June 15, 2011

New Case Law – Purpose of Transitional Spousal Support

On June 15, 2011, the Oregon Court of Appeals decided Cassezza and Cassezza.

In its opinion, the Court of Appeals addresses the purpose of transitional support.  The trial court had awarded the wife transitional support of $500 per month for 18 months, in addition to an indefinite maintenance support award of $1500 per month.  The trial court judge intended the transitional support to help wife “start taking charge of her life in a more direct way,” including getting health insurance and seeking treatment for various health issues.  The Court of Appeals pointed out that the purpose of transitional support under ORS 107.105(1)(d)(A) is to allow the party receiving support to “attain education and training necessary to allow the party to prepare for reentry into the job market or for advancement therein.”  The court found that awarding transitional support to allow wife to seek medical treatment was inappropriate.  However, the court determined that the amount of support was appropriate based on the trial court’s record concerning wife’s health problems, her earning capacity, and the credibility of her testimony.  Therefore, it reversed the award of transitional support, but added an additional $500 per month in maintenance support for a period of 18 months.

The entire opinion can be found here: