Child and Spousal Support
Determining Child Support
Child support in Oregon is based upon presumptive guidelines. The guidelines factors include each parent's income, the number of joint and non-joint children, child care and health insurance needs. Special circumstances may warrant a deviation from the guidelines.
If the paying party is employed, Oregon and federal law provide for wage withholding. Other enforcement remedies include interception of tax refunds, suspension of professional and drivers licenses, and contempt. Enforcement assistance may be available at no charge through the district attorney in the county where the party owed the support lives.
Child support may be paid to a bank account, through the court clerk, or through the Child Support Program of the Department of Justice, or DOJ. When the support money is routed through DOJ, a number of services become available to both parties, including accounting, enforcement, modification, and periodic review, at no charge.
Unlike debts, which may be discharged in bankruptcy under certain conditions, child support is not dischargeable in bankruptcy.
A court may order, or the parties may designate, which party is entitled to take a child as a dependent for tax exemption and tax credit purposes. Absent such designation or agreement, tax authorities will generally consider the custodial parent or the parent with the majority of overnights as entitled to the dependency exemption and any associated credit.
Child support may be modified upon motion of either party, based upon a substantial and unanticipated change of circumstances since the last order. Child support may also be modified through a periodic review every three years by your local district attorney's office. Generally, modifications must be filed before the original obligation expires.
Obtaining and enforcing child support can be difficult. It is always a good idea to obtain professional legal advice.
Kramer & Associates