Oklahoma Child Support Laws

“Gross income” includes income from any source, including but not limited to salaries, wages, commissions, bonuses, severance pay, dividends, pensions, rent, interest income, trust income, annuities, social security benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, disability insurance benefits, gifts, prizes, and royalties. Expense reimbursements or in-kind payments received by a parent in the course of employment, self-employment, or operation of a business shall be counted as income if they are significant and reduce personal living expenses. Such payments may include but are not limited to a company car, free housing, or reimbursed meals.

Specifically excluded from gross income are actual child support received for children not before the court, and benefits received from means-tested public assistance programs including but not limited to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Food Stamps, and General Assistance and State Supplemental Payments for Aged, Blind and the Disabled.

For income from self-employment, rent, royalties, proprietorship of a business, or joint ownership of a partnership or closely held corporation, “gross income” is defined as gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required for self-employment or business operations. The court shall deduct from self-employment gross income an amount equal to the employer contribution for F.I.C.A. tax which an employer would withhold from an employee’s earnings on an equivalent gross income amount. A determination of business income for tax purposes shall not control for purposes of determining a child support obligation.

If equitable, the district or administrative court may instead impute as gross monthly income for either parent the amount a person with comparable education, training and experience could reasonably expect to earn.

The amount of any preexisting district or administrative court order for current child support for children not before the court or for support alimony arising in a prior case shall be deducted from gross income to the extent payment is actually made under the order;

The amount of reasonable expenses of the parties attributable to debt service for preexisting, jointly acquired debt of the parents may be deducted from gross income to the extent payment of the debt is actually made. In any case where deduction for debt service is made, the district or administrative court may provide for prospective upward adjustments of support made possible by the reasonably anticipated reduction or elimination of any debt service.

-From Section §43-118 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

Calculating Child Support.
Oklahoma Child Support uses an “income shares” model for calculating child support. Each parent’s gross income is determined and adjusted as described above, then the two incomes are added together to determine the combined adjusted gross income. The combined adjusted gross income is compared to Oklahoma’s Child Support Guideline Schedule to determine the basic child support obligation. Each parent’s obligation is determined in proportion to their adjusted gross income.

The actual medical and dental insurance premium for the child shall be allocated between the parents in proportion to their adjusted gross income and shall be added to the base child support obligation.

In cases where shared parenting time has been ordered by a district court or agreed to by the parents, the base monthly obligation shall be adjusted. “Shared parenting time” means that each parent has physical custody of the child or children overnight for more than 120 nights each year.

In cases of split custody, where each parent is awarded custody of at least one of their natural or legally adopted children, the child support obligation for each parent shall be calculated by application of the child support guidelines for each custodial arrangement. The parent with the larger child support obligation shall pay the difference between the two amounts to the parent with the smaller child support obligation.

-From Section §43-118 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

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