Online calculator adds support
- By Brian Robinson
- Jul 03, 2001
To make it easier for people to apply for child support, and thereby get
more people to sign on to child support programs, Oregon has developed an
online calculator that can estimate the amount of support that can be ordered
on a case-by-case basis.
The Oregon Division of Child Support (DCS) expects the calculator (dcs.state.or.us/calculator) will ease anxieties that people may have with
the child support system. The system requires that a range of information
be dug up and assimilated and then used to fill out a number of complex
"A lot of our clients say the whole process is, in fact, too complex,"
said Kevin Neely, a spokesman for the Attorney General's office in Oregon's
Department of Justice, which houses the DCS. "In fact it is so complex that
many of them felt they would have to go to an accountant or lawyer to get
it worked out, and most of those applying for support are obviously not
in a position to afford that."
The amount of money that people estimate using the online calculator
may not be the support they actually get once their case is heard by a DCS
administrator, hearings office or court. But it will be a "very close" estimate
of what they can expect, Neely said.
The first version of the calculator provides a standard calculation
of support. More complex calculations covering such things as shared custody,
split custody and the application of rebuttals will be added in future
Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore.
Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.