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Spousal Support Modifications

Oregon law permits courts to modify awards of spousal support upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances. Typically, courts require that the change in circumstances is one that was not anticipated by the parties at the time of the original award.

When a court finds that there has been an unanticipated change in circumstances, it takes into account the original purpose of the award. For example, if the original purpose of an award was to provide an ex-spouse with four years to obtain a college degree to increase job prospects, and the ex-spouse obtains a degree in two years, a court could determine that the purpose of the award has been met and that the support award should be terminated.

Spousal Support Is Not Meant To Create Financial Hardship For The Payor

Judgments are often vague as to the purpose of a spousal support award. One of the primary reasons behind an award of support is to make up for the disparity in the parties’ earning capacities at the time of dissolution.

Both the person paying spousal support and the person receiving it can experience a substantial, unanticipated change in circumstances. Spousal support is not meant to be a punishment (though it may seem that way to some). It is not meant to leave a party with no resources. If the economy has caused an impossible situation for you, whether you are paying or receiving support, you may want to contact an attorney to see what can be done about it.

Financial Changes May Call For A Modification

A decrease in income or the inability to find a job are just two of the potential circumstances that may compel a party to seek a modification. Unanticipated changes in health, remarriage and other changed circumstances may require a party to modify support.

Get Answers To Your Questions

If you have questions regarding modifications of a spousal support award, schedule a screening at Berman Law Center, P.C. Do not hesitate to contact our office by calling 503-715-2108, toll free 800-282-9288 or by completing our online contact form. We provide a free, 15-minute phone screening, and, depending on the needs of our clients, we can offer off-hours meeting times.