04.15.2024 Newsletters Doerner

Common Misconceptions About Child Support Guidelines

Child Support Guidelines

Nearly 24 million children live with just one parent in the US. Child support helps make sure these children have everything they need to thrive. But there’s a lot of confusion around how child support guidelines work. 

This article cuts through the myths and gives you the straight story on child support. Keep reading to learn more about how Oklahoma courts look at child support. 

Child Support Ends at 18

In reality, the age at which child support obligations cease can vary depending on the specific guidelines in your state. Some states extend support until the child graduates from high school or reaches a certain age.

In Oklahoma, the law asserts you must continue paying child support until your child graduates from high school or reaches the age of 20, provided the child remains in high school past age 18. 

Joint Custody Means No Child Support

It’s a common misconception that having joint child custody automatically means no child support will be awarded. In reality, child support is typically determined based on various factors. These factors include each parent’s income, the percentage of time each parent spends with the child and the child’s needs in some circumstances.

Even in joint custody cases where both parents share physical custody equally, there could still be a need for financial support to ensure the child’s well-being. Child support guidelines prioritize the child’s best interests above all else.

Payments Are Lowered If the Paying Parent Quits Their Job

Child support guidelines may consider factors beyond income, primarily at certain income levels.  If a paying parent voluntarily leaves their job to avoid making payments, the court may impute income based on what they are capable of earning.

You Don’t Have to Worry About Back Payments

Unpaid child support doesn’t automatically vanish once your child comes of age. The court can still enforce the payment of any missed or late payments regardless of your child’s age.

You Don’t Have to Pay If Visitation Is Denied

Courts view visitation denial as serious but do not typically allow it to be used as grounds to withhold child support payments. Both parents are expected to uphold their responsibilities, regardless of disagreements or conflicts regarding visitation schedules.

If your former spouse denies visitation, you still need to limit remedies to those provided by Oklahoma law.  The best course of action is to seek a resolution and work with a family law attorney while continuing to fulfill your financial obligations towards your children.

Life is full of changes – job loss, promotions, medical expenses, etc. – all of which can impact your ability to pay or receive child support. Family courts understand this and have processes in place to review and modify child support orders if circumstances have significantly changed.

Hire an Oklahoma Attorney That Understands Child Support Guidelines 

Child support guidelines are designed to ensure the well-being of the children involved. These guidelines aim to provide financial support for the child’s upbringing and are not meant to burden either parent unfairly.

At Doerner, we’ve been serving our community since 1896. We understand that building trust and relationships matters inside and outside the courtroom. Contact us today and let us help with your case.