As an involved and devoted parent, you may do almost anything for your child. Yet, you may wince at the idea of paying child support after your divorce. Likely, you will believe it unnecessary if you will cover their expenses during your custody or visitation time. But rather than treating it as a burden, you must remember your support will help your child thrive.
It is important, though, to understand Oklahoma’s child support guidelines. By familiarizing yourself with them, you can prepare your obligation’s impact.
Oklahoma’s child support guidelines
Like many couples, you and your spouse may earn a combined gross income of $15,000 per month or less. If you do, your basic child support obligation is set forth in a table created by the state. The share you will pay of this obligation will equal the percentage of your household’s income that you earn. Yet, you and your spouse’s combined gross income may exceed $15,000 per month. In this case, the court will compute your basic child support obligation based on a monthly income of $15,000. Depending on your circumstances, your obligation may deviate from its basic value at the court’s discretion.
While you may end up being your child’s noncustodial parent, you may receive more than 120 overnights of parenting time each year. The more overnights you have, the more money the court will presume you will spend on your child. Thus, your monthly child support payment will decrease from its basic value.
Understanding when child support ends
You will continue paying child support until your child turns 18. The exception to this rule is if your child remains in high school past their 18th birthday. If they do, you will pay child support until they graduate or turn 20, whichever happens first. Your obligation will continue indefinitely, though, if your child has a physical or mental disability that prevents them from becoming self-supporting.
You and your spouse may have more than one child. If you do, your child support obligation will not decrease once one of your children reaches the age of majority or graduates high school. To adjust your monthly payment, in this case, you will have to file a motion to modify your support order.