The Law Office of David Johnson handles family law cases in Salem, Oregon. One aspect of family law is child support.
Child support is money that is paid regularly (typically on a monthly basis) to help the other parent afford things for the child(ren) including food, housing, clothing, medical care, day care, and other various costs for the child(ren).
The only way that child support is legally binding is if it is court ordered. Sometimes parents come to a verbal agreement but no parent is actually obligated to pay without being signed to by a judge. Therefore, parents going through a divorce should work with a child support attorney to help get the money that they deserve.
How to Determine Child Support
Child support in Oregon is not determined by who has custody. Child support is determined by Oregon’s Child Support Guidelines. It is also based on the parent’s income, the amount of time that the child spends with each parent, and many other factors.
It is best to be represented by an attorney to make sure that you are receiving a fair amount of child support, or you are paying a fair amount of child support (you don’t want to be forced to pay way too much).
If you look at the Oregon Department of Justice you can check out the Oregon Child Support Guidelines and look at the calculator to get an estimate of the amount of child support you might have to pay or you might receive.
Oregon looks at;
Income: First you will be asked to put in each parent’s gross monthly income, amount of spousal support you owe and the cost of union dues.
Nights With Child: Next, you will be asked to share the number of nights that the child(ren) is with each parent.
Joint Children Childcare: You will share how much you are paying for your child that you share with the other parent.
Not Joint Children Childcare: You will share the amount of money that you are spending on childcare for children that you don’t share with the other parent (children from other relationships).
Health Coverage: You will be asked how much you are spending on healthcare coverage for your own healthcare as well as your children.
The simple calculator will estimate how much you own (or you are owed) in child support.
Of course, this can only be reinforced by a judge. That is why it is important to hire a child support lawyer to help you through the process and get you the child support you deserve or to make sure that you’re not paying too much.
What Happens if a Parent is Refusing to pay Child Support?
You have probably heard of many single parents complaining about child support that is owed by a previous spouse or partner.
Parents are required by law to pay for child support if a judge has court-ordered the amount. If the parent doesn’t pay the court-ordered child support then s/he will have hefty ramifications.
If a parent is not paying their court-ordered child support then they are considered in “contempt of court.” They will then be called to appear in front of a judge. If they do not appear in front of a judge then they will have a warrant out for their arrest.
Penalties for a Parent Who Refuses to Pay:
- Their wages will be garnished (taken directly from the parent’s wages)
- Seizure of assets & tax refunds
- Suspension of Drivers license
- Jail Time
What If The Parent Isn’t Refusing to pay but Just Can’t pay?
There is a huge difference between parents who refuse to pay and parents who are unable to pay. If the parent is court ordered to pay for child support and can’t make the payments then they have to prove to the judge that they are unable to pay. They will have to bring documents to show that they do not have the money.
If a parent is required to pay child-support but is no longer able to pay for the agreed amount then they need to quickly file a support modification indicating that they will need a reduction because of unforeseen circumstances (an illness or loss of job).
You should call your child support attorney to help you with your support modification as soon as you know that the payments will not be able to be made.
Contact The Law Office of David Johnson
If you have questions about child support during a divorce then it is important to call a child support attorney. If you are in Salem, Oregon then you can call David Johnson, family law attorney and The Law Office of David Johnson.
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