Why Child Support?
The calculation of child support in Oklahoma starts with the principle that both parents are accountable for the support of their children. It also acknowledges that there are extra costs related to child-custody. For example, the custodial parent typically has to spend more money on housing, food, transportation, medical insurance, etc. These costs are often paid for in cash by the custodial parent. Child support is awarded to distribute these costs evenly between the parents. The rest of this article discusses how child support is calculated in Oklahoma and how you can arrive at a figure on your own.
Who Calculates Oklahoma Child Cupport?
You and the other parent may agree upon the terms of child support yourselves and have them included in a prenuptial or separation agreement, which then must be approved by the courts. If you cannot come to an agreement, the court will calculate and provide the terms for you. Oklahoma courts use strict mathematical guidelines to determine the minimum amount of child support to be ordered. Some factors included in these calculations are the income of the parents, the number children to provide for, the cost of daycare, health insurance and special needs, such as tutoring or transportation from one parent to another for visitation. Typically, even if you share custody 50/50, the parent with highest income will owe child support to the other.
How Does Oklahoma Calculate Child Support?
In Oklahoma, child support is calculated by taking each parent’s gross monthly income and subtracting any allowed “income adjustments”. These adjustments include, allowances for federal and state income taxes, health insurance, work related costs, other child support being paid or received, etc. The parents’ adjusted gross monthly incomes are then combined to arrive at the combined gross family income. Each parent’s percentage contribution to the combined gross family income represents his or her percentage contribution to the base child support obligation, which is obliged to be paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent.
Oklahoma Child support guidelines include a chart representing total combine family income levels and the corresponding child support figures for each. A judge will use this as a basis to determine the actual amount of child support to be ordered. But because Oklahoma law does not give the court much leeway to deviate from the child support guidelines, the actual amount the judge orders will usually be very close to the calculated amount.
How Can I Calculate Child Support?
If you want to estimate the amount of child support to be awarded, you can use the child support calculator on the Oklahoma Department of Human Services website. There you can also obtain a copy of the Oklahoma Child Support Guidelines and download instructions on how to use the calculator. Once you arrive at a figure, it can then be used as a basis for negotiating child support with the other parent or for requesting a modification of a previous child support order. Alternatively, you can have an Tulsa family law attorney who is experienced in child support issues calculate the amount for you. But remember that only a judge can order child support, so what ever you arrive at will still have to be approved by the court.
Tulsa Oklahoma Child Support Attorney
To find out more about child support in Tulsa Oklahoma, contact the Tulsa child support attorney at Divorce Law Office of Tulsa: 918-924-5526. We offer free, no obligation consultations. If you prefer you may send your question using the “Ask the Lawyer” form on the right side of this page.