Oregon Law
CHILD SUPPORT

CHILD SUPPORT IS CALCULATED ACCORDING TO A FORMULA THAT TAKES INTO ACCOUNT FACTORS SUCH AS EACH PARENT’S INCOME, CHILD CARE AND EDUCATION EXPENSES, INSURANCE PREMIUMS AND MEDICAL EXPENSES.

Whenever a custody determination is made, child support must also be addressed. Regardless of whether custody is shared jointly or is awarded to one parent solely, and regardless of how much time a child spends with either parent, they must each contribute to the child’s well-being. If it is determined that one parent can or should make a larger financial contribution, they may be ordered to pay child support to the other parent on the child’s behalf.

Child support is calculated according to a formula that takes into account factors such as each parent’s income, child care and education expenses, insurance premiums and medical expenses. The amount of time a child spends with each parent is also taken into consideration. Generally, it Is assumed that any parent should be able to pay at least $100 per month toward their child’s support. This does not apply if the child spends equal an equal amount of time with each parent, or if the parent is incarcerated, disabled, or on public assistance.

Although this formula yields a dollar amount of child support that is presumed to be appropriate, the presumed amount can be rebutted, or disputed, as needed. If a parent or child has extraordinary expenses, such as for educational or medical needs, or resources in addition to their own income, such as the income of a spouse or domestic partner, child support may be increased or decreased. The court must usually approve adjustments based on these kinds of rebuttal factors, but court approval is not needed if the parents agree between them to vary the amount of support by no more than 10 percent of the presumed amount.

If you have been ordered to pay child support, you must pay it even if the other parent is interfering with your parenting time, and if the other parent has been ordered to pay child support, you may not withhold parenting time even if they are behind in support. Under Oregon law, child support and parenting time are both intended to benefit the child, not the parents. You must meet your own obligations to your child regardless of what the other parent is doing.

You may request a modification, or change, in your child support order if there has been a “significant change of circumstances,” such as a change in custody, in the number of children living at home, or in either parent’s financial picture. You may also request a review of your child support order if it has been at least three years since it was entered, even if you cannot demonstrate a significant change in circumstances. The obligation to pay child support usually ends when a child turns 18, but if the child attends school the obligation is usually extended until they are 21. In this case, it is possible both parents will be ordered to pay support directly to the child.

In response to the current recession and high rates of unemployment, the Oregon Division of Child Support has instituted a process known as “Employment-Related Modification.” Should either parent lose their job, this process allows a temporary modification to the child support order to be made quickly, and the previous order is reinstated when the parent finds work again. This process is handled administratively through the DCS, rather than through the court.

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