In Oregon, a parent seeking an increase in child support payments must allege and prove a change in circumstances sufficient to justify the modification. This can be shown by a substantial change in economic circumstances for either party. The following situations discuss changes most frequently considered:
Increase or decrease in custodial parent’s income
An increase of the custodial parent’s income may justify a decrease in child support payments, but not when increased wages merely meet the deficit between the paying parent’s income and the child’s needs. A decrease in the custodial parent’s income may justify a support increase. It is important to use the Child Support Guideline to determine if your change in circumstances justifies a support modification, and by how much.
Increase in paying parent’s income
If the paying parent has an increase in income, then an increase in the amount of child support paid is usually justified.
Voluntary reduction in income
The change must be made in good faith. If the paying parent quits his or her job or changes careers in an effort to decrease or eliminate their support payments, no modification will be allowed.
Change in child’s needs
A substantial change in the child’s needs may require a change in the amount of support provided.
Income from a “domestic associate” or new spouse
The loss or addition of income from the paying parent’s new spouse, live-in girlfriend or boyfriend, or roommate does not constitute a “material change in circumstances” because the new spouse does not have a legal obligation to support the children. This is true for the custodial parent’s new spouse as well… while he or she does have an obligation as a stepparent to support the children, the duty does not replace the paying parent’s parental obligation.
Needs of a Second Family
The needs of a second family typically do not constitute a change in circumstances sufficient to modify obligations to the first. Oregon law presumes that the paying parent has his or her first family in mind when he or she assumes the obligations of a second family.
Death of the Paying Parent
This automatically terminates child support requirements.
Withholding child support payments is not an appropriate remedy for even serious interference with parenting time. Support is for the benefit of the child, not for the interfering parent. However, if the other parent is interfering with your parenting time, there are numerous methods available to you to enforce your custody arrangement and parenting plan. Click here for more information on enforcement of custody orders.