You Must Support Your Children
People fall behind on child support payments for a variety of reasons. Most often, this does not occur intentionally. But the law requires that both parents support their children until they reach the age of majority, which is 18 years of age in Oklahoma.
When a parent falls behind, it is usually the non-custodial parent. The delinquency can put the other parent – usually the custodial parent – at a financial disadvantage. The parent might even need to seek help from public assistance services within the state. Both the parent and the state have a vested interest in making sure that a child is supported. In fact, it is the law. You must support your children.
Oklahoma Child Support Collection
Most often, collection of delinquent child support payments in Oklahoma is handled by garnishing the non-paying parent’s wages. That means that the delinquent amounts will be subtracted from the delinquent parent’s paycheck until they are current in their payments again. This is often called an income assignment and is handled by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services or the local District Attorney’s office.
Differences in Enforcement Procedure
If the custodial parent is not receiving any sort of public assistance benefits, enforcement can be done by a private attorney who can handle the garnishment for you. This is often the easiest way for the matter to be handled.
If the parent is receiving public assistance services, the Department of Human Services often handles the matter of garnishment and will subtract the amount of public assistance given from the amount collected by the garnishment.
Delinquent Child Support Enforcement Across State Lines
Oklahoma has adopted the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFAS). If a court has ordered that a parent pay child support, that parent cannot escape that order by moving to another state. Child support orders and wage garnishment are available across state lines.
In fact, a number of tools are available to ensure that back child support is paid. Federal and state tax refunds may be intercepted, a wage garnishment order can be given to the delinquent parent’s place of employment, or their property can have a lien placed against it.
In addition, there are a number of state and federal tools that can be used to pressure a delinquent parent into paying back child support. Professional and state licenses may be denied, driver’s licenses may be suspended, and federal passports can be denied.
Finally, should a delinquent parent try to escape paying back child support, that parent can be held in contempt of court and jailed. This is often unpleasant enough to force a parent to pay the back child support owed.
There are things you can do to collect back child support. Seek the help of an Oklahoma attorney for child support collection who can help you determine what might be the best avenue for you to take given all the circumstances.
Free Consultation with a Tulsa Family Law Attorney
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