Three Frequently Asked Questions About Child Support

Ronald Johnston is an experienced divorce attorney practicing in Hillsboro Oregon. He has been dealing with family law, including child support issues, for more than forty years.

During his career, Ronald Johnston has been asked a lot of questions about family law. In this article, we answer three of the most frequently asked questions his clients have about child support.

How do I modify my child support agreement?

A child support agreement can be modified when a substantial change has occurred. The burden of proving the substantial change is on the party seeking a modification in child support.

Furthermore, child support orders enforced by the State of Oregon may be reviewed every three years.

How is child support calculated?

Oregon courts consider many factors when calculating child support. The three main factors they consider are the needs of the child, income of the parents, and the parenting time plan.

What happens if a child support payment is not paid?

If a child support payment is missed, one can pursue enforcement in a court of law. This can lead to several outcomes including the garnishment of wages and a jail sentence for the offending parent.

Ronald Johnston, a prominent divorce attorney in Hillsboro Oregon, represents mothers and fathers in child support matters. To contact Ronald Johnston, click here.

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What You Need to Know About Child Support

Just about every divorce attorney in Beaverton Oregon gets asked about child support. Few of these attorneys have more than 40 years of experience practicing family law like Ronald Johnston.

Child support can be very complex. It’s also the legal right of all children whose parents are either divorced or unmarried with a custody order. 

Below is a list of what you need to know about child support. The following key points pertain to the State of Oregon.

  • Child support is calculated on several factors including the needs of the child, parents’ incomes, and the parenting time plan.
  • There are many variables the court may consider to adjust a child support order.
  • Child support will continue until the child is emancipated (typically when the child turns 18) or married.
  • Parents cannot stop paying child support even if both parents agree.
  • Parents cannot modify a child support order unless it’s approved by a court.
  • To enforce child support, one may petition the court. The court has several methods at their disposal to enforce child support payments including garnishing wages and sentencing the delinquent to jail.
  • Adult children can receive child support if they pursue some form of higher education.

If you need assistance with your child support, contact Ronald Johnston today. He’s a venerated and knowledgeable divorce attorney practicing in Beaverton Oregon.

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Variables and Rebuttal Factors Concerning Child Support

Ronald Johnston is a knowledgeable and capable divorce attorney practicing in Portland Oregon. During his 40 years of fighting for the rights of mothers and fathers, he has worked on many cases involving child support issues.

In this article, we’re going to look at variables and rebuttal factors concerning child support. These variables and rebuttal factors are used to alter the amount of presumptive child support parents pay.

In other words, they lower the amount of financial support a parent is ordered to pay.

Spousal support. Spousal support is added to the recipient’s income and deducted from the payor’s income.

Parenting time. This factor is dependent on having a final custody order and a parenting time plan. Then the payor will receive a discount for their child’s overnight stays.

Commissions and bonuses. It can be difficult to determine commissions and bonuses since they usually vary year to year. Often, courts will look at past commissions and bonuses when calculating child support.

Rebuttal factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Paying most of the family’s bills
  • Prior child support obligations
  • Tax issues

There’s some leeway when it comes to rebutting child support guidelines, but generally, they are only considered in extreme cases.

Contact Ronald Johnston, an experienced divorce attorney practicing in Portland, if you wish to seek or defend a presumptive child support amount. He has been working with Oregon’s child support laws for more than four decades.

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In Oregon, Child Support Can Extend into Adulthood

It can be difficult for divorce attorneys in Hillsboro OR to explain to their clients that child support can extend into adulthood.

Many of these parents need help with enforcement and settlement of such support. With more than four decades of experience, Ronald Johnston can represent you in these types of cases. 

Child support can extend into adulthood if the adult child is enrolled in a college or university, takes a GED course, registers for vocational training, or joins the Job Corps. Oregon is one of the few states to have such a law.

For adult children to continue to receive support, he or she must be between 18 and 20 years old and not married.

Whatever institution of higher education they’re enrolled in, the adult child must be making “satisfactory academic progress” and carry at least half a full course load—both defined by the institution.

Child support will continue to be paid during scheduled breaks. The parent paying the support is entitled to written updates on progress and enrollment.

Ronald Johnson is one of the few divorce attorneys in Hillsboro OR who has been practicing family law for more than four decades. If you have a case involving extending child support into adulthood, contact Ronald Johnston today.

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Factors Involved in Calculating Child Support in Oregon

Divorce attorneys in Beaverton OR will tell you that there are many factors involved in calculating child support. For more than 40 years, Ronald Johnston has been litigating family law issues and helping parents enforce and defend child support awards. calculate

How is child support calculated in Oregon? It’s a frequently asked question by parents going through a divorce.

Oregon courts consider several factors when determining child support. These factors include:

  • Parents’ actual income
  • Parents’ potential income
  • Spouse’s or domestic partner’s income
  • Spousal support received
  • Spousal support paid
  • Required union dues
  • Benefits, such as social security and veterans, that are paid to the child on behalf of a parent
  • Child’s health insurance premiums
  • Health insurance for the parent if they must be enrolled for the child to receive coverage
  • Uninsured medical expenses
  • Support paid to additional children
  • Childcare costs if the child is under the age of 13 or disabled

One factor that won’t be considered is extracurricular activities. Examples of extracurricular activities are sports, music, and entertainment expenses.

There are few divorce attorneys practicing in Beaverton OR that have the experience and knowledge of Ronald Johnston. If you need help enforcing or defending a child support award, contact Ronald Johnston today.

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What to Do If You’re Owed Child Support

Parents frequently call on divorce attorneys in Portland OR to help them with child support enforcement. If you’re owed child support, consider family law attorney Ronald Johnston. He has more than 40 years of experience fighting for the rights of mothers and fathers. 

If you’re owed child support, one option is to file a contempt motion with the court, but there are serious drawbacks to this because you must follow the contempt statute exactly, serve the other side in person, and the remedy is a fine, jail time, or some other coercion.

Your best bet is to work with a qualified family law attorney such as Ronald Johnston.

The Pros and Cons of a Private Attorney Versus a State Attorney

A private family law attorney such as Ronald Johnston has several options including garnishing wages or collecting assets, among other possibilities, for retrieving the funds owed to the child. In addition, you’ll be given top priority with Ronald Johnston and, likely, a timelier result.

In choosing to work with a state attorney, there are a few additional options available such as intercepting taxes or suspending a license, even reporting to collection agencies, but while these services are free through the state, you may be put on the back burner when it comes to priority for your case. This can result in an extended wait in getting a ruling.

Also, remember that failure to pay child support has no effect on parenting time.

If you need child support enforcement and need somebody to focus on your case and give you high priority, contact one of the most experienced private divorce attorneys practicing in Portland OR. Contact Ronald Johnston today.

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Stepparent Adoption Unifies Blended Families

Beaverton Oregon divorce attorney Ronald Johnston has been helping stepparents adopt children for over 40 years. Stepparent adoption helps unify blended families both legally and emotionally.  

If the stepparent and stepchild have a good relationship, why consider adoption? Stepparent adoption can benefit children who have an absentee biological parent.

When a stepparent adopts a stepchild, they become the child’s legal parent, usurping the biological parent. After a stepparent adoption, the biological parent loses all rights to parent the child.

A stepparent adoption can have positive emotional ramifications for children. It can make them feel a part of the family, especially if there are stepbrothers and/or stepsisters involved.

A stepparent adoption allows the stepchild to be covered by their stepparent’s health insurance. Also, adoption gives the stepparent parental rights if their spouse (the biological parent) passes away.

In Oregon, stepparent adoption can take up to half a year. It involves many steps including:

  • Consent of spouse
  • Consent of the other biological parent
  • A criminal background check
  • Having Department of Human Services waive the requirement of a home study

If you’re a stepparent wishing to adopt, contact Ronald Johnston today. He’s a prominent Beaverton Oregon divorce attorney with more than four decades of experience representing families in stepparent adoptions.

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Unmarried Fathers Have Rights Too

Unmarried fathers have the same rights as married fathers if they correctly secure parentage. To learn how to do so, consider meeting with Ronald Johnston, a venerated Portland Oregon divorce attorney with more than four decades of experience practicing family law.

When a child is born to a married father, there’s a presumption that he’s the child’s legal father. The married father must do nothing to secure his parental rights. 

When a child is born to an unmarried father, there’s no presumption that he’s the father. In other words, legal parentage is not automatic for unmarried fathers.

The easiest way for an unmarried father to establish paternity is to execute a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP). This document must be signed by the father and mother and then filed in court.

If the mother refuses to sign a VAP, the unmarried father can establish paternity in court.

Legally established paternity allows for the following:

  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Parenting time
  • Preventing the relocation of a child
  • Requesting the relocation of a child

If you are unmarried and about to become a father, contact Ronald Johnston today to secure your rights. Ronald Johnston is a Portland Oregon divorce attorney with more than 40 years of experience fighting for the rights of his clients.

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How is Parenting Time Determined?

Ronald Johnston is an experienced Hillsboro Oregon divorce attorney who can help you receive an appropriate amount of parenting time. With his help, you can get on track to improve your relationship with your child through a better parenting time plan.

Before we can discuss how parenting time is determined in Oregon, we must first define parenting time. 

In Oregon, visitation, or visitation rights, is called “parenting time.”

Parenting time has three goals:

  • To guarantee that children have meaningful contact with both parents (if both parents are acting in the best interest of their children).
  • To encourage parents to be involved in raising their children even though they may be divorced or were never married.
  • Help parents in devising a schedule that benefits everyone and considers, above all else, the interest of their children.

The non-custodial parent is given parenting time. The non-custodial parent is the parent who doesn’t have full-time physical custody of the child.

Oregon courts determine parenting time, and when they do, they take into account that every family is different.

Two things to know about parenting time:

  • A minor child may decide, at any time, to stop visiting their non-custodial parent.
  • Parenting time cannot be truncated because the non-custodial parent has failed to pay child support.

If you live in Hillsboro Oregon, and you need a divorce attorney, contact Ronald Johnston today. He has more than 40 years working with Oregon families to ease the divorce process for parents.

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In Oregon, Both Parents Must Agree to Joint Custody

Ronald Johnston is a respected divorce lawyer practicing in Beaverton Oregon. During his forty years of experience in family law, he has seen firsthand that joint custody can be beneficial to families.

That is, if parents can put aside their differences and work together in the best interest of their child.  For non-married parents to have joint custody, they must both agree to it.

In Oregon, judges will not order joint custody. Also, if one parent changes their mind, the joint custody will be rescinded.

Joint custody is actually “joint legal custody.” That means both parents share in making decisions about, and for, their child—decisions like where to go to school, what religion to practice, what doctors to see.

Joint custody is separate from parenting time (what the State of Oregon calls visitation). The court will create a parenting schedule and will do so in the best interest of the child.

It’s theoretically possible to have joint custody but for the child to spend considerably more time with one parent than the other.

Why should you contact Ronald Johnston about joint custody?

He’s not only a leading divorce lawyer from Beaverton Oregon, but also a member of the Oregon State Bar Family Law Section Task Force on Joint Custody.  Formed in the 1980s, this task force studied joint custody and suggested legislation to benefit families.  Some of the legislation they suggested was passed and is still in use today. Contact Ronald Johnston today to learn how he can help you!

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