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If you and your spouse have minor children, then your divorce will need to address child support. All children under age 18 may be entitled to Oregon child support unless they are married, emancipated, or have become self supporting. Additionally, children over 18 and under age 21 may be entitled to child support if they are attending school half-time or more.
WHO PAYS CHILD SUPPORT IN OREGON?
In Oregon, either parent may be ordered to pay child support.
HOW DOES A COURT DETERMINE OREGON CHILD SUPPORT?
Oregon child support is determined by the court based on consideration of all income of each parent, including income from employment, self-employment and rental properties. If a parent is not employed on a full-time basis, the Oregon family law court may consider the earnings history and potential of said parent.
Many times parents agree on the child support factors (for instance, income figures) and the court will simply enter these numbers into the Oregon child support calculator to determine child support. A parent who pays child support may get a reduction in the amount if that parent has at least 25% of the overnight parenting time with the child. Also, the costs of health care insurance and childcare costs affect the amount of Oregon child support ordered. Some cases involve the application of rebuttal factors. These other reasons for departing from the Oregon child support guidelines may include:
WHAT IF ONE PARENT IS UNEMPLOYED, EMPLOYED ONLY PART-TIME, OR UNDEREMPLOYED?
If one parent is unemployed or employed less than full-time, Oregon courts then look at “imputed” or “potential” income for that parent, unless they can prove that there is good cause for the underemployment. Good cause might be a shortage of jobs in the parent’s field or if they are going to school. If there is no good cause, the court determines the underemployed parent’s imputed income by calculating either (1) probable earnings based upon the parent’s recent work history, occupational qualifications, prevailing job opportunities and earning levels in the community; or (2) income from full-time work (40 hours per week) at the current Oregon minimum wage. The larger number is that parent’s imputed income.
IS CHILD SUPPORT TIED TO PARENTING TIME?
If ordered to pay Oregon child support, a parent is legally obligated to make those payments, even if the parent does not receive parenting time with the child. Parenting time and receipt of child support are considered separate rights by the Oregon family law court. Thus, one parent cannot withhold child support because of missed parenting time, and a parent may not deny the other parent parenting time because of missed child support.
HOW IS OREGON CHILD SUPPORT PAID?
Oregon child support payments are made monthly. The parent paying child support may pay the amount directly to the other parent, or may be required to pay the Oregon Child Support Program (which will then pass on the payments to the receiving parent, often by direct deposit).
WHAT IF A PARENT OWES BACK CHILD SUPPORT?
If a parent fails to pay Oregon child support, the other parent may go back to the Oregon family law court to collect the support. Collection steps may include wage garnishment, bank account garnishment, seizure of retirement plan funds, liens on property, seizure of tax refunds, revocation of passports, suspension of drivers’ or business licenses or even jail time.
CAN OREGON CHILD SUPPORT ORDERS BE CHANGED?
Yes. The Oregon child support order and amount can be adjusted in future years based on changes in each parent’s income as well as the needs of the child.
WHEN DOES CHILD SUPPORT END?
Oregon law generally provides that child support will continue for each of your children until that child turns 18 years old and thereafter until 21 years old if said child is attending school half-time or more. Different provisions may apply if a child is significantly disabled.
Oregon Child Support Provision: Life Insurance
The Oregon family law court will probably require that the parent required to pay child support also maintain life insurance coverage with the child as beneficiary, the other parent as trustee, and a constructive trust over the insurance proceeds. The purpose of life insurance here is to protect the child’s right to monetary support: if the paying parent dies, then the child will have about the equivalent amount available as an insurance payout.
Oregon Child Support Provision: Health Insurance and Health Care Costs Your Oregon child support order will also contain provisions regarding health care insurance for your children and payment of any uninsured health care costs. If you or your spouse can provide medical and dental insurance for your children privately, through a public program, or through an employer, you may be required to do so. If neither of you has access to health insurance for your children, then the court may order a certain monthly or percentage amount of cash medical support. Cash medical support is the additional amount a parent is ordered to pay to help with the cost of health care coverage by the other parent or to help with the uninsured medical expenses of the child. Even if you have health insurance for your children, the court may order cash medical support for uninsured expenses. This is often framed as a percentage, and may be based on the parties’ comparative gross incomes. For instance, if the parent ordered to pay child support earns about 80% of the parties’ joint earnings, then that parent may also be ordered to pay 80% of any uninsured medical expenses for the children.
Oregon Child Support Provision: Childcare Costs
As with health care expenses, your Oregon child support order will also consider payment of any childcare related to the custodial parent’s job, active job search or job training and education. This is often framed as a percentage based on the parties’ comparative gross incomes.
Oregon Child Support Provision: College Costs
CAN MY COLLEGE-AGED CHILD GET CHILD SUPPORT?
Unless your Oregon child support order says otherwise, child support will continue for each of your children until that child turns 21 years old, if the child is attending school half-time or more. There are some restrictions: