How is Spousal Support Calculated?

Posted on September 16, 2019 03:30pm
How is Spousal Support Calculated?

Once you and your spouse decide to file for divorce, you might be concerned about how spousal support payments might work for or against you. If you made significantly less than your spouse, or if you do not work at all, you’ll most likely rely on those support payments until you’re able to earn a more substantial income on your own. On the other hand, if you were the main breadwinner in your marriage, you might be concerned about how you will afford to make payments to your soon-to-be ex.

Whether you hope to receive or pay spousal support after your divorce, it’s important to understand how spousal support payments are determined in Oregon courts.

Oregon Offers Three Different Types of Spousal Support

In Oregon, spousal support, or alimony, can fall under one of three categories:

Transitional Support

Transitional support is designed to be short-term and should help support a lesser-earning spouse as he or she returns to school or trains to enter into a supportive career.

Compensatory Support

Compensatory support is meant to reimburse one spouse for significant expenses during the marriage that left one spouse with a higher earning potential, like a legal degree, for example.

Maintenance Support

Maintenance support is an ongoing, monthly support payment meant to help with living expenses, lifestyle choices, and so on. This is the most traditional form of spousal support, as it helps balance the lifestyles of each spouse so that both parties enjoy a lifestyle similar to that which they had during their marriage.

How Much Support Will I Pay/Receive?

Unfortunately, there is no definitive calculator you can use to determine how much spousal support will be awarded in your divorce. However, you can analyze the key factors Oregon courts consider when ordering spousal support in order to find an approximation of what your situation might allow for.

Courts will consider the following when calculating spousal support:

  • The length of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s earning capacity
  • Each spouse’s assets
  • The financial needs of each spouse
  • Each spouse’s mental and physical health
  • The standard of living enjoyed during the marriage

Additionally, if the couple shares any children, the court will also consider how much responsibility each parent bears in caring for their kids. If there is a child support order, the court will also consider this as a factor in determining how much spousal support would be fair.

Let Our Firm Help You

If you are facing a divorce and you aren’t sure what to do about spousal support, our firm is here to help. We can help you determine how much spousal support you are owed, or we can help you challenge an unfair request.

Contact McKinley Irvin to get started on your divorce case.
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