Oregon Alimony Reform (“OAR”) is a grassroots nonprofit political organization seeking to promote respect, independence, predictability, and equity for each party in a divorce.
The goal of OAR is to reform and modernize Oregon alimony laws to reflect the reality of today’s economy and the opportunities available to both men and women that were not available decades ago when alimony laws were first written.
Headed up by President Robin DesCamp, OAR’s diverse management team includes professionals in the fields of law, business and public relations.
OAR believes that an alimony payer should not have a permanent or indefinite duty to maintain a former spouse’s chosen standard of living, but rather that each former spouse should be entitled to a fair and equitable standard of living for a reasonable but limited period of time after divorce.
Oregon is one of over a dozen states that has recently seen the collective formation of alimony advocacy groups – and legislators are listening.
OAR’s longterm agenda for alimony reform includes:
- Development of alimony guidelines similar to child support models and a limitation of the duration of alimony payments to a reasonable period of time
- Excluding the income of a payer’s romantic partners and spouses in determining alimony amounts;
- Termination of alimony payments on remarriage or cohabitation of recipient;
- Limits on the maximum amounts of alimony payable based upon percentage of payer income;
- Automatic termination of alimony payments upon good-faith retirement of the payer;
- Ensuring that alimony modification proceedings cannot be initiated based upon a payer’s increase in income; and
- A streamlined process for modifications when the payer suffers a decline in income, including automatic exchange of pertinent financial information prior to filing of a modification proceeding.
OAR and its many supporters have identified the urgent need for an equitable alimony calculator, similar to the child support model. This will give divorcing parties clarity, predictability and reasonable alimony amounts. As it stands now, alimony awards vary wildly from case to case and from county to county in Oregon. In addition, even if the payer is unable to make the alimony payment because of a decline in income, and regardless of whether the recipient actually needs the payment, modifications are expensive and hard to obtain.
OAR is working tirelessly to ensure that arbitrary and indefinite alimony awards become a legacy of the past. We have been approached by numerous alimony payers who struggle simply to make ends meet, while their previous spouses enjoy the fruits of their labor indefinitely. Many alimony payers are legally forced into a lifetime of servitude, working solely to benefit adults capable of exercising some responsibility for their own lives.
With over 40% of marriages ending in divorce, the negative economic impact of this current situation on payers and their subsequent families is enormous. We invite alimony payers to join their voices to ours and encourage them to contact us and share their stories.
There are many ways to help in our efforts to pass an alimony reform bill in 2015 so please write to me.