Child Support

Dealing with child support, whether back child support or a child support modification can be a frustrating experience. Often, child support cases will involve a case with DHS as well as a case in Oklahoma County Court.

Many of the laws dealing with child support changed in Oklahoma July 1, 2009. It is important to select a family law attorney that is familiar with the changes and can help guide you through your child support issues.

If you need help with a child support issues it is helpful for you to have the following information ready prior to calling:

  • Your Oklahoma County case number (it will start with FD)
  • Your DHS case number, case worker’s name, DHS attorney name, and the other parent’s attorney’s name
  • Which DHS office is handling your case
  • A list of documentation that you have to support your position (e.g. cancelled checks, garnishment statements, etc.)

CHILD SUPPORT FAQ’S:

1. What are the largest factors in calculating child support? 

The child support formula is statutory in Oklahoma. The factors with the most impact are the income of both parents, what is paid for health insurance and daycare and how many “over-night” visits the non-custodial parent has. There are several online resources that can give you estimates of what child support will amount to. However, if you are considering filing to modify a child support order, either as the payor or the payee, you may want to contact an attorney to discuss the facts and have that attorney run some hypothetical calculations for you. Our office bills only our hourly rate for such consultations and does not require a large up-front retainer.

2. My spouse (or ex-spouse) is self-employed. How does the court determine what their income is? 

Oklahoma Guidelines provide that self-employment income is gross receipts less “ordinary and necessary” business expenses.

3. When can I try to modify child support? 

Child support can be modified if you can show that there has been a material or substantial change in circumstances. That could be an increase in the payor’s income, a decrease in the custodial parent’s income or increased need of the child or children.

4. If I get a court order modifying the child support is it retroactive?

 Yes! Oklahoma Title 43 provides that an order modifying child support is effective upon the date the motion was filed unless the parties agree otherwise or the court determines that the change in circumstances did not occur until later. In other words, an Order to Modify Child Support comes with a built in amount of back-child support due.

5. When will the child support end?

 There can be no court ordered child support past the age of 18 unless the child is still enrolled in high school or an alternative high school program. If the child is still in high school the child support can continue until the child is 20 years old. Child support will terminate automatically upon the death of the parent paying support.

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