Oregon courts can provide for spousal support (alimony) following a divorce. The criteria considered in an award of spousal support include:
- The duration of the marriage;
- The age and health of each spouse;
- The standard of living established during the marriage;
- The relative income and earning capacity of the parties;
- Each spouse’s training and employment skills;
- Each spouse’s work experience;
- The financial needs and resources of the parties;
- Custodial and child support responsibilities;
- And any other factors that the court deems appropriate.
Tax Consequence of Spousal Support
Spousal support is tax deductible by the paying spouse and treated as taxable income to the recipient spouse under the Internal Revenue Code. This means that there are possible income tax advantages to the individual paying spousal support.
Modification/Termination of Spousal Support
Both the amount and duration of a spousal support award are determined by the facts of each case and by the terms of the specific judgment. In Oregon, unlike California, there is no provision for an automatic termination of spousal support when a former spouse remarries. Rather, an original support award is modified or terminated based on a finding by the court as to whether or not there has been a substantial change in economic circumstances. In determining whether or not a substantial change of circumstances exists, the court inquires into the income opportunities and benefits of the parties from all sources. A voluntary reduction in the obligor’s income is not a sufficient change of circumstances.
Timing of Modification
The court cannot modify or terminate an award of spousal support that was due or owing prior to filing of a motion to modify/terminate support. This means that until a modification proceeding is filed, support will remain as determined under the judgment regardless of new or changed circumstances of the parties.