Child support is money one parent must pay to the other for the “support” and welfare of the couples’ children. Generally child support must be paid until a child turns 18, however if the child remains in school then it must be paid until the child is 21 years old.

The amount of child support will be determined based on a calculator. It can be found here: Both spouses’ information will be entered into the calculator and it will determine a presumptive amount of child support. It will generally be followed unless the Judge makes findings that the amount is unjust. The guidelines may also require a spouse to pay an additional obligation in the form of “cash medical support,” designed to cover the cost of health care coverage.

In some circumstances a Judge may deviate from the guidelines. In making this determination the Judge will consider:

  • Other resources of one parent
  • Necessities of one parent
  • One parent’s ability to borrow
  • The number and needs of other children or dependents
  • One parent’s need or desire to stay at home with the children
  • Tax issues
  • The financial advantage of a parent by living with another partner

A helpful example can be borrowed from the Oregon State Bar website: Assume that the parent with less parenting time has a gross income of $3000 per month, and the parent with more parenting time has a gross income of $1500 per month. The combined incomes of the parties is $4500 per month, of which two-thirds is from the noncustodial parent. If, under the formula, the support needs of one child are $600/month, the parent with less parenting time would be required to pay two-thirds of that amount, or $400/month.