Gilmore and Ambrose
Case #: A149032
Ortega, P.J. for the Court; Sercombe, J.; and Hadlock, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A149032.pdf
Family Law: When calculating child support obligations the court must follow the steps of the child support guidelines formula.
Father appealed the trial court's calculation of Mother's child support obligation based on Mother's actual income. Mother and Father had one child. Father had sole custody. When child was 10 years old Mother retired from her job and moved to Panama. Father requested child support. At trial, the court determined that Mother did not retire in bad faith and used her retirement benefits (actual income) to calculate her child support obligation. Father appealed. Father argued that the court should have used Mother's potential income because she voluntarily retired and moved out of the country. The Court reviewed the trial court's application of the child support guidelines and found that the trial court improperly applied the guidelines when it presumed Mother's income as actual income based on the fact that she did not act in bad faith. Applying the child support guidelines, the Court found that Mother was unemployed, therefore, her income should have been presumed as potential. The Court noted that the guidelines provide Mother an opportunity to rebut the presumption that her support obligation be determined by potential income. Reversed and remanded for recalculation of mother's income and child support obligation.