Serving the Washington, Multnomah, Clackamas Counties


Don’t Be Blindsided by What You Don’t Know about Spousal Support. Speak to an Attorney in West Linn, OR Today!

Serving Clients in Oregon City, Milwaukie, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Portland, Wilsonville, and Surrounding Areas 

There are three kinds of spousal support (a.k.a. alimony) under Oregon’s divorce statutes. Spousal support is unisex in that either spouse can be the recipient of spousal support from the other. However, due to the fact that most homemaking and child rearing duties are done by the wife in a marriage, it is unusual that a wife would be required to pay spousal support to her ex-husband.

The three kinds of spousal support are: 1) transitional, 2) maintenance, and 3) compensatory.

  1. Transitional – This spousal support is to assist the dependent spouse to obtain whatever education and training is necessary to allow him/her to prepare for re-entry into the workforce or for advancement in the workforce.
  2. Maintenance – This spousal support is to assist the dependent spouse to maintain a reasonable standard of living.
  3. Compensatory – This spousal support is paid by one ex-spouse to the other when there has been a significant financial or other contribution by the dependent spouse toward the education, training, skills, career, or earning capacity of the other spouse.

Unlike child support, there is no mathematical formula to arrive at the monthly amount of the spousal support or the length. The amount and length are based upon many factors: a) duration of marriage; b) the parties’ education and work experience; c) the parties’ relative earning capacities; d) the financial needs & resources of each party; e) the age & health of each party; f) a party’s custodial or child support obligations; g) the standard of living established during the marriage; and h) any other factor the judge deems just & equitable.

A comprehensive analysis by an experienced divorce attorney can give the husband or the wife a ballpark figure of what amount and what duration of spousal support to expect if the case goes to trial. Most spousal support cases settle prior to trial.