Oregon Child Support Program

Enforcement

Children have the right to financial and emotional support from both parents, even if the parents do not live together or were never married. The Child Support Program strives to make it as convenient as possible for parents to give their children the support they need to grow and thrive. Learn more about making a payment.

The vast majority of child support in Oregon is collected voluntarily, but unfortunately some parents refuse to meet their obligations to financially support their children. In those cases, the Department of Justice and local District Attorneys are forced to take additional legal action. When a non-custodial parent does not fulfill their obligation to their child or children, the Child Support Program has many tools to enforce child support and medical insurance. These include:

  • Collecting federal or state tax refunds, and other types of federal payments to pay past due support.

  • Placing a lien against property owned by the parent if that property is in Oregon. This means the property cannot be sold with a clear title until the support has been paid.

  • Garnishing sources of income such as lottery winnings, insurance settlements or inheritance. Bank accounts and other sources of funds can be garnished unless these sources are already being withheld for payment of child support.

  • Suspending driver's, occupational or recreational licenses. If a parent owes at least $2,500 in back support and fails to make and keep a payment agreement, their driver's, occupational or recreational license may be suspended if it is not possible to collect using other methods.

  • Suspending a passport. If a parent owes at least $2,500 in back support, their passport will be restricted and they will be unable to travel internationally, unless certain specific criteria are met.

  • Turning the names of parents who owe a certain amount of support over to credit reporting agencies. Doing this sometimes causes the parent to pay the amount to avoid damaging his or her credit record.

  • In extreme cases a court may put a parent under contempt for failure to pay support or to force them to pay in the future. The judge may also impose a jail sentence.

It is the goal of the Oregon Child Support program to work with both parents to make sure that every child receives the support they need to grow and thrive. Enforcement actions are taken as a last resort to make sure that parents, who are able, take responsibility for the well-being of their children.

Enforcement sweep - In August 2009 the Oregon Department of Justice lead a law enforcement sweep, arresting 21 parents with outstanding arrest warrants for unpaid child support. The sweep targeted the most egregious cases of parents who are able but unwilling to pay court-ordered child support. Together they owed a total of $531,206 to their families. A Multnomah County sweep conducted in October 2010 resulted in the arrest of five parents who together owed nearly $85,000.