Many divorced parents in Oregon have court-ordered child support arrangements that may be adjusted over time. In some cases, child support obligations can be terminated if the support is no longer needed, the paying parent has a change in financial circumstances, or the child becomes emancipated. A parent who stops paying child support without permission from the court could face serious consequences such as driver’s license suspension and jail time.
Child support and child custody arrangements are distinct legal matters that the court considers separately. Unless there is a new court order, child support payment obligations will not be affected by custody or visitation disputes between divorced parents. If the paying parent is not being allowed visitation of their child, they are still legally obligated to continue making child support payments as usual.
There are rare cases in which a child may ask to be legally emancipated from the noncustodial parent. When a court grants a child’s emancipation request, legal termination of child support obligations may be granted to child’s noncustodial parent. Typically, courts only emancipate older teenagers that they find to be mature enough to clearly articulate sound reasons for requesting emancipation. The court may also look at the child’s financial circumstances to ensure that emancipation is in the child’s best interest.
The family law system can be confusing for divorced parents, especially when there are personal conflicts and communication barriers involved. A lawyer may be able to help a noncustodial parent request a court order to lower or terminate child support obligations. If a noncustodial parent is in legal trouble for nonpayment of child support, a lawyer may advise the parent about their legal options.