As a divorced parent, you may have been ordered by the court to make monthly child support payments to your child’s other parent. These payments are designed to ensure that your child receives enough financial support from both parents in order to thrive. However, these economically uncertain times have led to unprecedented amounts of parental stress and financial anxiety, and many people are finding themselves unable to afford mortgage payments, rent, and other basic necessities. If you have recently been laid off or have suffered economic hardship in recent months, you may realize that you cannot afford to pay child support right now. Should this happen, you can petition the court for a modification to the existing child support order. Let’s take a look at what this process typically entails.
Step #1: Submit a Request for Modification
The first step in pursuing a child support modification is to complete a document, which is available through the Oregon Department of Justice. You’ll be asked about the changes that have inspired your request, such as a significant change in your gross income or the loss of your job. Whatever the reasons are that you are filing this request, you’ll provide the specifics on this form and submit it to the Oregon Child Support Program in Salem.
Step #2: The Proposed Modification is Created
Once the Oregon Child Support Program receives and reviews your request, they will create a revised proposal of the child support order, which may take approximately one month. Once it’s created, it will send copies to both parents for their review.
Step #3: Final Steps are Taken
If neither parent raises objections or concerns within 30 days, the new order will be finalized. Should the Child Support Program receive feedback from parents or other parties that require additional changes, these will be implemented and the parents will be notified, and the new order will take effect in about 30 days. At any time, either parent may request a hearing. This will lengthen the process, but hearings may be necessary to obtain an equitable outcome.
Help When You Need It
While parents may choose to pursue modifications on their own, it’s highly advisable to seek the guidance of a trusted family law attorney during the process. At Lee Tyler Family Law, P.C., we recognize how overwhelming the modification process can be, especially if you are also struggling with other hardships in your life. Let us step in to ensure that your modification request is successful. Call our Portland office at (503) 233-8868 today to get started.