We all know that parents are legally obligated to provide support for their children. How that obligation comes into play varies though. When parents live together and share their finances, both parents contribute. But parents often do not live together. Either parent can file for child support in Wagoner County. In a divorce or legal separation, support is sought as part of that proceeding.
When the Department of Human Services (DHS) is involved and contributing services to the family, DHS can also be involved in a filing for support. The filing seeking support can be made through DHS, which then seeks reimbursement for services it has rendered. It is reimbursed from payments made.
Calculating Child Support In Wagoner County
Oklahoma uses guidelines to help determine the amount of support that a court will order. The guidelines specify a baseline level of support that should be paid at varying combined parental incomes for the number of children involved. Okla. Stat. tit. 43 § 119
For example, for a couple earning $3,250 per month with one child, the guideline support is $528 a month. When a couple has a combined income of $1,400, the child support for one child is $273. For two children at that income level, support increases to $397.
Additional children increase the monthly guideline figure. Additionally, the guidelines cap combined monthly income figures at $15,000. At that level, the amount of support for one child is $1,372 monthly.
At income levels above $15,000, the court computes child support. Likewise, if there are more than six children, the court will compute the amount. As always, a Wagoner lawyer is your best resource for estimating child support obligations.
Income Can Be Imputed
So, what happens when both parents are not working? Even in the absence of income, the obligation to support your child continues. Therefore, the court may impute income. This may be done assuming a 40 hour a week work schedule at minimum wage for both parents. In 2021, Oklahoma’s minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. As a result, both parents will have an “income” for purposes of child support. And one of the parents will pay child support to the other.
There Are More Factors To Consider Than Just The Guideline Amount
Guideline amounts are exactly that. Other expenses and deducted from income and some credits are given. Certain expenses such as child care, medical, and dental may be deducted or a credit given depending on how the expenses are paid.
Let’s say that one of the parents provides all of the medical and dental insurance for the children. If that parent pays out of pocket for that insurance, that amount is either deducted or a credit is given. The court uses a special support calculator to determine support amounts.
Deviation From Child Support Guidelines
There are situations where a court may deviate from guideline support amounts. A court may do so when the guideline amount of support is unjust, inequitable, unreasonable, or inappropriate under the circumstances, or not in the best interests of any child involved.
This may be necessary for very large families. The guidelines only provide figures for up to six children. If you have a much larger family, you can ask the court to adjust the amount to make support more equitable.
The same is true for high-income families. Guidelines only consider income up to $15,000 a month. If the parents’ combined income is above that, the amount of support may be too low. An increased amount may be fairer and in the best interests of the child.
These deviations require a hearing that both parents must attend. In all cases, the courts will try to do what is in the child’s best interests.
Issues regarding child support can be complicated. Guidelines only provide so much information. If you have questions, you should bring them to an experienced Wagoner child support attorney. An experienced attorney can help you understand how support may play out in your specific situation.
Free Consultation: Wagoner Divorce Attorney
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