearing the case.

Depending on the unique requirements of both parties, the court may mandate one type of support or a mix of them.

Keep in mind that the court has no set method for assessing spousal support. Couples who want to decide the type, duration, and amount of spousal assistance should negotiate the terms together, and the court will provide approval.

Factors to consider when calculating alimony in Oregon

When calculating the amount and duration of alimony or spousal support payments in Oregon, various factors are considered.

Man giving alimony to his ex-wife

Oregon strictly adheres to a list of elements outlined in statutory law that must be examined by the judge while deciding on alimony payments. These elements are directly related to the alimony calculation algorithm.

  • When determining alimony payments in Oregon, marital fault is considered. It means that “at-fault” divorces, which might occur because of infidelity/adultery or abuse, may result in the at-fault spouse paying higher alimony.

  • When assessing alimony payments in Oregon, the standard of living is also considered. It means that when determining an appropriate alimony payment amount, a judge will examine the lifestyle experienced by the alimony-receiving spouse throughout the marriage.

  • The custody status is also considered while calculating alimony payments. It means that whether or not the receiving spouse has custody of the children affects alimony calculations. In general, the custodial spouse receives higher alimony payments.

  • Alimony is calculated on a case-by-case basis by a family court judge in Oregon who oversees the case. Although some states have a defined alimony calculation formula, the exact amount and duration of alimony awarded is usually at the judge’s discretion.

Providing Spousal Support or Alimony

The judge presiding over the case has the authority to order a lump-sum payment of support, ongoing payments, or the transfer of property ownership.

When the supporting spouse is self-employed or has an uncertain income, lump-sum payments are a preferable option. Once the paying spouse satisfies the order, it usually doesn’t necessitate judicial intervention.

The most prevalent type of payment is periodic payments. In most cases, the judge may order monthly or quarterly installments.

The payment mechanism, such as direct deposit, personal check, or Venmo, can be chosen by both parties.

The courts may enter an income withholding order directing the paying spouse’s employer to deduct spousal support from the employee’s paycheck and transfer it to the supported spouse.

The court may order the supporting spouse to transfer ownership of real or personal property to the beneficiary in specific cases, particularly if the paying spouse possesses a considerable amount of property from the divorce.

If your spouse fails to pay court-ordered support, you can ask the court to enforce the award by filing a formal motion in your local court. Failure to pay may result in attorney’s costs, fines, or possibly jail time.

Spousal support modification or termination

Both parties can petition the court to modify or terminate spousal support. However, the judge will only amend or terminate the judgment if the asking spouse can demonstrate a significant change in circumstances for either spouse since the previous ruling.

When it comes to compensatory support, the spouse requesting for modification should present an involuntary, extraordinary, and unanticipated change that reduced the paying spouse’s ability to pay or earn income.

What exactly is alimony mediation?

If a marriage ends in divorce and spousal support is likely to be paid, spouses can reach an alimony agreement through litigation in a family court or through mutual agreement.

Often, you have the option of hiring an alimony mediator to help spouses reach a consensual agreement on alimony and other contested topics such as property distribution, avoiding the need to go to court.

Is it possible for a spouse to avoid paying alimony?

To avoid paying alimony, a spouse must be aware of the laws that he or she would be up against.

In general, if one party refuses to pay alimony, the other party must provide a detailed explanation in court as to why the support is unnecessary.

toddler girl attaching rainbow drawing to window glass as sign of hope

If the other person works throughout the marriage, has not been married for a long time, or has no children, these may be good grounds to bring up in court.

These obviously suggest that your spouse has nothing inhibiting them from having a career or hasn’t been married long enough to demand ongoing support.

Taxes and Spousal Support

Spousal support payments are tax-deductible to the paying spouse and reportable income to the receiver if an alimony arrangement was finalized on or before December 31, 2018.

However, alimony agreements entered on or after January 1, 2019, are affected by recent changes to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which reduces the tax deduction benefit and reporting requirements for spousal support.

Final Thoughts on Oregon Alimony Laws – What You Need To Know

If you file for divorce in Oregon, you must be prepared to navigate the laws, which can be complicated, especially if this is your first time.

Knowing the fundamentals of spousal support or alimony will undoubtedly come in handy.

Aside from knowing the fundamentals of alimony law in Oregon, consider dealing with a reputable family law attorney in your area to guarantee a more favorable outcome in your case.

Read More:

Alimony in Illinois – What You Need to Know!  

How Do I File for Divorce in New Mexico, USA – Cost and Procedures

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, and she is the Editor of Lifestyle Divorce. Patricia’s worked as the Practice Manager at an International Divorce and Family law firm for over 15 years. She is a qualified Counsellor, and she has had many counselling sessions with people considering or going through a divorce.

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