Oregon Alimony Laws and Guidelines: All About Spousal Support in “OR”

The alimony laws governing spousal support in Oregon is different from what is obtainable in other states. Read further to grasp the peculiarity of the OR alimony law.

Also referred to as “spousal support” or “spousal maintenance” in Beaver State, alimony is the series of payments made by one spouse (the payor spouse) to another (the supported or payee spouse) after the divorce.

Before the alimony payments commence, there has to be a written order or agreement which requires the payor to support the payee with a stipulated amount of money.

This agreement eliminates any disputes in the future about why the payment was made or when it’s not made.

All 50 states in America are alimony states, meaning states that have enacted laws permitting a spouse who cannot work full time or with a lower income to request payments from the other spouse to support themselves after a divorce.

Type of Alimony Laws Practiced in OR

types of alimony

Types of alimony in Oregon

During the legal divorce process in Oregon, judges might award temporary spousal support to a dependent spouse. If a judge orders temporary support, it begins as soon as the judge signs it and continues until the divorce is finalized or the judge reverses the order.

Aside from the temporary spousal support that can be said to be basic in all states, Transitional, Compensatory Spousal Support, and Spousal Maintenance are the three types of alimony available in Oregon, each having its own purpose.

Depending on the requirements of the spouses, the court can order one type of support or a mix of them. The court has full control over the ultimate award because there is no precise method for determining spousal support in OR. Couples who want to decide on the type, duration, and amount of spousal support can collaborate with each other to negotiate the conditions, which will then be approved by the court.

Transitional Spousal Support in Oregon

Transitional spousal support is often provided to aid a spouse in re-entering the workforce, achieving economic self-sufficiency through supporting education or training for professional development, or developing an employment plan to create a more steady income.

The duration of the marriage; a spouse’s training and employment abilities; a spouse’s work experience; the financial needs and assets of each partner; the tax consequences to each party; a party’s custodial and child support responsibilities; and any other considerations that the Court deems just and fair and equal are all factors that the Court must consider when awarding transitional spousal support. 107.105(1)(d) of the Oregon Revised Statutes (A).

Factors for Calculating Transitional Support

  • the duration of the union
  • a spouse’s education and work experience
  • employment experience of a spouse
  • each spouse’s financial requirements and resources
  • the tax implications of each spouse’s support
  • responsibility for child custody and support, and
  • any other considerations deemed just and equitable by the court
    107.105 (d)(A) (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann.)

Compensatory Spousal Support in OR

When the Court in Oregon deems that one spouse has achieved a substantial financial or other contribution to the other party’s education, training, technical education, profession, or earning ability, compensatory spousal support is often ordered.

Factors for Calculating Compensatory Support

When deciding on compensating spousal support, Oregon law requires the court to consider the following factors:

  • The contribution’s size, length, and character;
  • the length of the marriage; the parties’ respective earning capacities;
  • the degree to which the contribution has already enhanced the marital estate;
  • the tax implications for each party;
  • … any other circumstances deemed just and fair by the Court.
    (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 107.105 (d)(B))

Spousal Maintenance (Permanent Alimony) in Oregon

Long-term marriages, marriages where the wage discrepancy between the parties cannot be quickly resolved, and marriages where one party has major health problems that preclude economic self-sufficiency are more likely to get spousal maintenance awards. Spousal maintenance might be for a set length of time or indefinitely.

Factors Affecting Spousal Maintenance Awards in Oregon

The laws instruct that the average amount payable as spousal support in Oregon after divorce is determined by various factors. But the major factor you have to understand is “the standard of living of the marriage.”

To determine the final amounts for rehabilitative and permanent support in OR, the courts in OR take into consideration the income of the spouses, plus other factors like:

  • The length of the marriage;
  • the parties’ ages; their health,
  • including their physical, mental, and emotional state;
  • the standard of living established during the marriage;
  • a party’s training and employment skills;
  • a party’s work experience;
  • each party’s financial needs and resources;
  • the tax consequences to each party; each party’s custodial and child support responsibilities;
  • the parties’ respective income and earning ability, taking into account that the wage earner’s ongoing income may be a basis for support separate from the income received by the supported spouse from the split of marital property;
  • and any other criteria the court deems just and equitable. ORS 107.105(1)(d)(C).

Who Pays Alimony in Oregon?

In Oregon alimony law, the spouse that makes most of the money will share that income with the other spouse. The idea behind who pays for alimony is to considerably level up the living standard of the dependent spouse to what it was while the marriage was on.

Regarding the sex that pays, alimony in Beaver State is gender-neutral, meaning either spouse can request support from the other. As long as the alimony can be provided to the requesting spouse, then it will most likely be granted.

So a husband can receive alimony from a wife in Oregon if the above conditions are met.

How Long Does Spousal Support Last in OR?

How Long To Pay Alimony

The judge will decide how long the alimony payment should last in Oregon

The duration to pay alimony in Oregon can differ depending on the individual judge and circumstances. A judge in Oregon family court determines the length of the payments. Alimony is normally calculated based on the length of the marriage; for instance, one year of alimony is paid for every three years of marriage (though its not always the case).

You should expect to pay spousal support for a duration of 80-70% of the length of the marriage lasted. So assuming you were married for 10 years, the spousal support duration will most likely be between 6 to 7 years.

As provided by the alimony laws of OR, rehabilitative and permanent support stops if either spouse dies or the supported spouse remarries.

How to Collect Spousal Support Arrears in Oregon

When it comes to collecting spousal support in Oregon, you have a few choices if your ex-spouse has failed to make alimony payments as ordered by the court. Debts for spousal support are frequently given priority among debtors under US law.

How Alimony is Calculated in OR

How Alimony is Calculated

How Alimony is Calculated in Oregon

The amount to be paid as spousal support in Oregon is calculated after considering the above-stated factors. Whichever option is adopted it is reflected in the Alimony Calculator

But to be explicit about how to calculate spousal support in OR, you may need to consult your spousal support attorney.

>>> Oregon Spousal Support Calculator

Importance of Using a Skilled Oregon Spousal Support Attorney

If you’re getting a divorce in Oregon and need to negotiate or re-negotiate spousal support, you’ve definitely got a lot of questions and want to seek competent legal guidance. Though state Supreme Courts have supported lifetime spousal support, your circumstances may or may not fulfill the requirements. OR courts may judge your case differently based on the merits of you and your previous spouse. There are so many variables to consider.

If you want to get spousal support for the rest of your life or if you want to fight against it in Oregon, an expert divorce lawyer can help. Depending on the objective and the desire of the adversary attorney to bargain in good faith, you’ll need attorneys that are both empathetic and strong.

For the convenience of our members, we have an up-to-date directory of OR divorce and spousal support attorneys who can help with a variety of issues. For legal advice and representation on spousal support that is powerful and well-informed.

Click Here to Get our Free Oregon Alimony recommendation.

FAQ About Oregon Alimony Laws

Here are Frequently Asked Questions about spousal support laws in OR:

Can a Husband get Alimony in OR?

Yes. In Oregon, alimony payment is gender-neutral, meaning the sex that pays or receives is not the main determinant, but other factors as stated above. For details click here.

Who Qualifies for Alimony in Oregon?

Just as either spouse can pay or receive, the party that qualifies to receive spousal support is the dependent party while the marriage lasted. This means that in OR, the spouse that had lesser or no income when the marriage was on is also the one qualified to receive alimony. Click here for details

How Long do you have to be Married to get Alimony in OR?

To understand how long alimony lasts in Oregon, you have to take into consideration how long the marriage lasted.

However, bear in mind that there is no limit to the duration you can pay or receive alimony for marriages that lasted 10-20 years or more. Any marriage that lasted below 20 years will not pay nor receive alimony that exceeds 50% of the duration of the marriage.

Is Alimony Tax Deductible in Oregon?

Following the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which altered the link between alimony and taxes dramatically in Oregon and all over the US, alimony payments are no longer tax deductible for the payer and are no longer recognized as income for the recipient spouse as of January 1, 2019.

Is Alimony Mandatory in Beaver State?

Alimony is mandatory in Oregon as long as one of the spouses earns or owns assets that can be relied upon to support the other spouse after the marriage breaks down.

Can Alimony be increased in Oregon?

Alimony amount or duration can be increased or decreased due to changes in the financial circumstances of the parties in different ways, including:

  • an increase or decrease in the income of the alimony recipient
  • if it’s determined that the original alimony awarded is inadequate
  •  loss to the alimony recipient’s financial assets
  • an increase in the justified expenses of the alimony recipient
  • when the financial condition of the receiving spouse fails to improve as originally expected

Can you go to Jail for Not Paying Spousal Support in OR?

Technically, you will not be jailed for not paying alimony in Oregon. While there are varying consequences for not paying alimony, you can still end up in jail as a result. Here is how.

If it’s a Oregon court-ordered spousal support that you refuse to pay, it means you are in violation of a court order meaning you can be prosecuted for being in contempt of court if contempt proceedings are brought up against you. This could attract a jail term in OR}.

How to Modify Spousal Support in OR?

How to Avoid spousal support

How to Avoid spousal support in Oregon

When necessary, Oregon law allows for a spousal support modification. When it comes to alimony, courts in OR usually try to do their best to create judgments that are fair and effective in the long run. Nevertheless, conditions change over time, and these changes may compel a revision or modification of the initial order.

When filing for a spousal support modification in Oregon, keep in mind that the courts will only entertain the motion if there has been a significant and long-term change in circumstances. A brief problem is unlikely to be significant enough to warrant a revision in the initial alimony ruling. Likewise, dissatisfaction with the support order is not a valid reason for a revision in OR.

The following are some of the most common reasons for requesting an alimony modification in Oregon:

  • Retirement
  • Remarriage
  • Relocation
  • Changes in income or employment
  • Birth of a new child
  • Health changes, including disability
  • A new dependent

How to Avoid or End Spousal Support in OR?

In Beaver State, the spouse paying the alimony can successfully avoid or stop the alimony payment if he/she is able to prove any or all of the following points:

  • that the dependent spouse is guilty of infidelity
  • the spouse proves that he has no source of income
  • the spouse remarries and has to take care of the new spouse however, he/she will continue paying the child support for children if any
  • if the spouse is disabled and unable to earn a living

Alimony Laws in all 50 States

A Alabama  |  AlaskaArizonaArkansas
C CaliforniaColoradoConnecticut
D-H DelawareFloridaGeorgiaHawaii
I IdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa
K-L KansasKentuckyLouisiana
M MaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontana
NebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth Dakota
P-S  PennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth Dakota
T-U  TennesseeTexasUtah
V-W  VermontVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

Deborah Kelly

Deborah Kelly

As a proud single mom who has seen it all, I encourage others by sharing my experiences & curating content on divorce, adoption, child & spousal support. My passion also includes spending quality time with my kids and giving back to my community.