Parent and Child Rights and Relationships

ORS 109.155

  • order for payment for support of child and other costs
  • policy regarding settlement
  • enforcement of settlement terms
  • remedies


The court, in a private hearing, shall first determine the issue of parentage. If the respondent admits the parentage, the admission shall be reduced to writing, verified by the respondent and filed with the court. If the parentage is denied, corroborating evidence, in addition to the testimony of the parent or expectant parent, shall be required.


If the court finds, from a preponderance of the evidence, that the petitioner or the respondent is the father of the child who has been, or who may be born out of wedlock, the court shall then proceed to a determination of the appropriate relief to be granted. The court may approve any settlement agreement reached between the parties and incorporate the agreement into any judgment rendered, and the court may order such investigation or the production of such evidence as the court deems appropriate to establish a proper basis for relief.


The court, in its discretion, may postpone the hearing from time to time to facilitate any investigation or the production of such evidence as it deems appropriate.


The court may order either parent to pay such sum as the court deems appropriate for the past and future support and maintenance of the child during the child’s minority and while the child is attending school, as defined in ORS 107.108 (Support or maintenance for child attending school), and the reasonable and necessary expenses incurred or to be incurred in connection with prenatal care, expenses attendant with the birth and postnatal care. The court may grant the prevailing party reasonable costs of suit, which may include expert witness fees, and reasonable attorney fees at trial and on appeal. The provisions of ORS 107.108 (Support or maintenance for child attending school) apply to an order entered under this section for the support of a child attending school.


An affidavit certifying the authenticity of documents substantiating expenses set forth in subsection (4) of this section is prima facie evidence to establish the authenticity of the documents.



It is the policy of this state:


To encourage the settlement of cases brought under this section; and


For courts to enforce the terms of settlements described in paragraph (b) of this subsection to the fullest extent possible, except when to do so would violate the law or would clearly contravene public policy.


In a proceeding under this section, the court may enforce the terms set forth in a stipulated judgment of parentage signed by the parties, a judgment of parentage resulting from a settlement on the record or a judgment of parentage incorporating a settlement agreement:


As contract terms using contract remedies;


By imposing any remedy available to enforce a judgment, including but not limited to contempt; or


By any combination of the provisions of subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph.


A party may seek to enforce an agreement and obtain remedies described in paragraph (b) of this subsection by filing a motion, serving notice on the other party in the manner provided by ORCP 7 and, if a remedy under paragraph (b)(B) of this subsection is sought, complying with the statutory requirements for that remedy. All claims for relief arising out of the same acts or omissions must be joined in the same proceeding.


Nothing in paragraph (b) or (c) of this subsection limits a party’s ability, in a separate proceeding, to file a motion to set aside, alter or modify a judgment under ORS 109.165 (Vacation or modification of judgment) or to seek enforcement of an ancillary agreement to the judgment.


If parentage between a person and a child has been established under ORS 109.065 (Establishing parentage) and the parentage has not been disestablished before proceedings are initiated under ORS 109.125 (Who may initiate proceedings), the court may not render a judgment under ORS 109.124 (Definitions for ORS 109) to 109.230 (Legality of contract between mother and father of child born out of wedlock) establishing parentage between another person and the child unless the judgment also disestablishes the parentage established under ORS 109.065 (Establishing parentage). [1969 c.619 §5; 1971 c.137 §1; 1971 c.191 §3; 1973 c.827 §12h; 1975 c.640 §15; 1981 c.897 §33; 1983 c.762 §5; 1989 c.417 §2; 1997 c.704 §57; 1999 c.80 §23; 2001 c.203 §6; 2003 c.576 §140; 2007 c.454 §5; 2017 c.651 §24]

Notes of Decisions

Corroborating evidence must be of some substantial fact or circumstance which, independent of the petitioner’s testimony, tends to connect the defendant with fatherhood of the child. State ex rel Farrer v. McGuire, 14 Or App 446, 513 P2d 816 (1973)

Oral admission of paternity in open court is not sufficient substitute for written and signed admission. State ex rel AFSD v. Buethe, 307 Or 89, 763 P2d 723 (1988)

Court’s ability to approve settlement agreement is limited to situations in which paternity has been verified through presentation of evidence or admitted in writing. State ex rel AFSD v. Buethe, 307 Or 89, 763 P2d 723 (1988)

Where putative father admitted paternity and agreed to entry of decree, judicial estoppel barred later assertion that admission was insufficient due to lack of oath. State ex rel AFSD v. Evans, 126 Or App 592, 869 P2d 891 (1994)

Award of expert witness fees to prevailing party is available only if expert witness was appointed by court or administrator as described under ORS 109.256. State ex rel Department of Human Resources v. Lewelling, 156 Or App 7, 964 P2d 1104 (1998)


Last accessed
May 30, 2023