Child Support FAQ
Q:What is the relationship between payment or non-payment of child support and parenting time?
A:The payment or non-payment of child support does not entitle someone to more or less parenting time, nor does it allow one party to violate the other party’s parenting time. Parenting time and child support are two separate and distinct issues, and while the court does consider the annual number of nights each parent spends with the children when determining a fair child support order , there should be no direct association between the two. In layman’s terms, money and time are two separate issues as far as the court is concerned. Both child support and parenting time can be enforced once they are outlined in a court order, but they’re enforced separately. The court wants to keep money on one side, and parenting on the other.
Q:What are the ramifications of not paying child support?
A:Child support is a type of money judgement. Money judgments are typically issued by the court and they come out every month. Once the court issues a monthly money judgment, it is no longer modifiable. If you need to modify your child support obligation, you must do so by the date you serve a motion to the other party.
It should also be noted that if someone is not paying their child support, those judgments can be executed on. In other words, the court may take action against the non-payer by garnishment of wages, wage withholding, garnishment of a bank account, seizure of personal property, a lean on real property, and potential foreclosure. If the state gets involved in collection and you have an arrearage balance that is marginally to exceedingly high, they can pull professional licenses, including your driver’s license.
If you’re unable to make your child support payments, you need to file a modification as quickly as possible because as soon as those judgements are due, they are no longer modifiable.
Q:How is child support determined in Oregon?
A:Oregon child support is determined by a guideline calculation, which takes into account several major factors, including the gross incomes of either party and the annual number of overnight stays with the child or children. The court will also consider several secondary factors, including who pays union dues, who covers healthcare for the children, and the necessity for daycare expenses. That calculation creates what is called a rebuttable presumption. As parties earn more or less, or if circumstances change, child support awards can be modified through the court.
Q:How long does an obligated parent need to continue to provide child support in Oregon?
A:In Oregon, child support continues until a child reaches 18 or 21 years of age, as long as they continue to attend school, as defined by Oregon law. Someone between the ages of 18 and 21 who participates at least part-time in a degree-granting institution, (or attends certain trade schools), could qualify as a “child” under child support laws. T If an older child meets these standards, he or she could continue to receive child support from age 18 to age 21. A child attending school can take normal breaks, such as summer break and spring break. They do not have to fill up those breaks with classes, in order to qualify for support, as long as they are on a regular schedule at least half time and making satisfactory academic progress. If they don’t qualify as a child attending school, then standard child support obligations will end at the age of 18.
Q:How is child support calculated?
A:There is a formula under Oregon law, (AKA “the Guidelines”), that serves as a great starting point for parents hoping to calculate their potential child support. The formula uses a variety of factors, but the big ones include income, parenting time credit, work-related childcare costs, and healthcare costs. People commonly think that because they have legal custody, to the court cannot order them to pay child support. That is not true because custody is not a part of the calculation. The child support amount calculated by the Guidelines may be changed only if all parties agree or if the Guidelines can be successfully refuted.