An Oklahoma Family Law Attorney Answers Divorce and Child Support Questions

Are there any advantages to petitioning for at-fault divorce? Will my savings affect the amount of my child support? How long will my alimony payments continue? Click here for answers on divorce, custody, and support payments on our FAQ page.

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  • My ex-spouse is refusing to allow me visitation with our child because I have not paid him/her child support.

    In Oklahoma, one parent cannot prohibit the other parent from seeing the child due to the lack of child support.  Child support and child custody are not related.  Therefore, even if one parent is behind on child support, she/he is still entitled to their court-ordered visitation. 

  • My ex-spouse has threatened to move away with the children. Could he/she actually move away without my knowing?

    Oklahoma child custody laws require that a custodial parent who is planning to move must always give a 60 day written notice to the noncustodial parent.  This notice must state the parent’s intent to relocate, the new location, the date of relocation, and a statement stating the other party may oppose within 30 days.  If the noncustodial parent opposes the relocation, then the court will look at several factors such as the motive of relocating, whether the move will enhance the quality of the life of the child, and the age and needs of the child.  The relocating parent must show that the move is in good faith.  This helps prevent a parent that wants to move just to spite the noncustodial parent.  In this case, they will not be able to show the move is in the best interest of the child.  However, if the relocation is legitimately for work-related reasons, the moving parent would most likely not have a problem with the move.

  • I don’t get to see my child as much as I would like. How can I get more time with him/her?

    Typically, in Oklahoma a motion to modify child custody only requires there be a change in circumstances and that this change is in the best interest of the child.  The change in circumstances can be several different things. For example, it could be a parent got a new job and this job allows more time to be spent with the child.  After the change in circumstances requirement is met, the moving party must show that the change in custody is in the best interest of the child.  However, if the moving party is trying to modify full custody, then the test requires there to be a permeant, substantial and material change in conditions, which directly affects the best interest of the child, and as a result, the child would be substantially better off with respect to temporal, mental, and moral welfare if the requested change in custody is ordered.  This requirement is much harder to satisfy than the general change in circumstances requirement. 

  • “My ex-spouse lives with someone convicted of child abuse. I am concerned he/she will get custody.”

    There are a few Oklahoma statutory presumptions for the best interest of the child test.  Oklahoma has statutes in place to help the best interest of the child test in these circumstances. There are several issues that can create the presumption that one parent will not pass the best interest of the child test.  If a parent is living with someone who is a registered sex offender, has been convicted of child abuse, an alcoholic or drug dependent, has inflicted serious bodily harm to themselves or another, or has been convicted of domestic abuse within the past 5 years, then there is a rebuttable presumption that the best interest of the child would not be with that parent. 

  • I am getting a divorce, but I do not know how my child custody will be determined.

    The test for determining child custody in Oklahoma is called “the best interest of the child test.”  This test looks at several different factors relating to the child’s relationship with each parent and determines which type of custody arrangement is in the best interest of the child.  Factors the court may consider may include if any risk or harm to the child exists, which parent is more likely to allow visitation, if any drug or alcohol abuse exists, and whether or not the parents have the ability to work with each other.

  • What are the different types of child custody in Oklahoma?

    The three different types of child custody in Oklahoma are full custody, joint custody, and joint custody with a primary parent.  First, full custody is when one parent has complete control over all aspects of the children. However, this does not mean the other parent would not have visitation rights.  Second, joint custody is when the parents share the children and all major decisions regarding the children.  Major decisions are defined as schooling, religion, healthcare, and extracurricular activities.  Lastly, joint custody with a primary parent allows for the parents to share the child, but the ultimate decision making power for major decisions would lie with only one parent, the primary parent.  The primary parent would still have to consult with the non-primary parent, but in the event they disagreed, the primary parent would have the final say.

  • My spouse has been ordered to pay child support, but she/he is not paying. Is there anything I can do?

    There are several different was you can enforce child support obligations in Oklahoma.  For example, one route is to file a contempt citation.  This would show that the paying parent has been ordered to pay child support and she/he is not currently doing so.  If the paying parent continues to not pay, then they may be held in contempt.  However, this route is extreme and does not necessarily get the parent the funds needed.  The most effective option is to use Child Support Services.  Child Support Services will employ such actions as wage garnishments or even revoking the paying parent’s licenses. 

  • The child support, calculated by the child support guidelines, is not high enough to support my child’s accustomed standard of living. Does the district court of Oklahoma have to follow the guidelines?

    “The child support, calculated by the child support guidelines, is not high enough to support my child’s accustomed standard of living.  Does the district court of Oklahoma have to follow the guidelines?”  The Oklahoma child support guidelines are typically followed by the district court, but in certain situations, the Oklahoma court will order a deviation in the guidelines.  This means the child support ordered is different than what the child support guidelines state.  Usually, this will happen when the gross monthly income of the parties is over $15,000.00 because the child support will not take into account the accustomed standard of living of the child.  When a deviation is requested, the court will look to see the child’s needs, the parent’s ability to pay, and the child’s prior standard of living.

    For more information or if you need help deviating from the Oklahoma Child Support Guidelines, contact us here, or call 405-542-2529.

  • How is Oklahoma Child Support determined?

    “How is Oklahoma child support determined?”  The court uses the Oklahoma child support guidelines to determine the amount that is to be paid.  Child support is calculated by using an income sharing approach.  The guidelines look at several different factors such as, overnights with each parent, income of each parent, any insurance covering the children, and several other factors.  Each factor is entered into a spreadsheet that calculates financial responsibility.  After each field is entered, the guidelines determine the monthly child support obligation.  This calculation is used to guide the court in determining child support.

    Child support calculations have many issues that can be calculated improperly and cost you significant money over time.  For more information or if you need help calculating Oklahoma child support, contact us here, or call 405-542-2529.

  • My spouse and I are getting a divorce, but I am worried she/he will not give me any money for our child once we get divorce.

    “My spouse and I are getting a divorce, but I am worried she/he will not give me any money for our child once we get divorce.”  This problem is associated with child support.  What is Oklahoma child support?  Child support is a calculated amount of money, ordered by the court, for the noncustodial parent to give to the custodial parent on a monthly basis.  In other words, a court orders one parent to pay the other parent, a monthly sum, to help pay for the children’s expenses.  If one party is worried that the other party will not help raise the child, then they should request the court order child support.

    Child support can be complicated and there are many ways for it to be calculated improperly...costing you substantial money.  If you are facing this issue or have additional questions, contact us here, or call 405-543-2529 to schedule a in-office or phone consultation.