Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has issued a declaration ending a program that allowed hundreds of Oregon parents to lower or otherwise modify their child support payments during the state's economic slowdown.
Rosenblum cited Oregon's slow but steady economic recovery in halting the program. The "Recession Response Project" allowed more than 1,200 qualifying families to more quickly get their child support obligations modified.
The program was created on May 6, 2009, when unemployment in Oregon had topped 12 percent. Facing joblessness, under-employment and pay cuts, Oregon parents struggled to make their promised child support payments. The program allowed six-month modifications of a parent's basic child-support obligations if one or both parents suffered loss of income due to the recession.
Requests for modifications have significantly declined over the last year as the economy rebounded. Only 144 orders have been entered this year.
The Division of Child Support is the largest within the Oregon Department of Justice. Its 578 employees, with the help of the staffers from 26 District Attorney offices, helped collect and distribute more than $350 million to 237,000 families last year.
DECLARATION of End to "Period of Significant Unemployment"
As authorized by Oregon Revised Statues 416.425(13)(b)
Oregon currently has an unemployment rate of 8.7 percent, following a long period at rates as high as 12.4 percent. The federal and state governments have ended extended unemployment benefit periods. Oregon's most recent economic forecast indicates continued improvement. The current economic climate supports more Oregon parents' ability to meet their child support obligations. Accordingly, I declare that the period of significant unemployment will end October 1, 2012. This declaration authorizes the Oregon Child Support Program to end its Recession Response project implemented as a temporary streamlined process for handling employment-related requests for the modification of child support payments.
ELLEN F. ROSENBLUM
Jeff D. Manning, firstname.lastname@example.org