Child support is one of those legal issues that can impact most of your life. So, it is very important to find out who should be paying and how much. The Child Support Services at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services can help you figure out the basics of your child support arrangement.
Who Needs to Pay Child Support?
Child support is owed by the parent who does not have physical custody to the parent that does. Fortunately, you can have the amount you owe lowered if you have your child between 121-143 overnights per year. Even if the parenting time with the child is equally divided between both parents, you may still owe child support if you make a lot more money than the other parent so that the child does not suffer financially when the are staying with the other parent.
How Can I Get Child Support?
You can petition for child support either through the court or through the Oklahoma Centralized Support Registry. The most important information needed when you are applying for child support are the other parent’s name and social security number. Other information that is helpful to know is the other parent’s date of birth, address, name of employer, bank account numbers, property ownership documents, or the names and address of friends and family who might know where the other parent is. If you do not have this information, the Child Support Services can help you find it or locate the other parent.
What If I Fail to Pay Child Support?
If you fail to pay child support, the court can have your wages garnished and have the child support paid directly from that money. You can also be found in contempt of court, which can result in arrest and even jail time. Your nonpayment may be reported to the credit bureaus, which could lead to a bad credit score. Lastly, you can also lose your commercial or driver’s license.
What Can the Other Parent Do If I Do Not Pay the Support?
If you have not paid child support, there is not much that the other parent can do beyond reporting you to the court. Visitation is not dependent on child support. This means that even if you have not paid child support or are behind, you can still see your child. The other parent is not allowed to stop visitation because of issues with child support. If you are having a hard time seeing your child because the other parent will not cooperate, you can go to court and ask the court to enforce your visitation order.
How Can I Stop Paying Child Support?
There are legal ways to stop paying child support. It is very important that if you want child support terminated, you do so legally, or you can face serious consequences.
A parent’s obligation for child support ends in Oklahoma when the child turns 18 or graduates high school. If the child turns 18 and is still in high school, you have to pay until they turn 19 or graduate. Child support can also be terminated if you lose your parental rights voluntarily or involuntarily. Finally, if you go to a child support hearing but are not sure that you are the father, you can ask for a paternity test, which may free you from being required to pay child support.
Where Can I Find the Right Lawyer?
Since child support can be such a key part of your life, it is important to get legal representation. An Oklahoma child support lawyer can assist you in establishing child support and help you enforce your rights associated with child support.