Child Support Lawyer
Regardless of the type of relationship that exists between a child’s two parents, each parent is responsible for providing for a child financially. While most parents satisfy this obligation as a result of living together and caring for the child jointly, it is not uncommon for one parent to have custody of the child. When this is the case, the other parent must make child support payments. Paying child support is not optional.
At the law offices of Brown & Gould, PLLC, our knowledgeable family law and child support lawyer can help you to understand the laws regarding child support in Oklahoma, how much a support amount may be, and what to do if child support payments aren’t being made on time, in full, or at all.
Who Must Pay Child Support in Oklahoma?
As stated above, all parents are responsible for providing for their children financially. Typically, parents do this by virtue of having custody of the child, and handling expenses that are associated with custody as such, including things like expenses for the child’s clothing, food, and shelter. In some cases, however, parents do not share custody. When this is the case, the non-custodial parent must fulfill their duty to provide for their child financially by making child support payments.
Keep in mind that for a party to be ordered to pay child support, legal parentage must be established. For example, if a mother and a father of a child are unmarried at the time of the child’s birth, the custodial mother cannot seek child support from the biological father until paternity is established.
How Is a Child Support Amount Calculated?
Child support in Oklahoma is based on income. However, while statutory child support guidelines determine an amount that each parent is responsible for, a judge can set a different amount when circumstances–such as special needs of a child–dictate so.
In most cases, though, the amount of child support that a parent will need to pay to the child’s other parent is determined by the number of children and the combined adjusted gross income of the parents. Then, each parent is responsible for paying for the child’s needs in a percentage that is respective to their income. For example, if parents make a combined adjusted gross income of $4,000, Oklahoma child support guidelines state that $580 of that should go to the child. If the custodial parent makes $2,500, and the child-support paying parent makes $1,500 (or 37.5 percent of $4,000), then the non-custodial parent is responsible for 37.5 percent of the $580, or $217.5.
Of course, as stated above, a court can set a different amount when circumstances make doing so appropriate, which is why working with an attorney if you are seeking child support, or being asked to pay child support, is so important.
Failure to Pay Child Support in Oklahoma
When a parent is ordered to make child support payments, they are legally required to do so; failure to make child support payments on time or in full is a violation of a court order, and can have serious consequences as such. In fact, a party who fails to make their child support payments could even be held in contempt of court.
For parents who are on the receiving end of child support payments, not receiving your payment can be very frustrating. However, there are some steps that you can take to get the money that you and your child need. The Oklahoma Department of Human Services provides child support enforcement services, which may include issuing a withholding order to the delinquent party’s employer, garnishing wages or bank accounts, intercepting tax refunds, and more.
Modification of a Child Support Order
If you are ordered to pay child support and you cannot make your payment, you must make your payment to avoid legal consequences. However, you may seek modification of a child support order if circumstances have changed to the point where modification is necessary, such as losing your job. Our attorneys can help you with pursuing a modification of a child support order.
Contact the Offices of Brown & Gould, PLLC Today
Understanding Oklahoma’s laws for child custody can be confusing, and whether you are a custodial parent or a non-custodial parent, you may have questions about your rights and obligations. To learn more about child support in Oklahoma and how to seek, enforce, or modify a child support order, please contact our hard-working child support lawyers at the law offices of Brown & Gould, PLLC today. We have a legal team that cares about helping you.