If you’re reading this, you probably live in Oregon and pay child support. And you probably pay a lot. I do, too. You”ve probably also visited the Oregon Child Support Division’s website. You may have even managed to find the “Request for Review – Modification or Termination” form (nice going) and are wondering if you can reduce your child support with it. You can. You might be wondering if you need a lawyer to fill it out for you for $500. You don’t. I’m not a lawyer and this is not legal gospel, but this page might help you. I would love to hear your experience either way.
The form is pretty self-explanatory. Be honest on it because you want your modification (reduction) to go through. If you lie anywhere on any of the documents you will regret it.
You’ll need to also fill out a “Unified Income and Expense Statement.” Be honest on that (no joke) or at best you’ll spend nights awake worrying that the Oregon Justice Department will uncover the truth (and they will). The person receiving support also has an incentive to hide income and they will.
So mail the paperwork in and wait about a month for the process to start. Wait another month for the process to have some forward motion. Finally, when the modification order is submitted, you’ll have 30 days to contest the findings and income statements. I would suggest you look VERY CAREFULLY at what your ex reported as their total income. There is a good chance that your ex obfuscated some income. There are many incentives for them to and if they did, it’s a prosecutable offense.
Finally, if you’re satisfied with what the Justice Department thinks is a good modification and you think your ex reliably reported the income, sign the final ‘ok’ form. Your ex also has to sign within 60 days. If the ex doesn’t sign the form in 60 days, you can have the Sheriff show up at her door since she didn’t have time to sign it while she was in the Caribbean. A true story from your’s truly.
One last thing (soapbox time): the State of Oregon doesn’t care (or hasn’t cared) about equal accountability for child support. Believe me; I’ve had an ongoing discussion with them. They really don’t. They “will consider” fixing the complete lack of accountability for the person who receives the four-figure a month sum. Ultimately, though, that’s not in their best interest. It would be work for them that they’re not really interested in doing. The OCS is in the business of making money for the State (“…while returning crucial funds to the public treasury.” – John Kroger – if there is a clearer example of conflicting of interests, I haven’t seen one). It makes a lot of money. In fact, they are the cash cow for the Oregon Department of Justice. John Kroger states that the OCS collects money from 450,000 people in the State of Oregon and “Oregon’s program is one of the most efficient agencies of its kind in the nation – a tribute to our Division of Child Support and District Attorneys’ Office staff.” Efficiency takes precedence over justice in this case because of the conflict of interest in making money versus running an equitable division. If all parents paid as much as I do, that’s a smidge over $482 million dollars that passes through that division in a year. If they get interest on that, let’s pretend 4%, they’re making 19 million dollars a year.
Best of luck.