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Will I have to pay spousal support after getting divorced?

In many marriages, one spouse is a breadwinner and the other manages the home and children. This can result in one spouse being financially dependent on the other, and in the event of a divorce, the financially-dependent person may request spousal support.

If you were the breadwinner in your marriage, then you should be aware of the factors that will determine whether you will pay spousal support, and for how long you may need to pay it.

Will I have to pay support?

To determine whether spousal support is appropriate, Oregon courts will consider many factors. These factors include:

  • Your income 
  • Your ex's income
  • The length of your marriage
  • Your standard of living during your marriage
  • The balance of child custody
  • The tax consequences for your as well as your ex

These and other factors should tell the courts if your ex requires financial support after divorce and if you are in a position financially to pay.

How long will I pay?

In Oregon, there are three types of spousal support, and these types can give you an idea of how long you may need to pay support. 

  • Transitional support is temporary. It is in place for as long as it takes the recipient to get necessary training or education and secure adequate employment.
  • Compensatory support orders may be in place for a specific amount of time or indefinite. Courts can award this support if your ex made significant contributions to your education, career and earning potential.
  • Spousal maintenance is generally in place for longer than the other types of support. This type of support is often awarded when two people were married for a long time, and its purpose is to allow the receiving spouse to maintain the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage.

Understand that every case is different. However, in general, you may be more likely to pay support (and for longer) if you were married for a long time and your ex was dependent on you for all or most of that time.

Know your legal options

When it comes to spousal support in Oregon, it is crucial to discuss your legal options with an attorney who can help you negotiate a fair agreement or contest the request. There could be a lot of money on the line, and you have rights worth protecting.

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