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Eugene Spousal Support Determinations

In many divorce cases in Lane County and Eugene Oregon, spousal support may be awarded to one of the parties. This is money that one spouse must pay, by court order, to help the other spouse meet or maintain his or her needs after the marriage ends. Spousal support is not given in every case, and the amount set is not always easy to determine.  If your divorce proceedings may involve spousal support, you should consider consulting an experienced family law attorney in Eugene like Veralrud and Fowler.  

Determining the Amount of Spousal Support in Lane County
There is no specific calculation formula for determining spousal support in Oregon, unlike child support.  Instead the amount can be negotiated between both parties or awarded by a judge based on what is “just and equitable under the circumstances.”  The amount and how many months of payments that will be made is determined through several factors. These include: length of the marriage; ages of each party; health of both parties; and the work experience and earning capacity of each person.  The standard of living maintained by the couple during the marriage; how property is being divided; responsibility for household debt; healthcare costs; and, if there are children, how parenting time is allocated will also be considered.  The most important category is generally work experience and earning capacity.

Transitional, compensatory, and maintenance support are the three basic types of spousal support. Transitional support will help a spouse further their education or training in order to prepare them for reentry into the job market or to increase their long-term earning capacity. This type of support is generally awarded when the marriage has been relatively short.  For a limited time, it provides an opportunity for a former spouse to transition into single life and be able to fully support themselves.

Compensatory support is for proceedings where there has been a significant financial, or any other, contribution by one spouse to the training, education, vocational skills, career or earning capacity of the other party.  Also, if one person has been given substantially more value in property during asset division and there are no other assets to offset the value of property. This type of support is rare.

Maintenance support can be for either a limited or indefinite period of time.  Typically, this is awarded in long-term marriages when there is a significant gap between the earning capacities of each party.  If there is an earnings gap that is unlikely to ever be closed; or if one party lacks the ability to gain meaningful employment in the future, this type of support may be awarded.


All three types may be factored into the total amount of spousal support awarded in any particular case.  They can also be combined, where each type of support can be awarded for different time frames. For tax purposes, spousal support is considered to be income for the spouse who receives it  and is a deduction of gross income for the paying spouse. This transfer of income affects child support calculations as well, based on the new gross income of each party.

Laws relating to child and spousal support are extremely complex.  Because these payments have such a significant impact on the lives of the people involved, it’s a good idea to consult a qualified family law attorney in Eugene.  Call or email Veralrud and Fowler today so that you will have your interests and finances properly represented and make sure that any support awarded is fair.

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Eugene, OR 97401

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