Harless and Harless

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Family Law
  • Date Filed: 01-21-2016
  • Case #: A156577
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Garrett, J. for the Court; Lagesen, P.J.; & Schuman, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

For a monthly spousal award where there has been a substantial change in circumstances, the trial court was required to modify or terminate the support award based on maintaining the relative positions of the parties.

Husband appealed trial court modification of a monthly spousal award to Wife. The trial court reduced the monthly spousal support award to Wife, reasoning that both Husband and Wife entering retirement constituted a substantial change in circumstances and that the reduced award would equalize Husband and Wife’s income. The trial court terminates or modifies a spousal award to ensure continued fulfillment the original purpose of the spousal support award. The trial court found that the original purpose of the award was to equalize the income of Husband and Wife following divorce, and modified the spousal support award accordingly. The Court held that the trial court abused its discretion when it determined that the purpose of the original award was to equalize the income of Husband and Wife. The Court found that the trial court should have considered whether to modify or terminate the support award based on maintaining the relative positions of the parties. Vacated and remanded.

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