Child support can be modified for any number of reasons. However, in our regular experience with the court system and our client interaction, the most common reasons that necessitate modification of child support are as follows:
1. Change in income
The main factor in any child support calculation is each party’s income. Therefore, whenever you have experienced a reduction in your income (loss of job, change of job, etc.), or the other parent has experienced an increase in income (new job, promotion, etc.), you should have your child support reviewed. Anytime there has been a substantial change in financial circumstances, child support may be modified.
2. Change in parenting time or physical custody
When there has been a change in physical custody or the parenting plan has changed substantially, child support may also need to be updated. Along with income, the amount of time each parent spends with the child may dramatically change child support.
3. Birth of a child
Whenever either party welcomes a new (non-joint) child into their family, child support may need to be adjusted to acknowledge the new expenses that parent will incur.
4. Change in health care coverage
Child support may need to be reviewed when one parent start/stops carrying health care coverage for a joint child. It may be appropriate for the parent paying cash child support to also pay “cash medical support,” to help defray the cost of the child’s health insurance premium and out of pocket medical costs.
5. Every 3 years
Currently the Oregon Administrative Rules allow the State of Oregon child support personnel to review your child support every three years, even if there has not been a change of circumstances as noted above. The State can modify child support upon request. It is a good idea to take advantage of this benefit, as the calculator changes periodically to adjust for inflation and other changes in the law.
Contact our skilled Portland, Oregon divorce and child support modification lawyers to determine whether your circumstance could result in a change in child support.