Merritt and Alter

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Family Law
  • Date Filed: 12-30-2015
  • Case #: A153895
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Nakamoto, J., for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; & Tookey, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

A claim that one party to dissolution overpaid child support to the other will fail without proper documentation of such overpayment.

Mother and Father filed for dissolution in 2003. The stipulated child support due to mother and two children was $635 per month or the military dependent allotment, whichever was greater. In 2011 father filed for an order to show cause, seeking to terminate the child support, that he never had an overdue child support payment, obtain a refund for overpayments he alleged he made, and receive an award of attorney fees. Mother responded, agreeing that Father was never overdue but opposing all other relief. She also filed for attorney fees. The trial court dismissed Father’s support obligation, ordering that the judgment be treated as satisfaction of a money award to Mother, and denied Father’s request for payment of an amount of child support he allegedly overpaid. Mother petitioned for attorney fees, and was awarded over $10,000 in fees. Father appealed both judgments, asserting that he did not receive a military dependent benefit after retiring in 2006, and in some months the State garnished his pay in addition to the $635 a month he owed mother. The Court held that the evidence Father provided was not sufficient to show how he determine that he overpaid child support. Father also argued that the overpayment claim was a claim for unjust enrichment. The Court held that father did not make such a claim. Affirmed.

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