Often when you are paying or receiving court-ordered child support payments, the time comes when your circumstances have changed and a modification of the payments is required. For example, if you are now having trouble paying child support, or if you believe that you are no longer receiving enough support for your children, you may need to modify your child support payments.
Modifications to child support in Oklahoma
Child support payments are court-ordered, and a modification to your payments must also be pursuant to a court order. You and your counterpart may agree on the terms of the modification on your own, but whatever changes you agree upon will have to be reviewed by the court.
Oklahoma courts follow strict guidelines for allowing modifications to child support orders. Generally, Oklahoma Child Support Guidelines require one or more of the following conditions in order to qualify for a modification:
1) Your child support order does not contain an order for medical support;
2) Your child support order was not calculated according the Oklahoma Child Support Guidelines;
3) If there are “significant changes” in circumstance, such as:
1. There are no more children to support;
2. Either parent has qualified for medical disability (to be verified);
3. Custody has changed pursuant to a court order;
4. There have been significant changes in the cost of daycare or medical insurance; or,
5. Any notable changes to the income of either parent.
How to request a modification
There are 3 ways to have your child support payments modified in Oklahoma:
1) You may hire an attorney to request that the court modify the terms of your support.
2) You can do it yourself (Pro Se), by acquiring a Pro Se Modification packet and filing the required documents with the court. However, this may still require that you consult with an attorney to go over your completed documents before you file them to insure that you supply the court with sufficient reason to grant a modification.
3) You may ask the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OK DHS) – Child Support Services, if you have a case with them, to review your child support order to see if it meets the requirements for a modification.
How much child support should you be paying?
In Oklahoma, the amount of child support you pay is a function of each parent’s share of the total amount of income available to support the children. Thus, if there is an increase in the standard of living of either parent, there should be a corresponding increase in the lifestyle of their children.
Either parent can request a modification of child support payments. But, not all modifications will result in a decrease or increase in the amount that must be paid. In fact, it is quite possible that if you request a decrease, you may instead receive an increase. So, before seeking to modify your child support payments, you or your attorney should review the state Child Support Guidelines to calculate an estimate of how much you should be paying before going to court. Alternately, if you have a case with (OK DHS) Child Support Services, you can request that they do this for you.
Confidential Consultation: Sapulpa Family Law Attorney
For a free consultation with a Sapulpa family law attorney, call the Wirth Law Office – Sapulpa at (918) 248-0067 or toll-free at (888) 947-8452 or submit the question form at the top right of this page. Either way you reach out to us we will promptly respond to your legal concerns about family law matters.