Each parent has a legal obligation to support their child financially. When parents live together, they share the financial burden, but after a divorce, the non-custodial parent will typically pay the parent with primary physical custody child support to cover the child’s basic needs. The court calculates support payments based on each parent’s income, and when there is a court order in place, paying this amount is not optional. The failure to pay child support is a serious offense that can come with a range of penalties.
If your former spouse has failed to make child support payments, contact an Oklahoma City child support enforcement lawyer from The Smith Firm. Our experienced family law attorneys understand the nuanced laws regarding child support in Oklahoma. We could advise you on how much support should be paid and what to do when payments are not made on time.
Parents with physical custody of their children must handle everyday expenses including clothing, food, and housing. The noncustodial parent still owes a financial obligation to their child after divorce. Unless custody is split equally, the parent without custody must fulfill their obligation by making child support payments to the primary caregiver.
Although there are statutory guidelines that determine the amount each parent is responsible for based on income, the court, at its discretion, can set a different payment based on the circumstances. For example, if your child has special needs and the base amount of support will not cover this, the court can require more. On the other hand, if you and your co-parent agree that child support is not needed, the court can dictate this.
In most cases, child support is set based on the number of children you have, as well as you and your co-parent’s combined income. For example, if your joint income is $4,000 per month the obligation to your child is $580. If the parent responsible for paying support makes $2,000 per month or fifty percent, they must pay $290 in child support to the custodial parent. An Oklahoma City child support attorney could give you more individualized guidance on calculating payment amounts and what steps to take to enforce compliance from your co-parent.
A child support order is a legal obligation, meaning that if a parent fails to make payments, they are in violation of the law. It can be incredibly frustrating for the primary caregiver when the parent responsible for paying support does not cover their fair share of expenses. Not only does this leave them supporting the child on their own, but they may also need to hire an attorney to enforce the order.
If your co-parent does not pay child support in full or at all, you have legal options to enforce the order. An Oklahoma City child support enforcement attorney could file a motion to begin the process and help you determine the best steps to take for your circumstances. The law allows for a withholding order to the paying parent’s employer, which could include wage garnishment and the interception of tax refunds. In some instances, a non-paying parent could be found in contempt, resulting in potential jail times and fines.
Child support laws can be complex, and it is even more difficult to navigate the process when you are busy trying to provide for your child’s needs. The failure to pay child support is a serious offense as it is a violation of a court order. If your former spouse failed to make timely child support payments, ask an Oklahoma City child support enforcement lawyer from The Smith Firm about your options. Contact us today.