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Getting Child Support

Authored By: Legal Aid Services of Oregon LSC Funded
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An excerpt from the Community Education booklet Family Law in Oregon

The laws on child support apply to both married and unmarried parents. For information about child support, see www.oregonchildsupport.gov.
(For unmarried parents, paternity must be established before child support can be ordered. Click here for information about paternity.)

How do I get a child support order?

If you have filed a divorce or custody case, child support usually will be ordered as part of the case. The Division of Child Support (DCS) will get a child support order if you are now getting Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Oregon Health Plan (OHP) for your children or if you did in the past and there is unpaid support from that time. In some counties, DCS will get a child support order even if the children have never been on TANF or OHP. In other counties, the local District Attorney (DA) handles these cases. You also can hire a private attorney. DCS and DA services are free. For more information go to www.oregonchildsupport.gov.

Can I get child support if the other parent doesn't live in Oregon?

Yes, but it may take longer because DCS or the DA may have to work through the child support agency in the state where the other parent lives.

Can I get child support if I don't know where the other parent lives?

In order to get a child support order, the other party must be served or mailed the papers. If you are working with the DCS or the DA to get child support, they may be able to use national databases to get an address for or information about the other party.

What can I do if the child support order is not being paid?

DCS or the DA will help you collect your child support order. They represent the State and not you, but their services are free. You can also contact a private lawyer. See Questions 126 through 129 of the Family Law in Oregon booklet on www.oregonlawhelp.com for information about how child support is collected.

Can I stop allowing parenting time if the other parent is not paying child support?

No. You must allow the parenting time that is ordered in your divorce or custody order, even if child support is not being paid.

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Last Review and Update: Nov 22, 2010