The mission of the District Attorney's Family Support Division is to:
Provide paternity establishment. Provide child support establishment. Modification and enforcement services. Establish and enforce obligations for dependant health insurance and/or cash medical support.
The program provides direct services to families who either reside in Marion County or have a child support order entered in Marion County. Our services benefit society, as a whole, by seeking to have parents pay for the support of their dependents rather than welfare and public assistance. There is a annual fee of $25.00 per year charged for these services if collections exceed $500.00 per year, as required by the federal government.
The legal services provided by the Division include both administrative and judicial processes. Most support establishment and modification is done through our administrative authority to enter a consent order, an order after default, or an order after hearing before a state Administrative Law Judge in a contested case. The appropriate level of support is determined using the income of both parents and other factors relevant under Oregon's Statewide Child Support guidelines. Administrative orders are docketed with the Circuit Court and have all the attributes of court orders, including lien and judgment effect. Generally, administrative orders can be appealed to the Circuit Court for a de novo hearing. The amount of monthly support in a support order can be adjusted to conform to state guidelines if requested by either parent once every three years.
The Family Support Division responds to and initiates proceedings to other states when a responsible parent resides in a different state than his or her children. These interstate cases can be administrative or judicial and require coordination with our counterpart in the other state.
We also establish and enforce medical child support obligations. Medical child support may include requiring either parent to provide health insurance, or pay a cash medical supplement in the child support award.
Enforcement is normally handled through administrative income withholding orders. When these processes fail to assign money at the source, we use traditional judicial processes such as garnishment and citing non-paying parents for Contempt of Court. Also, we can place liens, conduct Financial Disclosure Exams, and can use License Suspensions after meeting certain criteria. We issue the National Medical Support Notice to employers to enroll children in health insurance plans.
All accounting, receipting and disbursal of child support money is handled by the Child Support Accounting Unit. District Attorneys are authorized, by statute, to contract with the Division of Child Support to provide the legal services on non-assistance cases. The Department of Justice, Division of Child Support also contracts with the Department of Human Resources to provide legal services on cases where the State is owed monies for un-reimbursed public assistance or foster care. The Department of Justice, Division of Child Support also provides some centralized functions such as locate services, bankruptcy processing, unemployment compensation withholding and others for cases otherwise serviced by District Attorneys.
For further information regarding the various aspects of the Oregon Child Support Program:
503-378-4489 for automated information about process and procedures. 800-850-0228 for an application or specific case question. http://www.dcs.state.or.us/ for child support payment information online. The DCS IVR Payment Information System is now available. Please call 503-378-5567 or 1-800-850-0228.