Modifying Child Support in Oklahoma
Raising a child is an expensive business. The basics of school, clothing, and food add up. As your son or daughter grows into themselves, they may become involved in sports, dance, music, and art. All of these extra activities and teams cost money to join and supply. Additionally, if your child needs additional medical care, you may have to budget for these necessities over providing fun extras. As an unmarried parent, you likely rely on child support to help pay for both the necessities and supplemental pastimes. However, what happens when your child support is not enough? Where do you turn if you lose your income or you know the other parent can afford to pay more? If your child support payments are too low, you can speak with an experienced Oklahoma City child support attorney at Brown & Gould, PLLC about modifying your child support.
When You Can Seek a Child Support Modification
It is rare that a child support amount determined when your son or daughter is an infant will be plenty for the rest of their life. Many parents have to return to court to increase child support over time. If you return to court to ask a judge to increase the amount of support you receive, the judge will look to see if there has been a “material change in circumstances.” It is important to understand that a material change is something quite meaningful or drastic. It is not a common change like your child has simply gotten older. Common material changes in circumstances include:
- Your income is much lower than before;
- The other parent’s income is much higher than before; or
- Your child’s needs and expenses have significantly increased.
Determining The Other Parent’s Income
If you suspect that your son or daughter’s other parent is being paid more than before due to a raise, new job, or second job, you have the right to find out. Under Oklahoma law, you can make a written request once every year on or after April 15 to see the person’s income information for the previous year.
To do this properly, you should work with an experienced attorney. This written request must be served upon the other parent and filed in court. This way, if the other parent does not respond with the information within 10 days, you can return to court for the modification and ask for the other parent to pay your court costs and attorney’s fees.
How Much More Will I Receive?
The amount of child support you will receive when you ask for a modification depends on a number of circumstances. If you are asking for a different amount based on having a reduced income or the other parent’s increased income, the judge may simply recalculate the amount based on Oklahoma’s current child support guidelines. However, if you are seeking a greater amount due to your child having special needs, the judge may take the best interests of the child into account and order an amount higher than what is provided for by the guidelines.
Contact a Child Support Lawyer Today
If you need or believe you deserve a higher amount of child support, call a child support attorney at Brown & Gould, PLLC today. We can explain the process of seeking a modification and help you determine if you are likely to receive more when you return to court. Contact us online or call us at 405-235-4500 to schedule a consultation.