A child support computation is always part of a custody case. In every Oklahoma divorce or child custody case, the court must include child support. This includes all cases including guardianship, emergency custody, and modifications of existing custody orders. The computation not only includes support but also medical care, and education of the children.” Oklahoma uses the Oklahoma Child Support Guidelines (the “Guidelines”) to determine child support in these cases.
Child Support Looks At All Your Income and Expenses
The Guidelines use the gross income of both parents to compute child support. This also includes passive income from all other sources. The Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations assumes that all families incur certain child-rearing expenses. These expenses comprise expenses such as housing, food, transportation, basic public education, clothing, and entertainment. This schedule includes an average amount in the basic child support obligation to cover these expenses for various levels of the parents’ combined income and number of children.
The Guidelines also consider other variables when calculating child support. Its important that both parents include gross income from all their jobs and includes all other passive income. There is a rebuttable presumption in any judicial or administrative proceeding for a child support award that the amount of the award is the correct amount of child support.
After The Custody Petition Is Filed, What Happens Next?
After the filing of a divorce or paternity petition, either parent or party may request that the court issue a temporary order regarding any of the following potential issues in the divorce case:
- Child custody, support, or visitation
- Spousal maintenance or support
- The payment of debts
- The possession of any marital property
- The payment of attorney’s fees
- Any other necessary relief
You must file an application or motion with the court for a temporary order. The matter will be set for a hearing. This is where you will have a requirement to set forth the facts applicable to your request. This may involve testifying at the hearing.
The Child Support Computation
Oklahoma uses a standardized form as the legal document to calculate the child support obligation for a noncustodial parent (obligor) required by Oklahoma law (Section 120 of Title 43). The judge must sign the child support computation form and attach it as an exhibit to any orders which establish or modify a child support obligation. A judge may not sign a child support order without the attachment or presentation of the form.
The child support obligation of each parent is computed. The share of the person that is the obligor (payor) pays out monthly to the obligee (payee) on a specific date. All child support computes as a percentage of the combined gross income of both parents. The Child Support Guideline Schedule in Section 119 of Title 43 of the Oklahoma Statutes is used for this computation.
To the extent reasonably possible, an Oklahoma court will make provision in any child support order for the prospective adjustment of support to address any foreseen changes. These changes may include: changes in medical insurance, childcare expenses, medical expenses, extraordinary costs, and the satisfaction of any jointly acquired debt of the parents used as a deduction from the gross income of a parent.
Sole Custody Cases
If one parent has sole physical custody of the child, the adjusted monthly gross income of both parents will combine. This amount compares to the child support guideline schedule for the total combined base monthly obligation for child support.
After the determination of the total combination of child support, each parent’s percentage share is allocated by computing the percentage contribution of each parent to the combined adjusted gross income. This same percentage then allocates to the child support obligation to determine each parent’s base child support obligation.
Joint Child Custody Of All The Children
In some jurisdictions, when parents share custody, the court may still consider the income of both parents and other relevant factors to determine child support. Shared parenting time and reductions for child support begin at 121 overnights. Beyond that the credit will increase reflecting the total number of overnights. If the parents share 50/50 time there may still be a child support award to a parent. Although the parent with the greater income may have to pay child support to the lesser earner, the amount greatly reduces. The idea is that both parents are responsible for financially supporting the child, regardless of the custody arrangement.
Split Physical Custody Of Multiple Children
If the parents have split physical custody where each parent has physical custody of at least one of the children, the child support obligation calculation for each parent is by application of the child support guidelines for each custodial arrangement. The parent with the larger child support obligation must pay the difference between the two amounts to the parent with the smaller child support obligation.
Child support computation is as described above in every case. This is regardless of whether the custodial arrangement is sole custody or joint custody.
Any transportation expenses that incurs by moving a child between the parents’ homes may divide between the parents in proportion to their income. However, the payment of these expenses must not significantly reduce the ability of the custodial parent to provide for the basic needs of the child. If so, the court may require the noncustodial parent to pay these expenses.
Tulsa Okla. Family Law Attorneys
The attorneys at Kania Law Office have experience and are knowledgeable in child support cases. Whether you are seeking a first-time award or the modification of an existing child support award, we have the experience to help you achieve the best possible result based on your circumstances. For more information about how our Oklahoma family law lawyers can help you call (918) 743-2233 or contact us online.