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How Child Support is Calculated in Oregon

Determining Payments

Both parents are always responsible for ensuring that their child has everything they need to ensure a normal and happy life, so both parents have the obligation to support their child financially. Typically the non-custodial parent is responsible for submitting monthly child support payments while the law assumes that a custodial parent is spending their required amount on the child’s day-to-day needs.

What these child support payments look like depends on a variety of factors, including the child’s needs as well as each parent’s ability to pay. Here is what you need to know about how child support is calculated in Oregon.

Estimating Your Share

The Oregon Department of Social Services provides a calculator one can use to estimate their monthly child support obligation. To use this calculator effectively, one should also utilize the child support worksheet as well as the parenting time calculator in order to determine each party’s obligation. However, using all of these resources requires that you have done a thorough analysis of your own personal financial situation.

Before you begin to estimate your child support obligation, be sure that you have gathered necessary information such as the total monthly gross (pre-tax) income of both you and your spouse, any spousal support one parent will receive, and other similar expenses or income.

A Sample Estimation

This sample estimate will mirror a basic walkthrough of Oregon’s Child Support Guidelines Calculator. As you read, keep in mind that this is merely an estimation using a very simple example; your situation will likely differ from this example.

David and Brittany have one child that will be the beneficiary of child support as a result of their divorce. When estimating their child support payments, they first enter the basic information like their names and how many children they have (in this case, they have a minor child and not a child attending school). After this initial step, they then add their monthly gross income. David has a monthly gross income of $4000, while Brittany has a monthly gross income of $2000.

After adding their income, they must then add in any spousal support and union dues. In this example, David will be paying Brittany $400 per month in spousal support; neither parent has any union dues to pay.

The next step is a bit more challenging but can be accomplished with their custody agreement; David and Brittany must calculate their respective average parenting time. For this example, we will assume that Brittany has primary custody as well as a majority of the parenting time. In odd-numbered years, David has 72 overnights compared to Brittany’s 293, and David has 74 overnights in even-numbered years whereas Brittany will have 291. This gives David an average of 73 overnights of parenting time and Brittany 292.

For the sake of this example, we will assume that neither parent has any childcare costs or Social Security benefits. We will assume, however, that David has healthcare coverage available to the child but does not have any out-of-pocket costs to enroll the child.

The estimator then calculates child support obligations. David will be responsible for approximately $439 per month in child support, while Brittany does not have an additional responsibility other than the normal everyday need provision.

While this example is overly simple, it provides a basic understanding of how to work through the child support guidelines calculator. How much child support for which you will be held responsible will depend on your unique circumstances; however, you do have the ability to provide yourself with a rough estimate using this calculator.

Do You Have Child Support Questions or Concerns?

Every parent has a duty to provide for their child, yet circumstances may arise when a current child support order becomes too much. In these instances, it is important to consult with a family law attorney who can help you determine whether or not you should seek a modification to your child support order. The team at Levine Law Center LLC is prepared to help you work through your child support matters.


To schedule a consultation to discuss your child support questions or to get started, call us at (503) 433-8340 or visit us online.

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