Although the State uses a child support calculator in determining child support, the factors imputed into the equation can differ dramatically for various reasons – which is why often both sides in a case come up with different child support amounts.
An experienced family law attorney like myself can make sure the proper factors and variables that support you are included and that valid legal arguments are made on your behalf to maximize the benefit to you.
The District Attorney’s (DA) office prosecutes people for contempt of court based on non-payment of child support. If you are the party obligated to pay support, you want to avoid the DA getting involved in that process – which is what happens if you ignore an order to pay support. This is a battle you won’t win. You should certainly contest (through the modification process) paying more than what is fair and legal, however, ignoring an existing order is not contesting it. Even if you later lower the support amount you are ordered to pay, it is almost always impossible to undo or reduce what is called “arrears” or unpaid support, especially if the custodial parent has received government assistance.
If you want to request a modification of child support, you need to file the motion immediately. Child support modification orders can be retroactive to when you filed. If you are laid off, disabled or otherwise unable to continue to earn the income by which your child support order was calculated, do not wait to file for a modification.
When representing a client seeking a modification of a child support order, I typically start out by contacting the other person or their attorney and requesting that they agree to a modification. If they do, and we agree on what the new child support amount should be, then we can process that fairly quickly, and at minimal cost. If they don’t, and we have to file the motion and appear at an administrative or court hearing, then you might be awarded a judgment against them for your attorney fees.
Child support issues can be complex and technical. The State child support calculator is available online, however it can be confusing to someone who does not regularly have to use it. There are multiple variables that go into the calculation, and how those variables are determined can itself be confusing and technical. There are many legal opinions interpreting the determination of these variables, and their correct application in the child support calculator. You should have an experienced family law attorney to assist you in this process.
The Oregon-based divorce and family law firm of attorney Ken A. Kissir offers experience and qualified legal advice for all family law matters. He represents clients dealing with separation, divorce, family law and custody matters, in Gresham, Oregon and the surrounding Portland Metro area. He is licensed in Oregon, Washington and Federal Courts. Ken Kissir practices in Portland, Gresham, Oregon City, Fairview, Troutdale, Multnomah County, Clackamas County, Washington County, and other locations.