How does child support in Oregon work?
Oregon is like many states in America when it comes to child support. There may be a few differences in Oregon child support compared to other parts of the country, however. Each state has their own special ways in which they outline child support and Oregon is no different.
Parents in Oregon are responsible for the support of their child/children. The amount an individual pays in Oregon child support depends on the custody arrangement that is outlined by the courts.
In most cases, the non-custodial parent (the parent with the least amount of contact with the child), makes child support payments to the custodial parent (the parent the child lives with). The custodial parent is also responsible for child support. As the child is living with the custodial parent, however, the court assumes the custodial parent spends the “required” financial amount directly on the child.
Oregon Child Support Calculator
Oregon child support is calculated by the needs of the child and not the custodial parent. Ex-spouses can be entitled to alimony payments which can be made on top of child support payments. It isn’t just the child’s needs that are calculated into the amount of child support that must be paid.
The non-custodial parent’s “ability to pay” the required amount is also calculated. The courts in Oregon set a baseline amount of child support that is needed for the child to live. Child support in Oregon is determined by the parents’ income and the number of children being supported.
How is Oregon child support calculated?
The state’s Department of Social Services created a child support calculator and worksheet to help parents calculate the amount of child support that should be paid. In all cases, the state aims for the amount paid and received to be fair.
To calculate the amount of child support a parent must pay, the total gross monthly income of both parents is needed. In addition, spousal support amounts, union dues, payments for additional children, veterans’ benefits, disability payments, retirement, and/or social security payments must also be taken into consideration.
It is often believed that working fewer hours or being underemployed reduces the amount of money a non-custodial parent pays in Oregon child support. This is not the case. Courts can impute a non-custodial parent’s income. Courts review the non-custodial parent’s work history, health, job opportunities, and education to determine their potential income making ability. Courts cannot impute a non-custodial parent’s income if the individual is imprisoned, on worker’s compensation, or works fewer hours due to a verified disability.
What does Oregon child support cover?
Child support covers a range of items that enable the child to live a certain standard of life. This standard of living would be similar to what life would have been had the parents not separated. Child support covers items such as clothing, food, shelter, and activities. School tuition and transportation costs can also be included in the amount paid.
These are not the only items child support covers in Oregon. One or both parents must pay the costs of the child’s medical care, health insurance, and childcare. These amounts are in addition to what is outlined by the state’s child support guidelines. A child’s needs and the custody arrangement can increase or decrease the amount of money paid in child support.
How is Oregon child support determined?
Child support can be established during divorce proceedings, through an application to the Oregon Child Support Program, or in a custody suit. The Oregon Child Support Program is an agency that creates an order for child support. The order becomes the amount of support due each month from the non-custodial parent unless arrangements are made to challenge it.
A parent that disagrees with the amount proposed by the Oregon Child Support Program can request a court hearing overseen by an administrative judge. The parent is able to explain their need for payments to be increased or decreased at the hearing. The judge will hear the matter and make a decision to adjust the amount.
Can Child support in Oregon be reduced?
It is often believed by non-custodial parents that they pay too much in child support. The court does its best to calculate child support based on the guidelines given. In some cases, the total amount of child support and the way in which it is divided is unfair to the paying parent.
Prior to a child support order being finalized, parents can request a hearing to challenge the amount of money outlined. It isn’t just the non-custodial parent that can challenge the amount. Custodial parents can challenge the amount if they believe it to be unfair. Parents should use Oregon’s Rebuttal Worksheet to help them calculate and propose the amount they believe should be paid in child support.
A judge will hear and evaluate the reasons for the amount of child support to be increased or decreased. The judge will look for the following criteria to determine an increase or decrease:
- Parent’s available net income
- Parent’s credit and ability to borrow money
- Needs of the child and other dependent children
- Any special hardships incurred by the parent
- Tax issues
- Custodial parent’s desire to remain a full-time parent and not work
- Costs such as school tuition fees
These are just some of the factors a judge will use in their criteria for determining an increase or decrease in Oregon child support.
Making child support payments in Oregon
Child support payments are made once a month. The non-custodial parent, also known as the obligor, pays the amount via check, cash, direct deposit, Zelle, or Venmo. The number of options an obligor has to pay Oregon child support means that a payment should not be missed.
The non-custodial parent is obligated to pay the full child support amount on time each month. Failure to do either, or both, can result in penalties. Oregon ensures that a parent doesn’t avoid their responsibilities of child support.
Child support enforcement in Oregon
Custodial parents unable to collect child support from their ex-spouse should contact the Oregon Child Support program for help collecting. An obligor can have a lien placed on their property or driver’s license and/or passport suspended.