Simply stated, every parent has a responsibility for the support of his or her 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. Child support is defined as the financial contributions one unwed, divorced or separated parent makes to the other parent (or guardian) for support of his or her biological or adoptive children. Whether or not you will have to pay child support in Oklahoma depends on a number of factors. Read further for a brief explanation.
Who will need to pay child support in Oklahoma?
In Oklahoma, both mothers and fathers are equally liable for child support and each has an individual responsibility to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter and education for their children. When you get divorced or separate from your spouse, you or the court must make a determination as to how support for your children will be handled between the two of you. Typically, the parent who has primary custody of the children has the right to receive support from the other parent. If you share custody 50/50, the parent with the highest income will typically owe child support to the other parent.
In the 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.
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 to pay child support, which will also require conclusive DNA evidence.
How much child support will I need to pay?
Oklahoma courts use strict mathematical guidelines to determine the minimum amount of child support to be required. The factors included in these calculations are mostly economic and not much different than those used to determine alimony and child custody. As for the duration of child support in Oklahoma, it typically lasts at until the child is eighteen, longer if the child has special needs or is still in school.
In general, 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 your paycheck 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 even 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, pursuant to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), child support can be enforced across state borders and obligate you to pay child support regardless of the state in which you live.
Free Consultation: Claremore Child Support Attorney
In Oklahoma, if you are a parent, married or not, and 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 until your child is at least 18 years of age.
When there’s so much at stake, it’s crucial that you discover all your options when it comes to child support by talking to a skilled Claremore attorney at our firm. For a free consultation with an able Claremore child support attorney, call (918) 879-1681 today. If you prefer e-mail, send us your question by using the form at the right side of this page.