Spousal support is itself exempt from garnishment. See ORS 18.355(1)(i). However, if you comingle it with other funds in a bank account, that account might still be garnished. You may therefore want to set up a separate bank account for depositing support payments, and no other non-exempt property.
There are other things you can do to manage your debt as well. Without knowing what the debts are, it's hard to say what to do, but you should talk to an attorney who specializes in bankruptcy or consumer protection if you've been threatened with legal action.
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I am posting a link to a description of the property rights that are exempt in all 50 states for you to see for yourself what is exempt and therefore protected. However, when money from different sources is deposited into one account, it can be a problem for a judge to see what part is alimony and what part is from another source. That is what we call co-mingling. Open a separate account and just deposit alimony into the account.
Of course, to take your money, creditors must first obtain a court judgment, unless you owe money to your own bank. If you owe your bank, your money isn't safe, so open up accounts elsewhere! Hope this perspective helps!
You MAY want to consider bankruptcy. Check out my website: www.ExperiencedOregonAttorney. com. It provides a lot of information. Then give me a call.
Be sure to designate "best answer." If you live in Oregon, you may call me for more detailed advice, 503-650-9662. Please be aware that each answer on this website is based upon the facts, or lack thereof, provided in the question. To be sure you get complete and comprehensive answers, based upon the totality of your situation, contact a local attorney who specializes in the area of law that involves your legal problem. Diane L. Gruber has been practicing law in Oregon for 26 years, specializing in family law, bankruptcy, estate planning and probate. Note: Diane L. Gruber does not represent you until a written fee agreement has been signed by you and Diane L. Gruber, and the fee listed in the agreement has been paid.
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