May 31, 2012

New Case Law – No Substantial Change In Circumstance Where Income Increased by 4%

On April 4, 2012, the Oregon Court of Appeals decided Bock and Bock. This case was based on the mother’s motion to modify the child support provisions of a stipulated general judgment of dissolution. The mother alleged that, since the judgment was entered over a year earlier, the father’s income had increased somewhat and her circumstances had changed in that she was not receiving the return on investment that she had expected at the time she agreed to the terms of general judgment. The trial court modified child support, who paid uninsured medical expenses, and who was entitled to claim the children as dependents for tax purposes. The Court of Appeals, however, found that there was no substantial, unanticipated change in circumstances where the father’s income only increased by 4% over a 17 month period, and reversed the trial court. Specifically, the court found that in this case both parents could have anticipated that there would be minor increases or decreases in the father’s income. The Court of Appeals also stated that the mother’s argument that she did not receive the return on investment she expected or, alternately, that the reasons supporting the prior child support award no longer existed did not constitute a substantial, unanticipated change of circumstances