In the event of a divorce, if either spouse does not have a separate estate, or if a spouse's assets are not sufficient to offer a means of support, a judge might order alimony, which is also known as spousal support in Oregon. Alimony is usually a monthly financial allowance paid by one spouse to another. Oregon courts do not base alimony awards on marital fault which may have led to the dissolution of the marriage.
To be eligible for alimony, spouses in all states must have been legally married. Alimony is usually based on a settlement agreement made between the spouses or the discretion of a judge. In Oregon, alimony awards are considered on a case-by-case basis and are provided either through an agreement made between the spouses or a court order.
There are three types of support in Oregon: transitional spousal support, compensatory spousal support, and spousal maintenance. Support may be paid either in a lump-sum or through periodic payments. Permanent alimony is paid regularly for an indefinite period of time or until the payee petitions the court to modify or discontinue the payments.
Transitional support is meant to pay for any education or training needed to prepare the recipient spouse for employment. When awarding this type of support, Oregon law requires courts to consider the following factors:
Compensatory spousal support may be awarded when there has been a significant financial or other type of contribution by one spouse for the education, training, vocational skills, career, or earning capacity of the other spouse. Oregon courts consider the following factors when they award compensatory spousal support:
Spousal maintenance may be awarded in Oregon for a specified period of time or it may be indefinite. Factors that are considered by the courts include the following:
In most states, including Oregon, remarriage of the recipient spouse will terminate alimony, as will the death of either of the spouses. In the United States, alimony is treated differently tax wise from child support payments. In Oregon, alimony is deductible for the person who pays it and taxable income for the person who receives it under the rules of the Internal Revenue Service, while child support is not. For a complete overview of divorce and alimony law in Oregon, go to lawyers.com.