Portland Spousal Support (Alimony) Attorney
Experienced Spousal Support Lawyers Serving Portland, Oregon
In some divorce cases, it may be appropriate to award spousal support (also known as alimony) to a party. There are three types of spousal support in Oregon: (1) transitional — meant to help a spouse transition back into the workforce; (2) compensatory — meant to compensate a spouse who made a significant contribution to the other spouse’s education, training, career, or earning capacity; and (3) maintenance — meant to maintain a spouse’s reasonable standard of living post-divorce.
When considering whether support should be awarded, the court looks to a variety of statutory factors, including the age of the parties; the length of the marriage; the relative earning capacities of the parties; the education, training, and work experience of each party; each party’s child care responsibilities; tax consequences to both parties; the health of the parties; and any other factor the court deems just and equitable. In other words, the court considers all of the specific circumstances of your case when making a decision about support. You will need to contact a Portland spousal support attorney to discuss your options.
Spousal support ordered before January 1, 2019, was tax-deductible by the paying spouse and treated as taxable income to the recipient spouse under the Internal Revenue Code. However, with the current tax laws, there is no taxable impact on either party. The party receiving support does not report it as income, and the party paying support does not receive a tax deduction.
Spousal support is a very individualized and fact-specific part of a divorce. Our trained Portland spousal support attorney can help you understand whether spousal support is appropriate in your case.
What To Expect In An Oregon Consultation About Spousal Support
We meet with all potential clients in person for the first consultation. This allows us to meet potential clients and hear the background of each case, to determine if your case is a good fit for our office, and to provide information about a client’s rights and responsibilities under Oregon law. We offer this initial consultation for a flat fee.
When starting the process for finding a lawyer, potential clients often ask “who is the best spousal support lawyer in Oregon” or the “who is the best lawyer in Portland for spousal support?” The answer is the lawyer who gets the results you need. Like the rest of family law, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to selecting a family law attorney. The best attorney for you is the one who listens to your circumstances, provides solid legal advice, and facilitates and achieves your goals. Contact one of our Portland spousal support attorneys today to set up a consultation.
Spousal Support in Oregon
Spousal support, or alimony, is the legal obligation of one spouse to provide financial support to the other spouse after a divorce. Its purpose is to provide financial balance and limit the adverse economic effects of divorce on the lower-earning spouse.
There are three types of spousal support in Oregon:
- Maintenance spousal support — The most common type of support, this is usually paid in monthly installments. The purpose of maintenance spousal support is to balance both parties’ living costs and allow the receiving spouse the ability to enjoy life as they were accustomed to during the marriage, within reason.
- Transitional spousal support — This is a series of temporary payments to assist one party in returning to the workforce. It will allow the receiving spouse to return to school or another training program to increase their earning potential or gives the party time to advance in their career.
- Compensatory spousal support — This is support to acknowledge the contribution of one spouse during the marriage that enabled the other spouse to earn a higher income or build a career, such as when one spouse continued their higher education while the other supported them.
How is the Amount of Spousal Support in Oregon Calculated?
Unlike child support, there are no set guidelines for calculating spousal support in Oregon. Instead, the court will review the couple’s finances, their joint costs of living, their separate costs of living, their individual earning potential, their age, health, and the duration of their marriage.
In most cases, spousal support will be awarded when there is a large disparity in income potential. The court will typically attempt to allow each spouse a comparable lifestyle to the one they enjoyed while they were together.
How Long Does a Spouse Receive Spousal Support?
The length of time that one spouse receives support from the other can vary depending on the couple’s unique circumstances and the type of spousal support. Generally, the longer the marriage, the longer the duration of the spousal support. When the marriage has been a long-term one or where a spouse has developed health concerns that may impact their future earning potential, spousal support may be ordered indefinitely.
How Spousal Support Will Affect Your Taxes
Prior to tax law changes that began in 2019, the spouse who paid spousal support could deduct this amount from his or her taxes. Conversely, the receiving spouse had to claim spousal support as income. But that has changed.
Now, the paying spouse can no longer deduct spousal support payments, and the receiving spouse does not have to claim them as income. This has complicated spousal support determinations. You should speak with your Portland spousal support attorney or accountant to see how this may affect you and your taxes.
Can Spousal Support Be Changed?
Because spousal support is determined based upon circumstances at the time of a couple’s divorce, changes in those circumstances can change the fairness of the support. If the paying spouse loses a job and can no longer afford to make the same level of payments or the receiving spouse’s earnings have increased dramatically since the award, it may warrant a modification of spousal support. The “findings” or reasons that support was originally ordered, guide a court in deciding whether a modification is appropriate.
Get Professional Assistance
Spousal support can have a significant effect on the financial future of either spouse. Because the economic history and expenses of a marriage must be considered as well as the future financial welfare of both parties, having the guidance of an experienced Portland spousal support attorney is essential to understanding all the legal and financial implications as they may affect you after a divorce.
Throughout our careers, Jill Brittle Family Law Group has skillfully negotiated spousal support terms for our clients to ensure their financial future. Contact us to schedule an initial consultation to answer any of your questions concerning spousal support in Oregon.