Both parents must provide for the child
Under Oregon law, both parents have a duty to provide for their minor children. Usually, the non-custodial parent is required to financially support the custodial parent in the form of child support. When parents have joint custody, the parent who makes more money or has less parenting time usually has to pay child support.
Child support is intended to maintain the child's standard of living as if the parents remained together. Usually, after a separation, both parents have to adjust to a lower standard of living because the cost of two households is almost always higher than one. However, this intention still guides how child support is awarded.
How to calculate child support
In Oregon, child support is determined based on a calculation that accounts for a variety of factors, including:
- Each parent’s monthly gross income
- Each parent’s costs for health insurance for themselves
- What each parent pays for health insurance for the child
- Each parent’s employment-related child care expenses
- The number of overnights each parent has with the child
This information and more are put into the calculator which then comes up with an amount each parent should pay for child support. To learn more about how child support is calculated in Oregon and to use the online calculator, check out the Oregon Child Support program website.
Courts typically order one parent to pay the child support amount that the calculator generates. It is very rare for a court to NOT require a parent to pay support. However, either parent can request changes in the calculator’s determination by arguing that the calculator amount is unfair or inappropriate.