Child Support Guidelines

Our Portland Family Attorney Protects Parents’ Interests

parent interacting with toddler and older child
The court will award child support in every family law case of divorce involving children, child custody and paternity for unmarried fathers and mothers. Oregon’s administrative guidelines determine the amount of child support, and the court will apply those guidelines even if both parents agree otherwise. Oregon can also impose and enforce child support orders though administrative agencies, and those orders are legally enforceable as judicial orders. Our Portland family lawyer Ronald Allen Johnston has been working with Oregon’s child support laws for over 40 years, and he understands how the guidelines can work against parents who do not have an attorney representing their interests.

How Oregon Guidelines Determine Child Support

In establishing the appropriate amount of child support, it is important to establish the parties’ incomes and look at all earnings and resources. This includes salaries, wages, commissions, advances, bonuses, dividends, Social Security, workers’ compensation and unemployment benefits. If a party has no income, the calculation will be based on “potential” income or an income based on what that party can earn working full time at whatever the current minimum wage is in Oregon.

Other factors that affect child support are the number of children, whether there are other children of the parties, the amount of parenting time and spousal support.

Based on the same factors that determine child support, the Oregon guidelines may impose an additional obligation within a child support determination in the form of “cash medical support.” Cash medical support is an additional amount a parent may have to pay to help with the cost of health care coverage or to help with the uninsured medical expenses of the child.

Variables and Rebuttal Factors for Child Support

Parents can make a case to alter the amount of presumptive child support . This includes the consideration of different variables that affect child support, including:

  • Spousal support. This amount will be added to the recipient’s income and deducted from the payor’s. However, if the divorce is ongoing when the court is calculating child support, the support will have to be estimated until spousal support is finalized.
  • Gross income includes discretionary bonuses and commissions. These amounts are variable and speculative. Often, the courts will look to the past few years of income to determine future income.
  • Parenting time discounts. This will require accurate calculations of overnights with the child, and is of course dependant on having a final order of custody and parenting time plan.
  • Rebuttal factors. These include if a parent is paying the majority of the family’s bills, adjustments for special needs of a child or parent, prior child support obligations, tax issues, and parents in relationships similar to a spousal relationship. The law allows a bit of leeway in arguing rebuttal factors, but practically speaking, rebutting the guidelines only happens in extraordinary cases.

If you are in need of an attorney to seek or defend a presumptive child support amount or if you are in need of child support enforcement, Portland custody attorney Ronald Allen Johnston will be your best asset. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation and evaluation of your case and to calculate presumptive amounts of child support under Oregon’s guidelines.

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