There are few legal issues that get as complicated as child support. Whether you are looking to get child support or are being asked to pay it, you have to know what your rights are. If you are living in Oregon, the state’s Department of Justice’s Oregon Child Support Program is available to educate you on your responsibilities and rights associated with child support and your kid.

Who Needs to Pay Child Support?

The parent that takes care of the child more is the one who receives child support from the other parent. However, even if you have the child for less time than the other parent, you may be able to use parenting time credit to lower the amount of child support you may owe. Parenting time credit is when the amount you owe is lowered because even though you are not the custodial parent the child spends a lot of time with you.

How Can I Petition for Child Support?

You can apply for child support through the court or online through the Oregon Child Support Program. The program helps parents on public assistance or, for a small fee, parents who are having a hard time finding the other parent and getting them to pay. Even if you do not a lot of information about the other parent, you should still attempt to provide the other parent’s full name, address, social security number, date of birth (or age), place of current or last employment, any information on property or bank accounts, and basic information about your child to either the court or the Oregon Child Support Program.

What If the Other Parent Will Not Pay Child Support?

If the other parent is not paying child support, there are a few ways the court can get the payments for you. The first consequence to not paying support is having one’s paycheck or tax refund garnished. If they still are not paying, then they may lose their license or property, be denied a passport, and have their credit score lowered. If the other parent is still insisting on being a deadbeat, then they can even be found in contempt of court and get arrested.

Can I Withhold Visitation If They Do Not Pay?

Just because the other parent has not paid child support does not mean you can prevent them from seeing their child. If they have a visitation order, you are obligated to follow it. Otherwise, the other parent can go to court and have their visitation order enforced.

How Can I Stop Paying Child Support?

If you believe you should not be paying child support, you need to take steps to terminate child support legally. Please do not go on your own and simply stop paying because there are serious legal issues that can arise if you do that.

Child support can be ended if the child is emancipated or if you and the other parent decide to live together. If you are a father and not listed on the birth certificate and were not married to the other parent, you can ask for a paternity test before ever paying child support.

Where Can I Find the Right Lawyer?

You should contact a Oregon child support lawyer immediately if you are facing child support issues. When you are going to court for child support issues, you will need a lawyer to fight for what you and your family need.