Johnson and Price

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Family Law
  • Date Filed: 08-03-2016
  • Case #: A154023
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P.J, for the Court; DeVore, J.; & Garrett, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 107.105, courts are not authorized to award property or attorneys fees as spousal support. In addition, when a court is rendering a judgment of dissolution, the court may provide for “the division or other disposition between the parties of the real or personal property as may be just and proper."

Husband appealed the trial court’s general judgment of dissolution, challenging the spousal support award and property division. In Husband’s first assignment of error, he contended that the trial court erred by awarding Wife spousal support and continuing that support until Wife sold part of the real property awarded to her. In the second and third assignments of error, Husband challenged the property division. ORS 107.105(1) does not allow a court to award property as spousal support. When a court is rendering a judgment of dissolution, the court may provide for “the division or other disposition between the parties of the real or personal property, or both, of either or both of the parties as may be just and proper.” ORS 107.105(1)(f). Rykert and Rykert established that if the court makes adjustments in a property division based on tax consequences, the court must be presented with evidence that specially demonstrates a reasonable and supportable basis for making an informed judgment about a party’s likely tax liabilities. 146 Or App 537, 544 (1997). The Court held that since property cannot be awarded as spousal support, the trial court’s spousal support award must be reversed. Also, the Court found that the trial court did not err in failing to consider Husband’s tax consequences because Husband did not provide evidence that would have permitted the court to consider the consequences in a non-speculative manner. Further, since ORS 107.105(1)(f) does not give the court authority to award attorney fees as part of property diversion, the Court vacated the property division. Spousal support award reversed; property division vacated and remanded; otherwise affirmed.

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