In Oklahoma every parent has a responsibility for the support of their children. Whether you are married, divorced or unwed, this responsibility begins when the child is born and continues until the child is at least eighteen years old. Simply stated, child support is financial contributions one parent makes to the other parent (or guardian) for support of his or her biological or adoptive children. This article explains some of the particulars of child support to help you determine if you will need to pay child support in Oklahoma.
In Oklahoma, all parents are obliged to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter and education for their children. When you get a divorced or separate from your spouse, you or the court must make a determination as to how support for your children will be handle between the two of you. Both mothers and fathers are equally liable for child support. Typically, the parent who has primary custody of the children has he right to receive support from the other. If you share custody 50/50, the parent with the highest income will owe child support to the other.
Oklahoma courts use strict mathematical guidelines to determine the minimum amount of child support to be ordered. The factors included in these calculations are mostly economic and in some ways are similar to those used to determine alimony and child custody. As for the duration of child support in Oklahoma, it typically last at until the child is eighteen, longer if the child is still in school or has special needs.
Marriage and Child Support in Oklahoma
In they eyes of the state, your responsibility as a parent does not differ depending on whether or not you were ever married to the other parent. For example, if you are an absentee father and the single mother of your child has applied for financial assistance, the agency will endeavor to locate you and obtain a court order to oblige you to pay child support, so that the state and federal government don’t have to.
When the parents of a child are married, the court will make the assumption that the husband is indeed the biological father of the child. In order to dispute this and avoid having to pay child support you will need to provide conclusive DNA evidence that disproves this presumption. On the other hand, the state, the child or the mother can initiate a paternity suit against you to establish that you are indeed the biological father and liable for child support, which will also require conclusive DNA evidence.
In general however, child support is particularly difficult to escape. Unless otherwise agreed upon by the custodial parent, wage garnishment is the standard way of paying child support in Oklahoma. Which means child support will be deducted directly from you pay check and transferred to the receiving party. If you quit your job to avoid paying child support, you may have your assets seized or be held in contempt of court and face jail time.
Moreover, pursuant to federal laws, back child support is a non-dischargeable debt and cannot be wiped out through bankruptcy. Child support can even be enforced against your estate in the event of your death. And it doesn’t stop there, due to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), which allows for child support to be enforced across state borders, you are obliged to pay child support regardless of where you live.
So, whether you are the mother or father, married or not, if you have children under the age of eighteen and are not the custodial parent, there is a strong possibility that you will need to pay child support. The amount you must pay will be determined by Oklahoma state guidelines and once ordered, is an obligation that you will find very difficult to avoid.
Free Consultation: Tulsa Child Support Attorney
To find out more about child support in Oklahoma, contact the family law attorney in Tulsa at Divorce of Tulsa Law Office: 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.