Oklahoma workers compensation benefits affect child support in some instances. Oklahoma law imposes a legal duty on parents to support, protect, and care for their minor children. This includes financial support based on Oklahoma’s child support guidelines. The Oklahoma guidelines require specific data about the number of children subject to the support order, any other children, each parent’s income, the expenses for medical and childcare, and any court-ordered child support paid by either parent to a third party. Ultimately, the amount of child support is determined by the income of both parents. The basic question to answer is are workers compensation benefits considered “gross income” for this purpose of calculating child support?
How The Amount Of Child Support is Calculated in Oklahoma
The amount of child support paid by a parent or obligor is based on the gross income of both parents. Examining whether workers’ compensation benefits count as income raises the larger question of determining what exactly is included in “gross income” to calculate child support payments in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma law defines all the terms necessary in determining the amount of child support. These terms include gross income, passive income, and earned income. Passive income includes workers’ compensation benefits, including total temporary disability benefits and permanent partial disability benefits. Thus, workers compensation benefits count towards any calculation of gross income to determine the amount of child support in a divorce or support case.
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“Gross income” includes earned and passive income from any source, except where such income is excluded by Oklahoma law. For purposes of computing the gross income of the parents, gross income includes for each parent whichever is the most equitable:
- All current monthly gross income as defined by Oklahoma law, plus any overtime and supplemental income that the court deems appropriate,
- The average of the gross monthly income for the time spent in actual employment during the previous year, or
- Gross monthly income that is imputed because evidence of the current or average income of a parent is not available or not the most equitable.
“Passive income” is defined as all other income and includes, but is not limited to, income listed in the applicable Oklahoma statute. This statute includes social security benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, and workers’ compensation benefits as examples of passive benefits.
The Child Support Order
The judge has final authority in deciding the amount of child support and the obligor responsible for making child support payments. The court sets the amount of child support based on both parents’ income and the amount of time the child is in each parent’s care. All child support is computed as a percentage of the combined gross income of both parents.
The child support order includes medical support and may include other child-related expenses, such as childcare costs. The court may also modify a child support order when some change of circumstance occurs affecting the incomes of both parents, custody of a child, or any other relevant matter.
Tulsa Child Support Lawyers
Calculating child support follows a predetermined formula but still may be complicated in an Oklahoma divorce or support case. The knowledgeable family law attorney and workers compensation attorneys at Kania Law Office are experienced in cases involving the determination and calculation of child support. We can also help you deal with the technical and emotional issues in a divorce case involving minor children. For more information about how our Tulsa family law lawyers can help you call (918) 743-2233 or contact us online.