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Oregon SB 73, Repeal ORS 107.108

Twitter, #childsupport

Support proposed Oregon Senate Bill 73. The proposed bill repeals ORS 107.108, which authorizes payment of support for an adult child attending school and limits obligation to pay child support to children under 18 years of age or, if the child is still in high school, 19 years of age or less.

ORS 107.108, in Oregon’s own words in Crocker v Crocker, “…is not a perfect remedy for the problem”, the existing statute is based on assumptions, and it is used “to advance the state’s interests.”  Multnomah County Judge Kirschner opines, “ORS 107.108 violates the equal protection clauses of both Oregon and United States constitutions.”  Becky Kiely, writing in Second Wives Café, reflects “This is a case of one class of citizens being burdened with circumstances that are not imposed on another.”

Two years ago, Betsy Johnson submitted SB 341 which is precisely the same bill as SB 73.  Unfortunately, that bill was never brought to the floor by the Senate’s Judicial Committee.  In fact, no response came from that committee after multiple letters and email from this author and multiple other supporters.  This kind of response begs the question of why that bill was ignored.  Child support is big revenue for the State of Oregon.  According to Kate Cooper Richardson, director of Oregon’s child support program, child support “return(s) funds to the state treasury.”  In his paper, “Child Support Harming Children“, Daniel Hatcher writes, “This system of welfare cost recovery is a side of child support that is largely unknown to the public. Rather, child support is generally perceived as a pure good: a benefit to children, families, and society, as well as a moral and legal obligation of absent parents. But for the millions of children whose child support has been assigned to the government, the reality of child support is anything but pure or good.”

Non-custodial parents, typically the obligors of child support judgements, are subject to prejudice and stereotyping from the State and Federal governments in that non-custodial parents paychecks are automatically garnished regardless in the State of Oregon of prompt payments.  Additionally, this group can be required to support children after the age of 18 through child support whereas married parents are not.  Our own Attorney General wants to “go after deadbeat dads” and child support obligors without the ability to pay.  These parents are known in the child support industry as “turnips.”  Non-custodial parents are a stigmatized minority, outnumbered politically, the target of long-standing and continuing invidious legal discrimination, and thereby subject to intermediate scrutiny.

Please support OR SB 73 by writing your support Oregon’s Senate Judiciary Committee and Senator Betsy Johnson.

Ginny Burdick, President Pro Tempore

Sara Gelser, Committee Member

Jeff Kruse, Vice Chair

Floyd Prozanski, Chair

Kim Thatcher, Committee Member

Betsy Johnson, SB Sponsor

  • Kelly Wilhelm

    Write them….please!

    Currently, ORS 107.108 allows for adults of divorced parents as well as unmarried parents the ability to continue receiving support previously issued under divorce decree (if cited) and the established amount calculated by Support Services to the Custodial Parent, prior to them turning 18, through the age of 21 should they choose to go to College when they meet the following requirements:
    Be enrolled in school at least one-half time, as defined by the school.
    Be making satisfactory academic progress, as defined by the school.
    Notify us and the paying parent of the child’s intent to attend school.*
    Consent to the release of information by the school to the paying parent regarding the child’s enrollment status, academic progress, class schedule, and grades.*
    Tell us and the paying parent in advance of changing schools.
    The above requirements are out-lined on the Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) Website and all forms needed are made available on this website and notices to child approaching age 18 are mailed to them prior to their turning 18, giving them guidelines and instruction as to how to meet requirements and timelines involved. However, should they fail to submit required forms, support will continue until they are age 21 unless the Non-Custodial parent submits a request to suspend support. This request to suspend support form is also located on DOJ website. When this form is submitted to DOJ, the adult child of the non-custodial parent will receive a letter in the mail from DOJ which states the non-custodial parent has requested support be suspended and it directs them to meet their requirements with-in 30 days or the support will cease. They have until age 21 to submit the correct forms at any time to have support re-instated as well, even if they fail to get the information submitted by deadline. Important to note here, the pay-or of the support is responsible for monitoring the requirements being met or not and submitting the request for suspension form for any action to be taken.

    Question?
    Why are divorced and unmarried parents (non-custodial) being subject to Government process when dealing with their adult children and related financial decisions, while married parents are not?
    ​In the case of an adult pursuing a College Education, ​choice to do so is based on preference and affordability involved. ​Because College is a choice, not a requirement and REGARDLESS of whether you have parents who are married, or not, basic questions ​are typically considered​ by all adults, before making decision to attend College:

    1. Can I afford it? (can or will my family be able to help me?)
    2. What assistance is available to me? Grants; Financial Aide, etc
    3. Will my grades help me achieve any scholarships?
    4. How do I feel about going to college, am I ready?
    5. Can I work as well as attend college?
    6. Should I go part time or full time?
    7. What am I hoping to accomplish or see myself doing upon graduating…?​

    ORS 107.108 is allowing for Government monitoring and handling of financial assistance​ from non custodial parents. The system currently allows, under ORS 107.108, for adults between ages of 18-21 the ability to make a choice to attend College at minimal attendance, at minimum passing standards and have their non-custodial parents contribute what ever amount had been paid to their custodial parent, redirected to them. Other than informing their non-custodial parent of their intent to do so, through the DOJ, they otherwise are not required to communicate.

    Considerations:

    When child of divorced or unmarried parents turns 18:
    they choose where they spend their time, and they are no longer required to participate in visitation.
    they choose whether they live at home, or move out on their own.
    they choose​ whether or not to attend college​.
    AND, should they choose to attend college, under ORS 107.108 they can choose to continue receive support payments, which entail an already set amount of money/support from their parents and was based on them living at home and being supported by their parents.
    After a child turns 18, in the State of Oregon, why would parents be considered non-custodial or custodial based on the considerations listed above? Why are these parents put in a category where they have no voice, no choice? Married parents are not stripped of their ability to choose and would be considering the same questions of whether it was affordable or not. If this were about financial ability to assist adult children desiring to attend college, ​even if married parents are better off financially (and there really is no evidence this is fact​ in every case, and one might argue most broken homes are far LESS financially well off​) this ​rule is messy and creating unnecessary Government processes as once a child turns 18, ready or not, they are able to make their own decisions and any parental involvement is to be between the adult child and their parents, no matter what parental category they fall into.

    I support SB 73 and any bill which seeks to correct this rule.

    Respectfully, Mother of 6 (3 of which are step
    Kelly Wilhelm