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Information for Parents Asked to Pay Child Support

  • CSP: the acronym for the Oregon Child Support Program. This is a government program that provides free help to parents with getting or paying child support.  
  • DA: the acronym for district attorney. In Oregon, the district attorney usually handles criminal cases. But in some counties, they also help parents with child support cases.  
  • Child support: a monthly payment that one parent pays to another parent to help with expenses for the child, such as food, clothing, housing, childcare, health care, and other costs.  
  • Child support order: a legal document from a court or from the Oregon Child Support Program that requires a parent to pay child support. 
  • Legal parent: a person who the government recognizes as a legal parent. You don’t have to go through a court case to be a legal parent! Many parents are automatically the legal parents to their children:  
    • Married parents: You’re automatically a legal parent to any children born during a marriage or within 300 days after you get divorced, even if the child isn’t biologically yours.   
    • Unmarried mothers: You’re automatically a legal parent to any child you give birth to (unless you’re a surrogate).  
    • Unmarried fathers: You’re a legal parent if your name is on your child’s birth certificate, you sign an official form saying you are the father, or if you have a court or agency order that says you’re the legal father. 

There are two ways you could find out. You will get papers from one of these places about child support: 

  • The other parent: The other parent can give you court papers asking for child support. These papers might be part of a divorce, custody, parentage, or support case that the other parent started.  
  • The DA or CSP. These papers might be called a Notice and Finding of Financial Responsibility (NFFR). They will say you owe child support. 

Yes. A court or the CSP can create a child support order that requires a parent to pay child support.  

But if you are getting disability benefits, TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) benefits, or are in jail or prison, you don’t have to pay child support. If you are paying child support and you’re in one of these situations, talk to the CSP. 

In Oregon, child support is based on a standard child support calculator. The child support calculator is an online tool that Oregon judges, lawyers, child support workers, and other professionals use to figure out the amount of child support. You can also use this tool to get an estimate of the amount of child support.

Child support is based on several things, including:  

  1. Each parent’s income;  
  2. Childcare costs;  
  3. The number of nights a child spends at each parent’s house;  
  4. Health insurance costs for the parents and child; 
  5. The total number of children each parent has (including non-joint children); and 
  6. Whether a parent gets disability benefits or veteran’s benefits. 

In Oregon, child support usually ends when a child turns 18. But child support can continue until age 21 if the child:  

  1. Is unmarried; 
  2. Is going to school at least half-time;  
  3. Gives notice before they turn 18 to the parent who pays support; and 
  4. Signs a consent form allowing their school to disclose information about their enrollment status, courses, and academic status to the parent paying support. 

In most cases, the parent who has the children most of the time will get support from the other parent. But this isn’t always the rule. 

Child support is based on several things, including each parent’s income, childcare costs, health insurance costs, and more. (See the question above.)

You have the right to disagree with the papers you receive. It doesn’t matter if the papers are from the other parent, the DA, or CSP. 

You can disagree with:  

  • Which parent should pay support, 
  • The amount of support you are asked to pay, or 
  • The numbers that the CSP used to calculate support (for example, your income). 

In a CSP case only: You can also disagree if you believe you are not the child’s legal parent. For more on how to tell the CSP that you are not a child’s legal parent, go to this page.

You must file a document called a Response within 30 days of the date you are handed the court papers. A Response is a short legal document that tells the court you disagree with things the other parent asked for in the court case.    

  • If you are married to the other parent: You can find the Response form here. You can use this form to tell the court if you disagree with paying child support. You will also need to tell the court if you disagree on other issues like custody, parenting time, spousal support, or dividing property and debts. For more information on divorce, go to this page.  
  • If you’re not married to the other parent: You can find the court’s Response form here. You will need to tell the court if you disagree on other issues like custody and parenting time. For more information on custody, go to this page.  

There is a $301 fee to turn in a Response. If you can’t afford the fee, you can ask the court to waive or defer the fee. You can ask court staff for the fee waiver and deferral application, or you can find it online here.  

If you disagree with the CSP’s decision about how much child support you must pay, you should ask for a hearing.   

The CSP papers will tell you how much time you have to ask for a hearing and how to ask for a hearing. Follow those directions. 

Warning! You don’t have much time to tell the CSP you disagree. Read the CSP papers carefully to see how much time you have. You usually only have a few weeks.


For more information on child support hearings, you can read through this handbook

Yes. Any state you live in can use the Oregon child support order to make you pay child support. 

Yes. All states enforce child support orders from other states.

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