Even if you decide to pursue an uncontested divorce in Oklahoma, you and your spouse will continue to have some significant obligations to any of your children that are minors. In Oklahoma, both parents have a legal and moral responsibility to financially support their children so that they do not become wards of the state. The legislature has produced guidelines for eligible minor children, which the courts will enforce, to ensure the well-being of each child in the wake of a divorce.
How is Child Support in Oklahoma Determined?
Oklahoma’s child support guidelines determine the minimum amount of support that is necessary to provide for the basic needs of a child. By law, children up to the age of 18 in Oklahoma are to receive child support, provided they have graduated from high school. If they are still in high school, child support can continue until they graduate or reach the age of 20, whichever comes first.
In some instances parents can agree to waive child support in Oklahoma. However, this agreement must be in the child’s best interests. The amount of child support is based on a complex formula that begins with both parents’ income.
What are the Guidelines?
Child support guidelines have been in place in Oklahoma since 1987. The first step is to compute the adjusted gross income of each parent so that a total family gross income figure can be determined. The ways to determine gross income include:
- Actual monthly income or the income-equivalent of a 40-hour work week (no overtime included),
- Average monthly income over the past three years,
- Minimum wages paid for a 40-hour work week, or
- The value of monthly income for someone with comparable experience, training, and education.
Each parent’s adjusted gross income is combined to reach a “family gross income.” Depending on the income level and the number of children, the state will determine your base monthly obligation.
The parent that owes child support will be based on the percentage share of income, with the non-custodial parent usually paying to the parent with primary custody. Other adjustments to the base child support will include payment for medical and dental premiums and expenses and work-related child care.
Parenting Time Adjustments in Oklahoma
The child support guidelines in Oklahoma assume that the parents have a “standard” visitation or time-sharing schedule in which the non-custodial parent has up to 120 overnight visits each year. If you have a “parenting time” adjustment, each parent has the child for 121 nights or more annually, and there will be an adjustment in the child support calculation. This is a complex formula that will depend on the precise number of nights that each parent plans to have the child each year.
“Split custody” is a different arrangement. In these cases, each parent will have primary custody of one or more children. For the sake of child support under these circumstances, there will be a separate calculation related to each custody situation, and then the total amounts will offset one another, with the parent having the larger obligation making payment of the difference to the other.
Every divorce, even those in which you agree on most issues, has its share of emotion and uncertainty. If you and your spouse need a quick and easy uncontested divorce in Oklahoma, contact our legal team at MicroDivorce to find out how we can help. Our dependable services are affordable and promise to make the process as simple as possible. Find out if you qualify now.