Calculating Child Support.
In Oregon, the court uses a strict formula to set the amount of support to be paid from one parent to the other on behalf of a child. Child support is thus typically the result of a fairly mathematical equation. Each party enters into the variables of that equation dollar figures that apply to their particular case and the calculator sets a final child support award.
The variables of the child support equation include, among other things:
- Number of joint children;
- Number of non-joint children for each parent;
- Spousal support paid and spousal support received;
- Gross monthly income of each party;
- Social Security and Veteran’s benefits received for the benefit of joint children;
- Number of overnights each child spends with each parent;
- Cost of providing health insurance for the benefit of joint children;
- Cost of providing health insurance for each party;
- Union dues payable by each party;
- Uninsured and recurring medical expenses for joint children that exceed $250 per year; and
- Cost of providing child care for the benefit of joint children.
The formula can be found on the web at https://justice.oregon.gov/guidelines/.
It may be helpful and informative to run the formula on your own to see the effects of changing the variables.
Rebutting the Child Support Guidelines.
The state’s child support formula will be used unless your case presents exceptional circumstances. The most common examples of such circumstances are an obligor’s inability to pay or the special needs of the child.
Termination of Child Support.
The court generally orders child support to be paid until the child’s l8th birthday. Depending on particular circumstances, the court may extend support to age 2l if the child is attending school. It is possible for support for a child attending school to be paid directly to the child. Drafting of a child support judgment is important in making these determinations.
Modification of a Prior Child Support Award.
Every three years either parent can ask their local county Deputy District Attorney, Support Enforcement Division, to recalculate support based on the current income of the parties. This service is free. In addition, a party may request a recalculation at any time if there has been a substantial change of circumstances. Examples of such changes are significant changes in either parent’s income or a significant change in the amount of time that a joint child spends with each parent.
Timing of Modification.
The court cannot modify or terminate an award of child support that was due or owing prior to filing of a motion to modify/terminate support. There is an exception to this general rule in that the court will give credit when the parent paying support had physical custody of the child with the knowledge and consent of the custodial parent. Generally, however, until a modification proceeding is filed, support will remain as determined under the judgment regardless of new or changed circumstances of the parties.