When parents divorce or separate, both remain responsible for providing for the care, education and other needs of their children. However, because the parents might not have the same income, the parent who is the primary caregiver can seek financial assistance, called child support, from his or her spouse. At Long, Claypole & Blakley Law, PLC, we will use our knowledge and experience as family lawyers to guide the court in ordering a fair and appropriate amount of child support, whether you are the paying or receiving parent.
Child support is calculated in accordance with Oklahoma state guidelines, which take account various factors including:
The non-custodial parent, who spends less time with the child, pays the calculated amount to the custodial parent. However, if the child spends at least 120 nights a year at the non-custodial parent’s house, that parent will receive a “shared parenting credit” that will reduce the child support payment. The formula for calculating the reduced amount is complicated, so make sure that you have a knowledgeable family law attorney who can advise you as to what information you need to provide and calculate the figures for you.
Child support in Oklahoma is usually collected as a deduction from the support-paying parent’s income, sent by his or her employer to the Centralized Support Registration operated by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. The agency then forwards it to the custodial parent. However, when child support is not paid on time or in the amount ordered, we can go to court to enforce the obligation. There are two major ways that a court can enforce a child support order:
Conversely if you are sued for non-payment of child support, we can defend you in court.
The court may modify the support order if either spouse can show there has been a significant change of circumstances, such as:
However, a parent’s increase or decrease in expenses will not be grounds for modification. Also, it is important to know that a modification cannot change child support payments that are already due. It can only affect the amount of child support going forward. If you need a change in the amount of child support, contact a knowledgeable child support attorney immediately.
Long, Claypole & Blakley Law, PLC advises and advocates for Oklahomans on child support matters. Please call 580-599-0191 or contact us online to make an appointment for a consultation at our Enid office.