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Matar and Harake

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 04-18-2013
Case #: S060064
Walters, J. for the Court; En Banc
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/S060064.pdf

Father appealed a summary judgment motion granted in favor of mother, denying his motion to modify his duty to pay child support. During divorce proceedings, mother and father entered into a nonmodification agreement pertaining to fathers duty to pay child support.  Subsequent to the nonmodification agreement father's financial situation substantially changed because his monthly income decreased. Father argues ORS 107.104 and ORS 107.135(15) do not apply to nonmodification agreements in a divorce that pertain to child support.  Further, father argues it would be against public policy to allow nonmodification agreements that pertain to child support because they interfere with the State's ability to make child support decision based on the best interest of the child. The Court disagreed. The Court reasoned that, While ORS 107.135(3)(a) allows a parent to modify their duty under the Child Support Formula when they show a "substantial" change in financial circumstances, ORS 107.105(1)(c) explicitly allows child support to be a term of a stipulated divorce agreement made under ORS 107.104.  Furthermore, the Court held that enforcing the nonmodification agreement was not against public policy because a contract between parties to a divorce agreement could never override the State's ability to enforce a proper Child Support Formula, and while Oregon law permits a parent to apply for modification of the Child Support Formula it does not require the formula to change. Affirmed.