Our Portland Family Attorney Explains Oregon’s Child Support Rules

mother and baby at home
Child support is a legal right for all children whose parents are divorced or are unmarried with a custody order. Oregon also has a unique law that allows adult children to remain eligible for child support while they are in college. Oregon law calculates child support based on the parents’ incomes, as well as the children’s needs and the parenting time plan. While the state’s child support formula calculates support, an experienced family attorney is necessary, because the child support guidelines contain variables the court should adjust to ensure the order is fair. Our Portland family lawyer Ronald Allen Johnston has been litigating child support issues in family law for 40 years, and he is a parent’s best asset if they are seeking to establish, enforce or defend child support awards.

Child Support is Determined by Statutory Guidelines

Child support is required for all children whose parents filed for divorce, child custody or paternity for unmarried mothers and fathers. The obligation will continue until the child is emancipated or married, and parents cannot agree to waive child support obligations or agree to a modification unless approved by the court. This is because child support is a right of the child, not the parents, and parents cannot bargain away children’s rights in private agreements.

Oregon’s child support guidelines contain a formula that takes into account the parties’ income, the parties’ parenting time plan, childcare costs, medical insurance costs and uninsured ongoing medical expenses in addition to several other variables and factors.

Ronald Johnston utilizes computer software that easily and quickly calculates child support amounts with different variables. Parents can work with our attorney to review a number of scenarios regarding these variables and see how the child support outcomes differ.

Litigation of Child Support

Once the parties’ information is in the worksheets, the formula determines a presumptively correct amount of child support. The court will enter the presumed amount in its order unless it makes specific findings that the amount is unjust and not appropriate based on the facts of the particular case. Within the child support guidelines are factors and variables that parents can have bona fide disagreements over. If there is a dispute over a relevant fact, the court will hear testimony concerning the issue.

Parents must note that child support laws are for the benefit of the child, not the parents. Parents must pay support even if they are not receiving visitation, and parents may not disregard visitation orders if they are not receiving support. Parents can achieve child support modification only through a court order.

If you are in need of an attorney to seek or defend a presumptive child support amount or are in need of child support enforcement, compare the experience and credentials of Portland custody attorney Ronald Allen Johnston against other attorneys. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation and evaluation of your case and to calculate presumptive amounts of child support.

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