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Meet John S. Foote, your District AttorneyThe Clackamas County District Attorney's Office

Support Enforcement

The Clackamas County District Attorney’s office helps children receive financial support from both parents. Our office represents the interests of the State of Oregon. We do not represent either party. For legal advice please contact your private attorney.

Who is Eligible for Our Services?

  • Any person who lives in Clackamas County or whose obligated parent lives in Clackamas County

    AND
  • Any person who has physical custody of a dependent child

    AND
  • Any person who is not on public assistance, medical assistance, Oregon Health Plan or who does not have a state debt.

If you have a question about your specific situation, please contact us at (503)655-8469.

How do I apply for Support Services?

How long will the process take?

The more information you provide to the District Attorney’s Office, the sooner you can expect results. Our efforts may take longer and may not be as successful if the non-custodial parent:

  • has moved to an unknown address or location;
  • frequently moves from job to job;
  • works for cash pay instead of reported earnings;
  • is self-employed
  • is on public assistance, food stamps, disability of other benefit programs;
  • or is incarcerated.

Our office cannot guarantee that you will receive regular and timely support payments; however, we will make all reasonable efforts to assist you.

Note: When you apply for support services from the District Attorney, the non-custodial parent will be advised to stop making payments directly to you, and instead, make payments to the Child Support Accounting Unit. This may delay your support payments somewhat due to accounting and processing.

What happens if the non-custodial parent will not pay support?

Support is collected in a variety of ways, including:

  • Wage Withholding
  • State and Federal Tax Refund Intercepts
  • Credit Bureau Reporting
  • Unemployment and Worker’s Compensation Withholding
  • Bank Garnishments
  • License Suspension
  • Administrative and Judicial Enforcement, including Judgment Debtor Examinations and Contempt of Court, as appropriate.

How long will it take to establish or modify a support order?

Each case is different, with its own set of facts and circumstances. Most of our processes are handled administratively (outside of court) and take a minimum of 90 days. If hearings are requested, a party is difficult to serve, or if paternity testing is requested it can take up to six months or longer.

What can I do to help expedite may case?

  • Notify us of any change of your address and phone number and the address and phone number of the other party.
  • Contact us if payments are made directly to you instead of through the Child Support Accounting Unit.
  • Provide all the information you have about the non-custodial parent.
  • When requested provide copies of all support orders. Signed copies are preferable and are required for some processes.
  • Keep our office advised of any legal proceedings or orders that are taken on you case through a private attorney.
  • Advise our office if you child becomes self-supporting, joins the military, marries, changes custody, is adopted, or dies.

Services provided by the Clackamas County District Attorney's Office

Establish Paternity

The parents of a child born outside of marriage may sign a voluntary acknowledgement form in a hospital or health care facility within seven days of the birth of the child.  The voluntary acknowledgement form will establish paternity of the child.  Paternity of a child may also be established at any time after the birth of a child by both parents signing a sworn affidavit which acknowledges paternity of the child.  If either parent has not voluntarily acknowledged paternity, either parent may apply for services to establish paternity and a child support order.

Establish a Child Support Order

A parent, guardian or custodian of a child may come to our office, open a case to establish a child support order that requires the non-custodial parent(s) to support a child.

Modify a Child Support Order

Either parent/party may request a review of the amount of an existing support order:

  • three years after the date the last support order was effective; or
  • whenever the parent/party can prove there has been a substantial change of circumstances since the last order.

Collecting Support

The District Attorney can collect support whether an order already exists or after an order is obtained by the District Attorney. 

  • Support is collected in a variety of ways, including withholding the support from income, wages or other benefits such as unemployment compensation, worker’s compensation or retirement benefits.
  • State or federal tax refunds due the delinquent parent will automatically be seized for back support payment. 
  • Oregon licenses including driver, occupational and recreational licenses may be suspended when support is unpaid for a period of time.
  • Civil or criminal court enforcement proceedings against the non-paying parent.

Interstate Services

When the parent who is ordered to pay support lives in another state, the District Attorney will request that the other state help collect the support. 
The District Attorney, upon request, will help a parent/party in another state collect support from a parent who lives in Oregon.

Establish and Enforce an Order to Provide Health Insurance and Cash Medical Support

Either parent can be ordered to provide health care coverage.  Cash medical support can be ordered for the costs of recurring out of pocket medical expenses and/or for repayment towards the cost of public health care coverage.

Services the Clackamas County District Attorney's office cannot provide

  • Custody or Visitation Assistance
  • Collection of unpaid or un-reimbursed medical bills
  • Property Settlements
  • Modify spousal support orders
  • Enforce spousal arrears only cases
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