Going through a divorce is difficult, especially for children. Transitioning from a traditional household to a single-parent situation can be overwhelming and emotional for everyone involved. Not only is there a change in the physical living environment, but also the financial situation.
The court orders the non-custodial parent to pay child support as a way to bridge the financial gap that occurs when parents separate.
Child support model
Oregon, like many other states in the nation, follows the income shares model when determining child support, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. This model follows the idea that children should have access to the same amount of financial support that they would have if their parents had stayed together. After combining both parents’ gross income, a schedule is used to determine the base child support amount. This also includes the number of children involved.
In addition to the base child support amount, the court may consider other factors and calculate other expenses into the final amount. These factors include the following:
- Child care costs
- Medical expenses
- Extracurricular activities
- Amount of time spent with each parent
- Age of the children
- Health care insurance
If parents live a significant distance apart from one another, the court may factor in the cost of traveling to and from visitation.
The main goal of the court is to ensure the best interests of the child are upheld. As years go by and the child grows, it may be necessary to change the amount of support needed. The child support amount may also qualify for modification if a significant life circumstance takes place.