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Child Support Modifications

Child support modifications are common. This is not surprising in light of the many factors that go into a child support calculation. If any one of these factors changes, the amount of a child support award is also likely to change.

Similar to many other modifications, a party attempting to modify child support must demonstrate that the requested change came about as the result of a “substantial and unanticipated change in circumstances.” Whether an increase or decrease in any one factor is deemed to be “substantial” is typically determined by the percentage change that the increase or decrease produces in the overall award.

When You Can Request A Change

A request to modify child support can be made at any time, by either party, but only if the requesting party can show a substantial and unanticipated change in circumstances since the prior award. The request can be made to the Oregon Department of Justice or the courts. Alternatively, either party may request that the Department of Justice review a child support award every three years, even in the absence of a substantial, unanticipated change.

The Guidelines Can Be Complex

Historically, the Oregon Child Support Guidelines undergo at least one or two major changes every few years. These changes can have far-reaching effects on child support awards, even when the factors underlying an award remain largely unchanged. The guidelines are often confusing, and modifying an award, particularly when the prior award was calculated pursuant to outdated guidelines, can be tricky. Moreover, many factors (e.g., the birth of a child with a new partner, awards paid to adult children attending school, extraordinary travel expenses and more) can dramatically affect a child support award.

Don’t Hesitate To Call Or Email Us For Answers

If you have questions regarding a modification of child support, whether your matter is being address by the Oregon Department of Justice or the courts, schedule a screening at Berman Law Center, P.C. Do not hesitate to contact our office by calling 503-715-2108, toll free 800-282-9288 or by completing our online contact form.

We provide a free, 15-minute phone screening, and, depending on the needs of our clients, we can offer off-hours meeting times.