When filing a divorce or paternity case, child support immediately becomes an issue. Questions clients ask range from, “How much do I have to pay?” to “Can I sign away my rights and not have to pay anything?” The answer to the latter is almost a resounding NO! Support obligations are enforceable unless the individual ordered to pay is dead or another person adopts the child.
How Much Child Support Will I Pay:
In response to questions regarding the amount of child support owed, the Oklahoma child support guidelines set out four factors. First, the gross monthly income of the parties. Second, the number of overnight visitations an individual will with the child(ren). Three, the number of children at issue in the Oklahoma divorce or paternity proceeding. Four, whether private health insurance is coverage is being provided by a parent; how much that individual is paying for coverage of the minor child(ren) only; or if no private health insurance coverage is being provided, which parent applied for the child(ren) to be on Soonercare.
In taking a more in-depth look at the first item, gross income means any active income (wages, commissions, salaries, etc.). While passive income includes (dividends, alimony from another proceeding, pensions, gambling winnings, etc.) a party may have. Very few sources of income are specifically exclusory for purposes imputing a parties gross income. Those sources of income excluded include: support received for another child, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF),Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Food Stamps.Examples of Calculating Child Support:
In putting it all together it may be best to provide an example. For this sample Oklahoma child support calculation, let’s say that the Father has a gross monthly income of $3,000.00 while the Mother makes $1,257.00 (Oklahoma minimum wage) a month. The parties have one child who receives Soonercare, which the mother applied for. Father has one-hundred-two (120) overnights per calendar year.
If I were to run the child support guidelines with these numbers, Father’s base obligation for child support to Mother would be $419.31. However, because the child lists as “uninsured”, Father must also to pay an additional $81.04 in cash medical in lieu of insurance, making his totally monthly child support obligation $500.35. Additionally, Father would be ordered to 70.5% (his percentage of the “families” gross income) of all non-covered medical expenses and would be ordered to enroll the minor child in private health insurance if coverage could be obtained at no more than $150.00 a month.
The next question almost always asked: “How can I reduce my child support obligation?” The simplest solution is to assume for child related costs and receive more overnights. So let’s use the same example as before, but with this time the Father paying $150.00 month in health insurance coverage for the child and with Father receiving one-hundred-eighty-two (182) overnights per year (a joint physical custody plan). In running the computation with this new example, Father’s base obligation of $419.31 still remains, but it is then reduced to $182.71 because of his shared parenting time. This amount further reduces by $44.29, which makes up Mother’s 29.5% portion of the medical insurance costs directly reimbursed to Father. This would mean that Father’s final child support obligation would be $138.42, quite a drastic change just based on two simple factors.
I know that there are numerous child support calculators available online. Sometimes they make the computation seem simple, but do not allow it to fool you. This is because of the many other factors and intricacies come into play. For this reason it is best to consult an Oklahoma Family Law attorney. The attorney will tell you just exactly where you stand.
Contact a Child Support Attorney in Tulsa:
Whether there’s a child support order currently in place or not we can help. Our family lawyers have helped collect past due support for many years. Our Oklahoma lawyers are here for you 24/7. Call for a free consultation with a Tulsa family attorney 539-302-0303
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