March 31, 2009

Child Support Modification in the new economy

The New York Times recently had an article on the effect of the current economy on child support.  The full article can be found here:

With so many child support obligors either losing their jobs or having a reduction in income, the court is seeing a huge increase in requests for child support modifications.  In many cases, the court has no choice but to reduce the child support obligation.  This often leaves a custodial parent in dire financial straits.  The court, however, must balance the needs of both parents against this reality.  The non-custodial parent must be able to continue to support himself or herself.

In Oregon, child support modifications are governed by Oregon Revised Statute 107.135.  A modification can be instituted via a filing in the circuit court in the county in which the original order was made or by requesting a review through the Department of Justice.  The party requesting the modification must show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the prior support award was issued.

A child support award remains in effect until it is modified.  It is crucial, therefore, that a person who owes child support file to modify the support obligation as soon as possible after having a reduction in income. 

For more information, or to receive legal advice on your specific situation, please contact the law offices of Stephens & Margolin LLP in order to schedule a consultation.