A New Year can bring about many resolutions. These might include cutting back on certain foods or alcohol, going to the gym more frequently, becoming more fiscally responsible or several other lifestyle changes. For those who have gone through divorce and have been paying a high amount child support, it’s quite possible you are asking the following question: Can child support in Oklahoma be changed after a divorce has been finalized?
The short answer to this question is yes, but with a few caveats the Tulsa law firm of Fry & Elder would like to point out by answering the following questions.
What Are the Requirements for Changing Child Support?
In Oklahoma, changing the amount owed for child support is called a child support modification. The parent paying child support may qualify for a different payment amount if there has been a substantial change in circumstances.
The court leaves this open to interpretation. Common situations that qualify are loss of employment, alteration to the child custody schedule, and the birth of another child.
A court does not usually consider small changes to life circumstances or income. It will consider significant changes that have an impact on the parent’s ability to pay the current child support amount ordered.
Modifications can also be sought after an increase in income. A significant promotion might result in a higher child support payment.
When Should You Request an Oklahoma Child Support Modification?
Oklahoma child support modifications are allowed when warranted. The two factors which typically determine whether an Oklahoma child support modification is warranted or not is that either there has been a significant change in circumstance since the initial order was issued or there was a problem at the time of the initial order.
Significant change of circumstance include the following according to OKLaw.org.
- The child is no longer entitled to child support;
- Verified permanent medical disability of either parent;
- Court ordered custody change;
- Change in daycare or medical insurance; or,
- Significant change in income in either parent’s income
Additionally, if there’s been a significant period of time to three years since the original decree was entered you can apply for current income information, as the child support probably would be increased.
How do I start the process of modifying child custody?
You must first file a motion to modify custody in the court that has jurisdiction to modify the prior custody order. The motion to modify is an important legal document that initiates your case. Once the motion is filed, the other parent must be served with it.
In Oklahoma, the receiving parent then has 15 days to file an answer with the court upon being served. If the two sides cannot agree to the requested modification of child custody, then the parents must present the matter to a judge at a formal hearing. Both parents will have the opportunity to present evidence on the matter at a trial.
Fry & Elder Here to Help You Through the Oklahoma Child Support Modification Process
If you need help navigating changes to your child support plan, the family law attorneys at Fry & Elder will not only help you through the process, but customize a game-plan tailor-made to fit your request.
With roots dating back to 1932, Fry & Elder has long epitomized Tulsa legal excellence in family law, criminal law, and personal injury law. The firm has also achieved national notoriety having been named to the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Law Firms List every year since 2014.
Contact Fry & Elder today to set up a personal consultation with an experienced and knowledgeable Tulsa support attorney.