When you file for a divorce and you have minor children from the marriage, you will be required to pay child support Tulsa until the child reaches the age of 18 years. There are exceptions to that age limit under Oklahoma divorce law.
If your child turns 18 years of age and is still in school or pursuing a GED diploma, you must pay child support until he or she is no longer in school or reaches the age of 20 years.
If your child has a mental or physical disability and the disability, or the cause of the disability, occurred before the age of 18, the court has the authority to order that child support be paid indefinitely.
How Does the Court Decide How Much Child Support Tulsa I Must Pay?
Oklahoma law includes a Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations. That schedule takes into consideration the average amount that families spend on rearing their child on items including housing, food, clothing, entertainment, basic public education, and transportation between the homes of the parents.
In a divorce action, those costs are divided between the parents based on their ability to pay. The court takes into consideration the gross income of each parent, including earned and passive income. Earned income includes wages, tips, commissions, bonuses, and severance and military pay.
Passive income includes all other income such as, for example, dividends, pensions, rent, interest, trust, annuities, and social security or unemployment benefits.
Oklahoma specifically excludes income from child support received for a different child that is not yours in the home, adoption assistance subsidies and benefits received from public assistance such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and food stamps, or income the child receives from any source including Social Security Income due to disability and trusts.
The court may assign an income to you or the other parent if it determines that a parent is willfully or voluntarily underemployed based on education, training, ability to work and past employment. This means that the court will determine your income based on what you should be making.
An exception occurs when the underemployment is for the purpose of continuing education or training that will ultimately benefit the child by increasing your level of support.
Can I Change the Amount That I Pay?
If circumstances change, you may petition the court to modify, suspend or terminate your child support obligation unless the support order contains a provision that requires periodic reviews and adjustments.
Following are some examples of changes that may be justified causes for a reduction in your child support Tulsa obligation:
• You are granted by the court or the other parent at least 121 overnight visitations during a 12 month period. This is called a parenting time adjustment.
• Your income changes.
• Changes occur in child care expenses, including educational costs.
• Changes occur in the cost of medical or dental insurance.
• Your child reaches the age of 18 or is no longer entitled to support by the support order.
The above are examples. There may be other circumstances that would justify a reduction of your child support.
Past due child support and interest cannot be modified and must be paid regardless of a change in the support order.
The court will allow you to request a modification in your child support order pro se, or without an attorney. If you plan to do so, you should have an attorney review your documentation and explain the applicable laws.
There is a chance that if you submit your request to the court and present your evidence, the judge could end up raising rather than lowering your child support Tulsa obligation.
What Can I Do If I Believe My Child’s Other Parent is Now Making More Money?
Either party has the right under Oklahoma law to send a written request to the other party for copies of the previous tax year W-2 and 1099 forms or other tax and wage information. The request must be filed with the court and served upon the other party by the county sheriff or a local process server.
If the party that is obligated to supply that information in response to the request does not do so by certified mail within a specified number of days from, a motion to modify child support may be filed by the requesting parent. As a result, the court may award attorney fees and costs incurred as a result of the failure to respond.
Free Consultation: Tulsa Divorce Attorney
The above information is general facts and may not apply to your specific situation. If you have questions about your Oklahoma child support, you should contact a reputable divorce lawyer.
You can request a free consultation from Divorce of Tulsa Law Office by calling 918-924-5526 and scheduling an appointment.