If you are going through divorce with children, you will want to be aware of the Oklahoma child support laws. Contact our experienced Stillwater child support attorney today to schedule a free consultation. Here is what you should know.
Oklahoma Child Support Laws | Child Support Guidelines
Pursuant to Oklahoma law, all noncustodial parents have a legal obligation to provide financial support for their children, regardless of whether or not those children were born out of a marriage. This means that custodial parents are entitled to receive child support from the noncustodial parent regardless of whether the couple was married.
Oklahoma law establishes statutory Child Support Guidelines, largely predicated upon the joint gross incomes of the parties, along with several other factors that determine the exact amount owed by the noncustodial parent each month.
Oklahoma Child Support Laws | Amount of Child Support Owed
The amount of child support owed under Oklahoma’s Guidelines varies in every case, meaning no two cases are ever the same. Some of the primary variables taken into consideration include the gross monthly income of each parent, the number of children to be supported, the number of nights per year each child resides with each parent, the monthly expenses related to health insurance and child care, and the number of other children residing with each parent who are not the subject of this child support action.
Additionally, apart from the Guidelines, courts are granted great discretion to factor other benefits and expenses into the formula such as health insurance, daycare, private school tuition, as well as other costs relating to the child’s extracurricular activities.
Oklahoma Child Support Laws | Modifying an Agreement
A prior child support order may be modified or amended if the moving party is able to demonstrate to the Court that there exists “material change in circumstances” between the parties since the entry of the existing child support order. Some circumstances that constitute a “material change in circumstances” include an increase or decrease in either party’s gross income, or a change in the children’s’ needs.
As child support in Oklahoma is predicated upon income, rather than expenses, a parent’s claim of increased expenses will seldom entitle them to a modification of a prior child support Order. Additionally, it is important to note that child support orders may only be amended prospectively and not retroactively, meaning that it is important for a party seeking a modification to do so as soon as reasonably possible.
If you want more information on Oklahoma child support laws—whether it be enforcing an existing arrangement or modifying one—then please contact our experienced Stillwater child support attorney today to schedule a free consultation.