FAQs for Applicants

Learn more about applying for child support.
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Where can I mail a payment?

Most parents who pay support use income withholding to fulfill their child support obligations. This means a child support payment is automatically withheld from the parent’s paycheck and sent to the Oregon Child Support Program.

If granted an exception, the parent who pays support may choose an alternative method of payment such as an electronic withdrawal from their bank account, payment by check, or money order.

Make your check or money order payable to:

Oregon Child Support Program
Oregon Department of Justice
P.O. Box 14506
Salem, Oregon 97309

Please include the Social Security number of the parent paying support, or the child support case number on the check or money order.  For more information, please see Pay Support.

Where do I find answers to my questions about exceptions and receiving checks?

You can ask questions of your child support case manager or the Outgoing Electronic Payments desk in Financial Services.

You can contact the Outgoing Electronic Payments desk at:

Financial Services
ATTN: Outgoing Electronic Payments
Oregon Child Support Program
P.O. Box 14320
Salem, OR 97309-5048
Toll-free: 800-850-0228

What is expected of me?

If you are thinking of applying for public assistance, you may want to contact your local District Attorney child support office first. They may be able to help you get child support, which may mean you can avoid going on public assistance.

If you receive public assistance, you are required to cooperate with the Oregon DOJ Division of Child Support. However, if you can show that doing so would be harmful to you or your child, you may be exempt from cooperating. Read more about support for child abuse and domestic violence.

Whether or not you receive public assistance, your cooperation with the Oregon Child Support Program is necessary to successfully establish paternity or collect child support.

Any facts you have about the other parent are helpful in enforcing support. Although it is not a requirement for application, you should include as many of the following pieces of information as you can on the application to help the case manager locate the parent and collect support:

  • The full name and address (or last known location) of the other parent
  • The parent’s Social Security number (can be found on things such as pay stubs, old tax forms, health insurance forms, and drivers licenses issued by some states)
  • The parent’s date of birth (or approximate age)
  • The present or last place the parent worked
  • If there was a divorce, the county and state in which the divorce occurred, and a copy of the order or the county and state where there is any other support order
  • The birth certificate and Social Security number of the child or children
  • Information about any assets such as bank accounts, vehicles, or land that the other parent may have

What causes an overpayment?

An overpayment can result from three different situations:

  1. Money distributed to you was later discovered to have been sent in error. This could happen for numerous reasons. The notice sent to you gives an explanation of how it happened. You may also contact your Oregon DOJ Division of Child Support accounting case manager for a detailed explanation.
  2. A payment was sent on your behalf, and the funds were later reversed from the Child Support Program’s account through a bank notice of a dishonored payment or by the IRS.
  3. You sent us a payment on behalf of an obligated parent, and the funds were later reversed from the Program’s account through a bank notice of a dishonored payment (usually non-sufficient funds).

Can I get an exception to electronic disbursement?

Yes, we will consider special circumstances on a case-by-case basis to decide if an exception to electronic payments is available.

Who can I contact about changing the current child support laws?

The Oregon Child Support Program does not have the authority to make changes to state or federal laws. If you have concerns about child support laws or you want to suggest how they may be improved, please contact your state senator or representative.

Oregon State Legislature – Find Your Legislator »

Will this affect the current child support I receive?

No. You will continue to receive your child support. The Oregon DOJ Division of Child Support cannot take future support to repay this debt. However, you may voluntarily request that we use future support to pay the overpayment if you choose.

For other questions, please contact us at ChildSupportOverpayments@doj.state.or.us

Who provides child support services?

Oregon Child Support Program offices throughout the state provide full child support services. If you have an established child support case in Oregon, you may access your case information online:

If your child receives or has received public assistance in Oregon, the Oregon Department of Justice’s Division of Child Support provides child support services. Public assistance means Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) » or Medicaid (including the Oregon Health Plan). The Oregon DOJ Division of Child Support also provides services if your child is in the care of the Oregon Department of Human Services » (i.e., foster care) or the Oregon Youth Authority ».

If your child has not received public assistance, in 25 counties you can receive child support services from the District Attorney in the county where you live. In 11 counties, the Oregon DOJ Division of Child Support provides services for the District Attorney by contracted agreement.

A request for review and modification of your order may be assigned to the county where the original order was taken, or to the county where the other parent lives. You should check with your local District Attorney for more information.

If the Oregon DOJ Division of Child Support handles your case, contact your local Child Support office if you have questions regarding modification of your order.

Who can receive child support services?

Child support services are available to both parents. Even if you or the other parent live in another state, you can apply for child support services in Oregon. Relatives or other caretakers who have physical custody of a child are also entitled to child support services.

How do I change the amount I receive or have to pay?

You may ask the Oregon Child Support Program to review the child support or medical support terms of your support order. We will begin the review only if:

  • it has been at least 35 months since the date the support order was entered, reviewed, or last modified, or
  • you can show proof there has been a substantial change of circumstances.
    • This could mean a change in custody, the needs of the child(ren), or the number of children covered by the support order.
    • It could also mean a significant change in a parent’s income, or a change in medical support.

For more information, see Modify an Existing Child Support Order.