Either party may request a review of their child support order to see if the monthly support is appropriate if it has been over 35 months since the date of the last support order. For support orders less than three years old, a substantial change of circumstances will need to be shown by the party seeking a modification before a modification review can be made. Examples of substantial change are a change in the physical custody of a subject child or a disabling injury to a parent with involuntary loss of income.
The requesting party will be sent a request form, income and expense forms, and forms seeking information available on health care coverage for the children. When these are completed and returned, the other party will then be sent income and expense forms, and given a minimum of 30 days to complete and return the paperwork to our office. After that the caseworker will apply the State of Oregon guidelines to compute a recommended child support order amount.
Each party will receive a notice regarding the new amount. At that time, either party may request an administrative hearing if either does not agree to the requested amount. The Administrative Hearing is by telephone with an Administrative Law Judge. A party may have their own attorney represent them. A party may present information which rebuts the proposed amount. If no administrative hearing is requested or after the administrative law judge issues an order, additional documents are created by our office are sent to the court to finalize the modification order. Either party can request the court to review the order.
Modifications will only affect future support. If a party needs immediate relief, they may want to contact a private attorney, or file for relief with the appropriate court directly. The Administrative process generally takes several months to complete from the date written application forms are submitted to our office even if uncontested. The effective date of a modification cannot be before the date that a non-requesting party is served with the notice regarding the new child support amount; therefore, it will not change the amount until after several months after the request is received and steps in the process have been completed.
MODIFICATION SERVICES FOR INCARCERATED OBLIGORS
If the non-custodial parent will be incarcerated for more than six months and qualifies with income under the threshold (usually less than $200.00 per month), we may be able to modify the support order to zero until sixty days from the date incarceration ends. To do this, the incarcerated parent must send a written request for modification to the Oregon Child Support Program and the incarceration must be expected to last at least six months from the time we receive the request. Any modification would be effective on the date the motion for modification is served on the custodial parent. It cannot be retroactive to the date incarceration began.