Raising a child costs a lot of money. This is true even if the child's parents are no longer in a relationship with one another. When parents in Oregon divorce, it is often the case that the noncustodial parent will pay child support to the custodial parent. An initial child support order may work well for a while, but eventually the lives of the parents and children will change. For example, a parent may get a promotion and a raise, or they may lose their job. And the financial needs of a toddler are different than those of a teenager. For these reasons, sometimes parents will want to seek a modification of a current order for child support.
In Oregon, a parent can request that the Child Support Program review the parent's current order for child support if a minimum of 35 months have passed since the order was executed or last reviewed. Parents can also provide evidence that a significant change in circumstances has occurred. For example, the child's needs may have changed, the party who has physical custody of the child may change, how many children are being supported may change or either the custodial parent or noncustodial parent's income may have changed.
Both parents may agree to modify the existing order for child support. However, if a parent disagrees with the modification, he or she can request that a hearing be held on the issue. In this situation, an administrative law judge will make the decision on how much child support should be owed. The amount of support may go up or down.
As this shows, sometimes there is a justifiable reason to modify an order for child support. While sometimes parents can negotiate these changes on their own, if they cannot mutually agree on the issue, a hearing can be held to determine whether and how to modify the order for child support. Family law attorneys may be good sources of information for those who have further questions on this topic.