When a couple has children, they need to make decisions about their children’s well-being. While children need to be emotionally supported, they also need to be financially supported as well. After the sometimes-grueling process of child custody hearings, the issue of child support will need to be addressed. Even if negotiations have been easy, the topic of money can create tensions in an otherwise peaceful separation. The effective legal representation Inner Vision Legal offers can ease the tense discussion of money.
At Inner Vision Legal, Attorney Rhonda is ready and able to help you. Our team will work hard to ensure that you get the child support you need and deserve for your children.
On the other side of the coin, if you are the non-custodial parent, we will work to ensure that you are not unfairly burdened while still providing your children with the financial support they need to live a comfortable life.
Regardless of custody, parents should financially support their children.
CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES
Legally, child support can be more than a check in the mail. Like most states, Oklahoma has specific rules about child support. These guidelines are used to calculate the amount of child support the non-custodial parent is required to pay.
The state of Oklahoma calculates child support obligations based on the combined income of both parents. The guidelines look at the percentage of income each parent brings into the household as well as the number of children involved. When the combined income is less than $148,000 per year, the court will multiply the income amount by a percentage per child. Depending on the parents’ individually contributed income, each will be responsible for a percentage of that number.
Many complex factors are considered when determining support, including, but not limited to, childcare expenses, medical and dental insurance premiums for the children, and the number of overnights each parent has with the children.
If any one (1) parent’s earnings make up the majority of the income, they will pay the larger amount over time. Obviously, if this parent is the one with physical custody, they will not be making any “payments” per se.
These child support guidelines are based on a parent who has between seventy (70) and ninety (90) visits with their children per year. If the non-custodial parent has the child for more than 120 overnights per year, the arrangement is called “shared parenting.” This means that the parent is doing more to care for the children, and the child support payments can be lowered accordingly.
If the parents agree on a child support amount before being seen by a judge, they have the right to have the judge’s calculations waived. They will need to submit the plan in writing, along with a description of why they believe their agreement should be used instead.
Attorney Rhonda can review the arrangements you have with the other parent and ensure that your financial arrangements are fair. We are happy to advocate on your behalf.
EXCEEDING THE CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES
Oklahoma’s child support guidelines provide for support all the way up to $15,000 per month in combined income, depending on situational factors. If you and your spouse have a higher monthly income, the difference in income may be used to determine an additional child support payment.
There are no set guidelines for determining child support in that situation. Instead, the court will make the decision based on the child’s needs, lifestyle, and the parent’s ability to pay. Each parent’s contributions to the overall gross monthly income are also considered.
The court can decide to award a child support amount that is different from the child support guidelines. The court can only do that if making the change is in the child’s best interests.
HOW LONG DOES CHILD SUPPORT LAST?
Child support lasts until the child turns eighteen (18) years old unless the child is still enrolled in high school. In this case, the child support continues until graduation or until the child turns nineteen (19).
Occasionally, child support agreements may need to be modified. You can request that child support be recalculated if there is a substantial change in circumstances. A parent may lose a job or have an otherwise drastic decrease in income, in which case a modification hearing will be warranted. As with all modification hearings, the parent will need to appear before a judge and prove the circumstances that justify the change.
At Inner Vision Legal, we are ready and happy to assist you, providing high-quality representation and legal support when you need it most. Our team will work tirelessly to ensure your child support arrangements are fair and that your rights are honored.
At Inner Vision Legal, we can handle all your divorce arrangements.
Contact us today at (405) 724-2525 to learn more or to set up an appointment or consultation to see if we are a good fit.