During the course of a marriage, personal funds are usually mingled to establish a common standard of living for both spouses. Yet marriages often end with one party earning more income than the other.
To address this inequity, Oregon law provides for three types of spousal support: transitional, maintenance, and compensatory. Transitional support provides financial assistance to allow training or education that will increase earning capacity. Maintenance support is ordered so that both spouses may maintain a lifestyle similar to that which they were accustomed during the marriage. Compensatory support, the least common of the three, acknowledges significant contributions and sacrifices one party made during the marriage in order to support the developing career of their spouse.
Although the categories of spousal support may sound simple, there are nuances in the determination of appropriate types, duration, and amounts. Should the monthly payments last three years or ten? Should the monthly payments all be the same amount, or should they gradually step down over time? How will they be affected by anticipated increases in income? What happens when one or both spouses retire? Oregon courts most often will try to achieve a “just and equitable” division, but what does that really mean?
Dan Peters has handled hundreds of spousal support cases. He can help you evaluate your options and explain the likely outcomes in court.