Q: My father is trying to stop paying me child support. I can't attend the hearing. What do I do?
My father filed a motion to stop payment on Dec. 9th. Dec. child support was supposed to be in my mother's mailbox on Dec. 1st, which it wasn't (because he always sent it late). He also has not paid his half of my medical bills, nor shown proof of a life insurance policy with me and my siblings as the sole benefactors, which he is required to have per the divorce decree. The divorce decree says he is required to support me until I turn 21. The hearing will take place in Oregon, and I live in Oklahoma, so my mother wants me to sign a paper saying I'm not wanting to dispute the motion to stop payment. I can't afford to fly out there. Is there a way for me to get what's owed to me without physically attending the hearing?
A: You had better take a look at that child support order in the Divorce Judgment. It should say that the support once you turn 18 only has to be paid if you qualify as a child attending school as defined by Oregon Law. This means you have to be a full time student with a C average. It doesn't mean you have to be in school 12 months of the year - you can take the normal summer break and still qualify as a child attending school. So most likely the issue is whether or not you qualify as a child attending school. Go to this link and read how Oregon Law works for a child attending school. https://www.doj.state.or.us/child-support/services/support-for-students-under-21/ If you feel that you qualify as a child attending school, then you need to participate in the hearing and produce proof of your school attendance that qualifies you. You can ask to appear by phone for the hearing but you would need to submit your documents that prove your school attendance ahead of time to the opposing Attorney and to the court. I can't tell you exactly how to do this. If this is an administrative hearing, contact the administrative Judge or their staff. If it is a court hearing contact the staff for the assigned Judge (don't contact the Judge directly).
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