Child Support Laws in Oklahoma
In all of the states and territories governed by the US government, provisions are made to provide for the medical and financial needs of children by assuring that both parents share in the raising of the child. In the case of a divorce, receiving child support occurs once the divorce is finalized and custody/visitation issues have been settled. If paternity is the issue, then once paternity has been established, child support orders can be issued. The Department of Human Services (DHS), can take care of issues regarding filing an order for child support, determining paternity, enforcing child support, tracking down missing parents, and disbursement of funds.
Collecting Child Support in Oklahoma
Once you have obtained a support order from a judge stating who will pay what and when, then you can file for the support to begin. All of the forms that you will need can be found on the Oklahoma Dept. of Human Services Website: http://www.okdhs.org/library/forms/ocss/
For all intense purposes the DHS assumes that there will be the usual visitation schedule where the non-custodial parent has on average 70-90 visits per year. This is called ‘shared parenting’. If the visits are more than that, then the payments are adjusted accordingly. The state uses a very complicated formula to determine child support figures and it is based not only on the amount of time the child will spend with each parent, but on the parents’ combined gross income, the age of the child, how many children are involved, and coverage of medical, educational, and financial needs of the child. In the case of a ‘split custody’ scenario, the formula changes again. If there are, for example, two children, and both children will each be living with one of the parents, then the parent that has the larger support obligation pays the difference.
How Much Will be Paid
This complicated figuring is best left to the professionals, but if you’d like to get a ballpark estimate of what you could expect to pay or receive, there is a child support calculator tool here: http://www.okdhs.org/onlineservices/cscalc/ The calculator will ask you to input a lot of information including the number of nights the children will stay with what parent per year, the gross monthly income (pretax), monthly total of marital debt, child care expenses, healthcare costs, and much more. It is best to go to the calculator tool first, to see what sorts of documentation and figures you are going to need.
If you and your former spouse can agree to a different amount than that which is mandated in the order, this is fine as long as it is documented and agreed to, legally. This means that the order must be modified or changed. The amount agreed to must also be in the best interests of the child. Support will continue until the child reaches the age of 19 or becomes emancipated.