- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Family Law
- Date Filed: 09-22-2021
- Case #: A171707
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Armstrong, P.J. for the Court; Tookey, J.; & Aoyagi, J.
- Full Text Opinion
Father appealed a supplemental judgment increasing his child support obligation to $2,647 per month. The trial court rebutted the presumptive child support obligation of $947 because Father was a surgeon making $66,177 a month, while Mother made approximately $1,600 a month. Father argued that the trial court erred when it based its rebuttal determination on his high income and the disparity between the parents’ earnings. In response, Mother asserted that Father’s child support obligation should be more than $947 “to allow the child to have the standard of living he would have [had] if his parents were not divorced.” “Any decision to set child support above the guidelines cap must, at a minimum, be based primarily on the child’s needs, as set out in specific supporting findings.” Stringer v. Brandt, 128 Or App 502, 507, 877 P2d 100 (1994). Disparity in income cannot serve as a reason for rebutting the presumptive amount because relative incomes of the parents is a factor in determining the presumptive amount in the first place. Larkin and Larkin, 146 Or App 310, 313, 932 P2d 115 (1997). The Court found that the trial court failed to find that the child’s needs required the increased child support. Thus, the Court concluded that the trial court erred when it considered the parents’ “income disparity” when rebutting the presumptive amount. Reversed and remanded.