Both parents have a responsibility to raise and support their child, including through financial support. When parents divorce, separate, or do not live together for other reasons, financial support is still required. Child support payments exist to ensure that both parents contribute financially to their children’s lives. A child support attorney in Oklahoma City can help you determine child support calculations and negotiations in a divorce, paternity, or other legal case.

Calculating Child Support in Oklahoma City

Child support payments are typically monthly payments between co-parents. The amount that one parent pays to the other is necessary to provide for a child. The calculations for determining these payments rely on several factors to ensure that they are fair for the entire family. Each calculation factors in several individual aspects of a family’s life. These include:

  • The income and earning capacity of each parent
  • The additional financial resources of each parent
  • The cost of health insurance and childcare
  • The health and medical issues a child has
  • Whether either parent has current support obligations to other children
  • The number of children the couple has together who need support
  • The state benefits a child receives
  • The amount of parenting time each parent has with their child

The state formula calculates basic child support obligations through:

  1. Determining each parent’s adjusted gross income (AGI), which is all of a parent’s taxable income minus certain expenses.
  2. Combining each parent’s AGI for the combined family AGI.
  3. Determining each parent’s percentage of the total AGI.
  4. Finding the basic child support amount on the Oklahoma Child Support Guidelines Schedule according to the combined AGI. This amount considers the basic costs of raising a child, including housing, clothing, food, transportation, basic education costs, and entertainment costs. It also takes into account the number of children that need support.
  5. Split the amount stated on the guidelines between parents based on their percentage share of the combined AGI.

Typically, the parent with less custody or parenting time with children pays their percentage of support to the custodial parent. The amount of parenting time that each parent has may impact the percentage of support that each parent must pay. When parents have equal or nearly equal custody, the parent with greater income will likely pay their percentage of the support to the lower-earning spouse.

Child Support Agreements Outside of Court

Child support cases are often decided through the court and the state’s formula. There are situations where parents can make decisions regarding child support themselves, such as while they create their separation agreement. However, this decision must be reviewed and approved by the family law judge as being in the child’s interests.

The court will review the amount compared to the state guideline support amount. Any deviations from the formula must be to the child’s benefit. If the court does not approve the decision for child support, it will assign support according to the state guidelines.

When Will There Be Deviations From the Formula?

Deviation from the formula by parents or by the court may be allowed if it is in the child’s interests. The court may deviate if the level of support under the formula is unjust under a family’s unique circumstances.

In some cases, deviation will be allowed to account for excess expenses for a child, such as:

  • Excess medical needs
  • Private schooling costs
  • Extracurricular costs
  • Traveling between parents’ homes
  • High childcare expenses

If one or both parents have an income of $15,000 a month or higher, the court will consider reasonable deviations from the formula based on the family’s and the child’s unique needs.


Q: How Is Child Support Calculated in Oklahoma?

A: When the Oklahoma family court decides child support, it is calculated according to a specific formula. This formula takes into account:

  • The income, resources, and earning capacity of each parent
  • The number of children who need support
  • The adjusted gross income of both parents
  • If one parent has a greater portion of parenting time with children
  • The expenses associated with raising a child
  • Other children in the household or to whom either parent has financial obligations
  • Daycare, childcare, and healthcare insurance costs
  • Other relevant and additional expenses

Q: Do You Have to Pay Child Support If You Have 50-50 Custody in Oklahoma?

A: There are some cases where parents have 50-50 custody and do not have to pay child support, as they are both equally contributing to the financial support of their children. However, each family’s situation is different, and some parents may need to pay support.

Often, 50-50 custody does not actually mean parenting time is split perfectly, so the parent with more time with children is likely paying more. There are also some costs that cannot be split, like insurance costs. Parental income may also be unequal.

Q: What Rights Does a Father Have in Oklahoma?

A: When a child has two legal and biological parents, both of those parents have the same parental rights, regardless of gender. When parents are married and have a child, parental presumption assumes both parents are the child’s parents.

However, when parents are unmarried, the parent who did not give birth to the child must establish their paternity. If a parent does not establish paternity through an acknowledgment of paternity or a court order, then that parent has no parental rights to a child.

Q: What Happens If Someone Doesn’t Pay Child Support in Oklahoma?

A: If a parent who has been ordered by the court to pay child support refuses to do so, there are several steps you can take. If you have a good relationship with your co-parent, it can be helpful to first talk with them to determine what can be done to help.

If a parent is unwilling to talk, continues to not pay support, or makes no attempt to modify the court order, you can request that the family court or the state enforce the court order. The court may garnish a parent’s wages, hold them in contempt of court, or take other actions to enforce the order.

Protecting Your Family’s Financial Stability

It is important for parents and their children that child support is calculated correctly and fairly. Having an attorney by your side can protect your rights and ensure fair calculations. Contact Stange Law Firm to see how our attorneys can help.