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Oklahoma Family Law

Child Support

Understanding Child Support in Oklahoma

Child support is a crucial aspect of ensuring that children receive the financial support they need after a divorce or separation. At Evan Taylor Law Office, we are committed to helping you navigate the complexities of child support and ensuring that your children’s best interests are met.

Child Support Guidelines

In Oklahoma, child support is determined based on a formula known as the “Child Support Guidelines.” These guidelines take into account the gross monthly incomes of both parents, as well as certain expenses for the children, such as the cost of childcare and health insurance. By inputting this information into a child support calculator, the guidelines help determine the appropriate amount of child support.

Key Factors in Determining Child Support

Several key factors influence the calculation of child support, including:

  • The gross monthly income of both parents
  • The number of children involved
  • The amount of time the children spend with each parent
  • Specific expenses related to the children, such as childcare and health insurance

Parenting Time Adjustment

One important concept in Oklahoma child support is the “Parenting Time Adjustment.” This adjustment lowers the amount of child support if the non-custodial parent has the children for more than 120 overnights a year. This ensures that parents who share significant parenting time receive a fair child support calculation.

High Income Disparities

Even when parents share equal parenting time, child support may still be required if there is a significant disparity in their incomes. The parent who earns more may be required to pay child support to the other parent to ensure that the children’s financial needs are met equally across both households.

Complexities in Calculating Child Support

While child support calculations can often be straightforward, several factors can complicate the process:

  • Overtime, commissions, and bonuses are typically included in income, which can make income appear higher than expected.
  • Child support calculations are based on pre-tax income, which does not reflect the actual take-home pay.

Modifying Child Support

It’s important to know that child support can be modified if there is a material change in circumstances related to a parent’s income or the children’s expenses. This ensures that child support remains fair and reflects the current financial situation of both parents.

Contact Us for Assistance

At Evan Taylor Law Office, we have extensive experience in handling child support cases. Whether you need help calculating child support, understanding your obligations, or seeking a modification, our dedicated family law attorneys are here to support you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and ensure that your children’s financial needs are met.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about Child Support in Oklahoma? We are prepared to answer your questions about child support. Let us know how we can help.

Will I have to pay child support if I don't have custody?

Yes, in most cases if you have fewer than 182 overnights with your children each year, you will have to pay child support under the Oklahoma guidelines. Oklahoma guidelines tell the court how to order child support based on your and the other parent’s income, the expenses related to the kids, and a few other factors.

How much is child support in Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, child support is based on over a dozen factors. The most important factors are the incomes of each parent. The higher your income, generally, the higher child support will be if you are the paying party. Oklahoma Department of Human Services has an online child support calculator that can give you an idea about children support. You just need to make sure that your inputs are accurate, and it will tell you the amount of child support you may have to pay under the guidelines. The judge does have the ability to modify child support away from the guidelines, and the parties always have the ability to agree to a different amount.

How do you calculate child support in Oklahoma?

A basic child support calculation requires that we determine the following inputs:

  • Incomes of the parties
  • Number of children
  • Child Expenses (childcare, insurance, etc.)
  • Number of overnights with each parent

There are over a dozen factors altogether that can come into play. You can play around with the Department of Human Services online child support calculator to see how these inputs affect the child support calculation. You can also look through my blog to learn more about the mechanics of child support calculation.

What does my child support payment include?

Many people ask whether child support includes payment for school lunches, clothes, activity fees, etc. Unless the order says otherwise, child support generally includes payment for all expenses except uncovered medical expenses.

How can I claim my kids on my taxes?

The Internal Revenue Service defines the rules that tell you whether you can claim your children on your taxes. You should check these first and discuss your rights with your tax preparer. In Oklahoma, the judge can decide which parent gets to claim the children each year. In this case, you should follow the court’s order and discuss the order with your tax preparer.

What expenses do I have to pay in addition to child support?

Oklahoma law requires that the parents must each pay their share of uncovered medical expenses. Generally, child care and insurance costs for the children are included in the child support calculation. The court can make one party pay certain other extracurricular activity costs, private school tuition, travel expenses and such. If you currently have a child support order, you should read it carefully and follow the directions in the order. If you have questions about the order you should schedule a time to meet with an experienced divorce lawyer to to discuss it.

Can I get back child support?

Maybe. Oklahoma law does not allow back child support in a divorce case, and the obligation to pay child support usually begins after the case is filed. In cases where the parties were never married, the court can order child support up to five years in the past.