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Child Support Archives

What happens if your ex fails to pay child support in Oregon?

When you have a child support order in place in Oregon, you probably expect that your child’s other parent will do his or her duty and pay the child support on time and as ordered. Regrettably, however, this is not always the way things work, and in some situations, you may need the state to intervene if you are not getting the amount your child support order dictates. Just what might the state be able to do to help you get your hands on the child support owed to you?

What can you do if your ex-partner is behind on child support?

Oregon courts do not order child support to punish one parent or favor the other, but simply to ensure that children of divorce experience as little adverse effects of their parents' separation as possible. The recipient parent has the right to use child support as he or she sees fit, so long as he or she uses the funds to benefit the child. Common expenses for which a parent may use child support include food, shelter, clothing, entertainment, and recreational activities. If the recipient parent does not receive the support payments, it does not just hurt the parent financially, but also, it hurts the child. For this reason, Oregon takes child support enforcement very seriously. If your former partner is behind on support, the Oregon Department of Justice details what you can do to recover past-due funds.

How is child support determined?

Being a parent requires you to provide for the care of your children regardless of the state of the relationship between you and your spouse or partner. When two married parents decide to divorce, or when unmarried parents discontinue their relationship, the court will generally order one or both parents to pay child support. The criteria for determining child support varies by state. According to the Oregon State Bar Association, the following factors are among those taken into consideration in order to determine child support:

When a parent is unemployed or underemployed

The job market in Oregon can be tough, particularly for people in certain professions. However, there are times when a custodial parent may wonder whether the other parent is really attempting to find a job commensurate with his or her skills. After all, a lower paying job results in a different child support calculation. 

Negative emotions that arise due to child support

When a couple separates, all sorts of difficulties may come into their lives, but this is especially true for those who have children. As if issues such as child custody and explaining the separation to kids are not challenging enough, other matters, such as child support, can further complicate a couple’s decision to split up. There are many hurdles that may need to be overcome with respect to child support, whether a parent is unable to pay what they owe or provide for their child because they are not receiving what they are owed. Moreover, child support issues can bring up very strong emotions.

What should you do when you cannot rely on child support?

Your divorce is finally over and you are beginning to pick up the pieces and move forward. Your children live with you and you have assumed all of the responsibilities of the custodial parent. The only issue is that your ex is not in the position financially to be able to pay child support. Fortunately, when you plan responsibly and acknowledge the problem before it is too late, you can continue to provide for your children without letting your ex feel like he or she is permanently relieved of all financial obligations in Oregon.

Examining some of the other consequences of back child support

Those who have become delinquent on the child support they owe often face various problems and we have discussed many of them on this blog. From the interception of a tax refund to problems with passport applications, back child support is not to be taken lightly. However, we would like to point out that people who fall behind on their child support payments may face many other difficulties as well, some of which may not seem serious to an outsider but could disrupt a non-custodial parent's life tremendously.

Can back child support interfere with travel?

People may run into all sorts of issues when they fall behind on child support payments, from financial penalties and a damaged reputation to the threat of arrest. However, some people do not realize that falling behind on child support can affect their lives in many other ways as well. For example, those with back child support may not be able to leave the country, which can be especially upsetting for someone who has been looking forward to a trip for business or leisurely purposes.

What will happen to my tax refund if I do not pay child support?

Finding yourself unable to pay child support might have become a problem for various reasons. Perhaps your position was terminated without warning or you are suffering from a serious medical condition that you had no way to see coming. Regardless, the consequences for falling behind can be harsh, from a mental, financial, and even social standpoint. You might be wondering how back child support could affect your tax refund, which is especially relevant with tax season around the corner.

Modification of the original child support order

Either parent can request that a child support order be modified in Oregon. According to the Marion County District Attorney, a change in the amount of child support may be appropriate if it has been three years or more, or if either party has had a major change in circumstances since the original order. 

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