In the case of a divorce or paternity case, the family court determines the set amount of child support. The amount of child support due determines through the Oklahoma Child Support Guidelines. The child support due creates a legal presumption as to the amount child support due. The guidelines look at the combined gross income of both parents and calculate each parent’s relative share of child support.
If parent is unemployed or otherwise under-employed the income amount used is minimum wage. The court may also look at the parents past income and education and set it at whats considered reasonable. In addition to parental income, the guidelines give financial credit for health care, daycare and the amount of time the child spends with each parent.
Oklahoma Child Support Guidelines:
Section 118 Oklahoma Child Support Guidelines
A. Except in those cases where parties with counsel have agreed to a different disposition, there shall be a rebuttable presumption in any judicial or administrative proceeding for the award of child support, that the amount of the award which would result from the application of the following guidelines is the correct amount of child support.
B. The district or administrative court may deviate from the amount of child support indicated by the child support guidelines. This is if the amount of support is unreasonable or inappropriate under the circumstances, or not the child’s best interest. If the court deviates from the amount of child support, there must be findings of fact supporting it.
C. The court shall not take into account any stepchildren of such parent in making the determination. But in making such determination, the court may take into account the reasonable support obligations of either parent as to only natural, legal, or legally adopted minor children in the custody of the parent.
D. For purposes of this section and in determining child support, the noncustodial parent shall be “the obligor”. The custodial parent shall be “the obligee”.
E. The Oklahoma child support guidelines are as follows:
1. All child support shall be computed as a percentage of the combined gross income of both parents. The Child Support Guideline Schedule as provided in Section 119 of this title shall be used for such computation. Each parent shall receive computations of their child support obligations. The obligor’s share shall pay out monthly to the obligee and shall be due on a specific date;
(1) “Gross income”, includes earned and passive income from any source, except as excluded in this section.
(2) “Earned income” is income from labor, or the sale of goods or services. It includes income from:
(d) bonuses, and
(e) severance pay.
(3) “Passive income” is all other income and includes income from:
(d) interest income,
(e) trust income,
(g) social security benefits,
(h) workers’ compensation benefits,
(i) unemployment insurance benefits,
(j) disability insurance benefits,
(l) prizes, and
Excluded from Income For Calculating Child Support:
(1) actual child support received for children not before the court, and
(2) benefits received from means-tested public assistance programs including, but not limited to:
(a) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF),
(b) Supplemental Security Income (SSI),
(c) Food Stamps, and
(d) General Assistance and State Supplemental Payments for Aged, Blind and the Disabled;
a. For income from self-employment, rent, royalties, proprietorship of a business, or joint ownership of a partnership or closely held corporation, “gross income” is gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses necessary for self-employment or business operations.
b. Specifically excluded from ordinary and necessary expenses for purposes of this paragraph are amounts determined by the district or administrative court to be inappropriate for determining gross income for purposes of calculating child support.
c. The district or administrative court shall carefully review income and expenses from self-employment or operation of a business to determine an appropriate level of gross income available to the parent to satisfy a child support obligation.
d. The district or administrative court shall deduct from self-employment gross income an amount equal to the employer contribution for F.I.C.A. tax which an employer would withhold from an employee’s earnings on an equivalent gross income amount. A determination of business income for tax purposes shall not control for purposes of determining a child support obligation.
e. Expense reimbursements or in-kind payments received by a parent in the course of employment, self-employment, or operation of a business shall be income if they are significant and reduce personal living expenses. Such payments may include but are not only a company car, free housing, or reimbursed meals;
a. For purposes of computing gross income of the parents, the district or administrative court shall include for each parent, whichever is most equitable, either:
(1) all earned and passive monthly income,
(2) all passive income, and earned income equivalent to a forty-hour work week plus such overtime and supplemental income as the court deems equitable,
(3) the average of the gross monthly income for the time actually employed during the previous three (3) years, or
(4) the minimum wage paid for a forty-hour work week.
b. If equitable, the district or administrative court may instead impute as gross monthly income for either parent the amount a person with comparable education, training and experience could reasonably expect to earn.
c. If a parent is permanently physically or mentally incapable, the child support obligation shall compute on the basis of actual monthly gross income;
5. The amount of any preexisting district or administrative court order for current Oklahoma child support for children not before the court or for support alimony arising in a prior case shall be deducted from gross income to the extent payment is actually made under the order;
6. The amount of reasonable expenses of the parties attributable to debt service for preexisting, jointly acquired debt of the parents may deduct from gross income to the extent payment of the debt is actually made. In any case where deduction for debt service is made, the district or administrative court may provide for prospective upward adjustments of support made possible by the reasonably anticipated reduction or elimination of any debt service;
7. The results of paragraphs 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of this subsection shall be denominated “adjusted gross income”;
8. In cases in which one parent has sole custody, the adjusted monthly gross income of both parents shall add together. Then the Oklahoma Child Support Guideline Schedule consulted for the total combined base monthly obligation for child support;
9. After the total combined child support is determined, the percentage share of each parent shall be allocated by computing the percentage contribution of each parent to the combined adjusted gross income and allocating that same percentage to the child support obligation to determine the base child support obligation of each parent;
10. a. In cases where shared parenting time has been ordered by a district court or agreed to by the parents, the base monthly obligation shall be adjusted. “Shared parenting time” means that each parent has physical custody of the child or children overnight for more than one hundred twenty (120) nights each year.
b. An adjustment for shared parenting time shall be made to the base monthly child support obligation by the following formula: The total combined base monthly child support obligation shall be multiplied by one and one-half (1 1/2). The result shall be designated the adjusted combined child support obligation.
c. To determine each parent’s adjusted child support obligation, the adjusted combined child support obligation shall be divided between the parents in proportion to their respective adjusted gross incomes.
(1) The percentage of time a child spends with each parent shall be calculated by determining the number of nights the child is in the physical custody of each parent and dividing that number by three hundred sixty-five (365).
(2) Each parent’s share of the adjusted combined Oklahoma child support obligation shall then be multiplied by the percentage of time the child spends with the other parent to determine the base child support obligation owed to the other parent.
(3) The respective adjusted base Oklahoma child support obligations for each parent are then offset, with the parent owing more base child support paying the difference between the two amounts to the other parent. The base child support obligation of the parent owing the lesser amount then sets at zero dollars.
e. The parent owing the greater amount of base child support shall pay the difference between the two amounts as a child support order. In no case shall the amount of child support exceed the amount of child support which would otherwise exist if the parents did not participate in shared parenting time.
f. In no event shall the provisions of this paragraph authorize or allow the payment of child support by the custodial parent to the noncustodial parent;
a. The actual medical and dental insurance premium for the child shall allocate between the parents in the same proportion as their adjusted gross income. It shall add to the base child support obligation. If the insurance policy covers a person other than the child before the court, only that portion of the premium attributed to the child before the court shall be allocated and added to the base child support obligation.
b. If the obligor pays the medical insurance premium, the obligor shall receive credit against the base child support obligation for the obligee’s allocated share of the medical insurance premium.
c. If the oblige pays the medical insurance premium, the obligor shall pay the obligor’s allocated share of the medical insurance premium to the obligee as part of the base child support obligation;
a. In cases of split custody, the child support obligation for each parent shall calculate through application of the child support guidelines for each custodial arrangement.
b. In cases of joint custody, where the parents share physical and legal custody of at least one of their natural or legally adopted children, the child support obligation for each parent shall be calculated by applying the child support guidelines.
c. In all cases the parent with the larger child support obligation shall pay the difference between the two amounts to the parent with the smaller child support obligation;
a. The district or administrative court shall determine the “actual” child care expenses reasonably necessary to enable either or both parents to:
(1) have employment,
(2) seek employment, or
(3) attend school or training to enhance employment income.
b. When the obligee is participating in the Department of Human Services child care subsidy program under Section 230.50 of Title 56 of the Oklahoma Statutes, the Child Care Eligibility/Rates Schedule shall determine the amount as actual child care costs incurred. When applying the schedule to determine the family share copayment amount, the obligor’s share of the base monthly obligation for child support and the obligee’s gross income is the obligee’s monthly income. The actual child care costs incurred shall be the family share copayment amount from the schedule. This shall allocate and pay out monthly in the same proportion as base child support. The Department of Human Services shall promulgate rules, as necessary, to implement the provisions of this subparagraph.
c. The actual child care costs incurred for the purposes authorized by this paragraph shall allocate and pay out monthly in the same proportion as base child support.
d. The district or administrative court shall require the obligee to provide the obligor with timely documentation of any change in the amount of the child care costs. Upon request by the obligor, whose requests shall not exceed one each month, or upon order of the court, the obligee shall provide the documentation of the amount of child care costs relating to employment, employment search or education or training as set forth by this paragraph.
e. If the court determines that it will not cause detriment to the child or will not cause undue hardship to either parent, in lieu of payment of child care expenses incurred during employment, employment search, or while the obligee is attending school or training, the obligor may provide care for the child during that time;
14. Reasonable and necessary medical, dental, orthodontic, optometric, psychological, or any other physical or mental health expenses of the child incurred by either parent and not reimbursed by insurance may be allocated in the same proportion as the parents’ adjusted gross income as separate items that are not added to the base child support obligation. If reimbursement is necessary, the parent who incurs the expense shall receive reimbursement by the other parent. This must occur within thirty (30) days of receipt of documentation of the expense;
15. Transportation expenses of a child between the homes of the parents may be divided between the parents in proportion to their adjusted gross income;
Modification of Child Support:
(1) Oklahoma Child support orders may be modified upon a material change in circumstances which includes, but is not limited to, an increase or decrease in income, changes in actual child care expenses, changes in medical or dental insurance, or when one of the children in the child support order reaches the age of majority or otherwise ceases to be entitled to support pursuant to the support order.
(2) Modification of the Oklahoma Child Support Guideline Schedule shall not alone be a material change in circumstances for child support orders in existence on November 1, 1999.
(3) Providing support for children born to or adopted by either parent after the entry of a child support order shall not alone be enough for a material change in circumstances.
(4) An order of modification shall be effective upon the filing date of the motion to modify, unless the parties agree to the contrary or the court makes a specific finding of fact that the material change of circumstance did not occur until a later date.
(1) A Oklahoma child support order shall not modify retroactively regardless of whether support was in a temporary order, a decree of divorce, an order establishing paternity, modification of an order of support, or other action to establish or to enforce support.
(2) All final orders shall state whether past due support and interest has accrued pursuant to any temporary order and the amount due, if any; however, failure to state a past due amount shall not bar collection of that amount after entry of the final support order.
c. The amount of a Oklahoma child support order shall not be an amount per child unless specified by the district or administrative court in the order. A child reaching the age of majority or otherwise ceasing need for support pursuant to the support order shall constitute a material change in circumstances. But shall not automatically serve to modify the order;
a. When a Oklahoma child support order enters or modifies, the parents may agree or the district or administrative court may require a periodic exchange of information for an informal review and adjustment process.
b. When an existing child support order does not contain a provision which requires an informal review and adjustment process, either parent may request the other parent to provide the information necessary for the informal review and adjustment process. Information shall be provided to the requesting parent within forty-five (45) days of the request.
c. Requested information may include: verification of income, proof and cost of children’s medical insurance, and current and projected child care costs. If shared parenting timeexists by court order, documentation of past and prospective overnight visits shall exchange between parties.
d. Exchange of requested information may occur once a year or less often, by regular mail.
(1) If parents agree to modifying a child support order, their agreement shall be in writing using standard modification forms. Further it must use the child support computation form provided for in Section 120 of this title.
(2) The standard modification forms and the standard child support computation form shall submit to the district or administrative court. The court shall review the modification forms to confirm that the child support obligation complies with the child support guidelines. It must also see that all necessary parties pursuant to Section 112 of this title have notification. If the court approves the modification forms, they shall file with the court.
f. If the district court refuses to consider the parents’ agreed modification order or the parents do not agree to a modification of the child support order, a parent may request a modification through the Department of Human Services Child Support Enforcement Division, hereinafter referred to as the “Department”, when the child support services are being provided under the state child support plan as provided in Section 237 of Title 56 of the Oklahoma Statutes. If the parent does not have an open case with the Department, the parent shall make application and complete a request for review;
Other Oklahoma Child Support Orders of the Court:
18. Oklahoma Child support orders may include such provisions as the district or administrative court deems appropriate to assure that the child support payments to the custodial parent are for the support of the child;
19. The district or administrative court shall require and enforce a complete disclosure of assets by both parents on a financial affidavit form prescribed by the Administrative Office of the Courts;
20. Oklahoma Child support orders issued for prior-born children of the payor may not modify for the purpose of providing support for later-born children;
21. The court, to the extent reasonably possible, shall make provision in an order for prospective adjustment of support to address any foreseen changes including, but not limited to, changes in medical insurance, child care expenses, medical expenses, and extraordinary costs;
22. The social security numbers of both parents and the children who are the subject of a paternity or child support order shall be in the support order summary form provided for in Section 120 of this title; and
23. The judge must receive a completed support order summary form. It shall include all paternity and child support orders. A judge shall sign no such order without presentation of the form.