Child Support under Oklahoma Statutes and Guidelines

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Child Support Law in Oklahoma

Duration of Child Support

  • "Except [where the child has disabilities], any child shall be entitled to support by the parents until the child reaches eighteen (18) years of age. If a child is regularly enrolled in and attending high school, as set forth in Section 11-103.6 of Title 70 of the Oklahoma Statutes, other means of high school education, or an alternative high school education program as a full-time student, the child shall be entitled to support by the parents until the child graduates from high school or until the age of twenty (20) years, whichever occurs first. Full-time attendance shall include regularly scheduled breaks from the school year. No hearing or further order is required to extend support pursuant to this subsection after the child reaches the age of eighteen (18) years." | Okla. Stat. tit. 43, § 112(E) (2007).
  • "The court may order either or both parents to provide for the support of a child for an indefinite period and may determine the rights and duties of the parents if the court finds that: a. the child, whether institutionalized or not, requires substantial care and personal supervision because of a mental or physical disability and will not be capable of self-support, and b. the disability exists, or the cause of the disability is known to exist, on or before the eighteenth birthday of the child." | Okla. Stat. tit. 43, § 112.1A(B) (2001).

2009 Amendments to the Oklahoma Child Support Guidelines

  • What is It. On June 3, 2008, Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry, signed SB 2194 into law, making the first substantial change to the Oklahoma Child Support Guidelines in a number of years. SB 2194 was introduced in the Oklahoma Senate by Senator James Wiliamson, who is an Oklahoma attorney practicing in family law.
  • Changes Made.
    • Definition of Gross Income.
    • excluding certain expenses from base child support obligation
    • specifying the inclusion of certain compensation as gross income
    • specifying adjustments to gross income
    • specifying considerations for imputed income
    • specifying considerations self-employment income
    • specifying considerations for fringe benefits
    • specifying considerations for social security benefits
    • specifying circumstances in which a court may deviate from the guidelines
    • requiring specific findings of fact upon deviation
    • providing considerations for extreme economic hardship
    • providing for extraordinary educational expenses
    • providing for special expenses
    • adjustment of child support based on certain parenting times
    • specifying content of final order
    • medical support order
    • guidelines for health insurance coverage
    • requiring certain review for adjustment
    • providing for informal review for adjustment
  • Changes Made.
    • Treatment of Social Security Benefits. Social security benefit received by a minor child which is derived through a parents is included in that parent's gross income. Social Security Title II benefits received by a child shall be included as income to the parent on whose account the benefit of the child is drawn and applied against the support obligation ordered to be paid by that parent. If the benefit of the child is drawn from the disability of the child, the benefit of the child is not added to the income of either parent and not deducted from the obligation of either parent. Okla. Stat. tit. 43, § 118B(G)(1) (2009).
    • Definition of Overnight. Requires physical custody for at least 12 hours in order to have an overnight. Additionally requires that the parent have made a reasonable expenditure of resources for the care of the child. Okla. Stat. tit. 43, § 118A(9) (2009).
    • Military Pay. For those in the military gross incomes includes hostile fire or imminent danger pay, combat pay, family separation pay, and hardship duty location pay. Okla. Stat. tit. 43, § 118B(A)(g) (2009).
    • Excluded from Gross Income. Adoption assistance subsudy paid from DHS. SSI. Child's income. Payments received for the care of foster children.
    • Gambling Income. Updated to creation of the Oklahoma Lottery and Indian Gaming, lottery and gambling income is specifically included as passive income for the purposes of determining gross income. Okla. Stat. tit. 43, § 118B(A)(3) (2009).
    • Imputed Income. Creates guidelines for determining when imputed income should be used. Okla. Stat. tit. 43, § 118B(D) (2009).
    • Fringe Benefits. Fringe benefits which are provided by an employer but are not shown in the employees pay stubs shall be added to the employee's gross income. These can include: car, housing, room and board. Basic Allowance for Housing, Basic Allowance for Subsistence, and Variable Housing Allowances for service members are considered income for the purposes of determining child support. Fringe benefits do not include employer contributions to health insurance or retirement. Okla. Stat. tit. 43, § 118B(F) (2009).
    • Deduction for Other Child Support Paid. Makes the deduction discretionary (may). Specifically defines when child support paid for other children can be deducted. It changes the deduction by making the deduction only for children born prior to the child currently before the Court. The prior statute provided that the order must predate the current order. Okla. Stat. tit. 43, § 118C (2009). Shall provide proof of at least twelve months of payments. Average the previous 12 months to get the amount.
    • Deductions for Support of In-House Children. Okla. Stat. tit. 43, § 118C(D)(2) (2009). Legal duty to support, live with parents 50%+. The amount of the deduction will be determined based on a child support computation with the parent's incomes, as if the person claiming the deduction is the obligation. 75% of the support obligation from that child support computation is the deduction that the parent receives from gross income.
    • Transportation Expenses. Under both the new law and the old law, transportation expenses could be divided in proportion to the parties gross income, but the new law provides that this can only be done, "so long as the payment of such expenses does not significantly reduce the ability of the custodial parent to provide for the basic needs of the child." Okla. Stat. tit. 43, § 118D(G) (2009).
    • Parenting Time Adjustment. Not mandatorney, but are presumptive. The old law provides an adjustment for "Shared Parenting." This is been replaced by a similar "Parenting Time Adjustment. If the parenting seeking the adjustment spends different amounts of time with different children included in the order, then the number of overnights among the children shall be averaged. Okla. Stat. tit. 43, § 118E (2009).
    • Total combined base child support is multiplied by factor and this equals the Adjusted Combined Child Support Obligation. Then divide the Adjusted Combined Child Support Obligation between the parents based on each's proportion of gross income. Then multiply each's proportion by the percentage of nights each has per year. Then offset each parents Adjusted Child Support Obligation. 121-131 =2; 132-143 = 1.75; 144+ = 1.5.
    • Seems to allow the possibility of Primary Cusodian having less than 206 overnights per year.
    • Modification. Failure to exercise parenting time in a shared parenting senarior is a material change for the purpose of modifying child support. Further, in a child support modification proceeding, failure to exercise prior overnights can allow the court to create a retroactive child support judgment. The court may punatively deny an obligor the Parenting Time adjustment for 12 months, after which time he or she may petition the court to reinstate it if he or she exercised suffcient overnights during the 12 months. Okla. Stat. tit. 43, § 118E(E) (2009).
    • Health Insurance. If health insurance is not currently provided then a party must be ordered to provide it in any temporayr order. Then when a final order is entered the party who was ordered to obtaiin health insurance must provide proof of insurance or that he or she has applied for health insurance. Okla. Stat. tit. 43, § 118F (2009).
    • Health Insurance Preference. Absent good cause to deviate, the manner in which the court should order health insurance pursuant to the following priorities:
      • If both parents have coverage for the child, the preference of the custodial parent shall be given priority. Okla. Stat. tit. 43, § 118F(F) (2009). Through a parents employer, union, trade association, or the organization.
      • Insurance available to a party through another source.
      • If no private insurance is available to the parties, the custodial parent shall be ordered to apply for and obtain a governmental medical assistance program. However, if a child participates in a governmental medical assistance program, the Court shall order "cash medical support."
    • Health Insurance Premium Cost. Absent good cause, the cost of the ordered health insurance must be reasonable, which means that that it cannot be more than 5% of that parties' gross income. Okla. Stat. tit. 43, § 118F(D) (2009).
    • Cash Medical Support. Shall not exceed the actual pro rate share of monthly medical expenses paid for the child or 5% of the obligor's gross income. Okla. Stat. tit. 43, § 118F(F)(4) (2009). Actual monthly medical expenses are determined pursuant to rules promulgated by DHS by determining the pro rata the cost of Oklahoma's uninusred children. The court may also consider the actual health condition of the child. Every order for Cash Medical Support shall provide that it is terminated in the event that health insurance becomes available, is obtained, and notice thereof is given to the obligee and DHS, if applicable.
    • Insurance Underpayment. If the court finds that the obligor has underpaid child support due to changes in the cost of health insurance, the amount of underpayment may established by the court and enforced in the same manner as any other delinquent child support judgment. Okla. Stat. tit. 43, § 118F(H)(5) (2009). If the court finds that the obligor has overpaid due to changes in health insurance coverage cost, the overpayment shall be satisfied.
    • Mandatory Out of Pocket Reimbursement. If reimbursement is required, the parent who incurs the expense shall provide the other parent with proof of the expense within forty-five (45) days of receiving the Explanation of Benefits from the insurance provider or other proof of the expense if the expense is not covered by insurance. The parent responsible for reimbursement shall pay his or her portion of the expense within forty-five (45) days of receipt of documentation of the expense. Okla. Stat. tit. 43, § 118F(I) (2009). In addition to any other sanctions ordered by the court, a parent incurring uninsured dependent health expenses or increased insurance premiums may be denied the right to receive credit or reimbursement for the expense or increased premium if that parent fails to comply with subsections H and I of this section. Okla. Stat. tit. 43, § 118F(J) (2009).
    • Child Care Costs. New statute clarifies that actual child care costs are to be added to base child support in the child support order and therefore not simply reimbursed after it is incurred by the custodial parent. Okla. Stat. tit. 43, § 118F(G) (2009)
    • "The district or administrative court shall require the parent incurring child care expenses to notify the obligor within forty-five (45) days of any change in the amount of the child care costs that would affect the annualized child care amount as determined in the order." "The actual annualized child care costs incurred for the purposes authorized by this section shall be allocated and added to the base child support order, and shall be part of the final child support order." Okla. Stat. tit. 43, § 118F(G) (2009).
    • Deviation from Guidelines. Okla. Stat. tit. 43, § 118H(J) (2009). If there is a deviation the order shall state the basis of the deviation, the amount that would have been ordered under the guidelines, how the deviation is in the best interest of the child, how application of the guidelines would be unfair, and
    • Specific deviation for helping a parent in a deprived case with furthering a perminacy plan. Okla. Stat. tit. 43, § 118H(F) (2009).

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