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If a child who is over 18 and is attending school works and earns more than the ordered child support, can support be modified?

Portland, OR |

My child is working and going to school and is earning $900 a month before tax. Is this considered a 'substantial change of circumstances' in which to modify support? Is there an earnings threshold for adult children attending school who receive support, such as a percentage of the support they are receiving?

Attorney Answers 1


A 'change in circumstances' refers to a difference between now, and when the previous judgment was entered. It generally refers to the parents' income, not the children's. In the case of Sandlin and Sandlin, 113 Or App 48, 51, 831 P2d 64 (1992), the court held that a child who otherwise fits the definition of a child attending school under ORS 107.108(4) is entitled to receive child support, even though the child is employed and living in an adult “conjugal relationship,” as long as the child meets the statutory definition and the child’s income is not sufficient to meet his or her needs. In other words, as long as the child's income doesn't cover everything, they can still qualify for support even if they're working or married.

Note that this question was already asked, and answered, in this thread:

You seem to be asking the same question multiple times in the hopes of getting a different answer. I'm afraid it doesn't work that way.

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Thanks again. However, I'm confused now that you say "even if they're working and married". The rules are pretty clear about marriage. Support ends there.



Also - this answer suggests there's a possible change in circumstances, which is why I asked the question again:



BTW - I did read the Sandlin case and I believe the reason it did not fly was because the father disapproved of the girl living in a conjugal relationship, which did NOT fall under the rules of actually being married. Had the girl actually gotten married, the outcome would have been different. For some reason, 'emancipation' with respect to self-support only counts for minors; not adult children (18-21) attending school.

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