How the New Child Support Guidelines May Affect Your Bottom Line: Part Four


The child support guidelines adjusted how children between the ages of 18 and 21 are treated for the purposes of calculating support. Oregon law provides for adult children between the ages of 18 and 21 to continue to receive child support for so long as they are attending a qualified educational program. Since these children are often living apart from both parents while they attend school, Oregon law further provides for their portion of a child support order to be paid to them directly, rather than to a parent obligee.

Generally, adult children are entitled to a prorate share of the total child support award. In other words, if a parent has two children and receives $500 per month in support payments, when the eldest child turns 18 and qualifies as a child attending school (CAS), $250 of that award will go directly to the CAS and $250 will continue to be paid to the parent for support of the younger child. Children who desire to continue to receive child support when they enter their college years need to follow certain procedures to make sure their support is paid to them directly, and should consult with an attorney or a child support professional to help them navigate those requirements.

The new guidelines distinguish between 18-year-old children who reside at home and attend high school from those who no longer reside with either parent or are not attending high school. An 18 year old residing with a parent and attending high school will be treated as a minor when calculating the parenting time credit. In addition, a parent with a non-joint child (a child from a prior relationship) receives a deduction from their obligation to pay child support if their non-joint child is 18 years of age but continues to reside with them and attend high school.

However, it is important to note that unless a child support judgment provides otherwise, new support awards for 18 year old children residing with a parent and attending high school will be payable directly to the adult child. Parents in this situation should consult with a family law attorney to ensure they continue to receive child support for these adult children directly for as long as possible while they continue to reside in their home.