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Video Transcribed: Enforcing child support in Oklahoma through an income assignment. I’m Tulsa attorney James Wirth, and we’re about to talk about how to garnish the obligor to get your child support paid.
All right, so in Oklahoma, there’s a lot of different ways to enforce child support. You can do a contempt, you can take a driver’s license, you could put a hold on a passport, you can take some garnish a bank account, you can take money from a tax return, a lot of different things you can do.
But one of the best ways, if you’ve got a parent or other person that owes you child support that is working where their payroll and goes through, whether it’s in Oklahoma or whether it’s working in another state, that’s the best way to enforce child support at least initially.
So the law allows you to get an income assignment in place, which is just a fancy phrase in child support for a garnishment. You can get that in place at the time an order is entered. You don’t have to wait for there to be in arrearage.
You can get that done in the first place. And as long as you know where the party is working, then you can fill out that appropriate paperwork. That’s usually not a problem at all to get the judge to sign off on it.
You serve it on the employer, and then if the employer doesn’t garnish those wages, they’re actually eligible or they’re actually on the hook for what they failed to garnish. So employers are generally pretty good at making sure that gets entered properly, it gets paid properly out of their payroll.
If they are not working or they’re constantly changing jobs, or they get paid under the table, it may not be the best option, but where they’re working and they go through regular payroll, it’s probably the best option and there’s a few good things about it.
So first off, normally when you get a judgment in place for something other than child support, there’s a maximum. It’s called an exemption on how much of their current earnings you can take. So for a regular debt, that exemption is 75% of their income.
So you can only take 25%. That’s not the case with child support. With child support, it’s anywhere from 50% to 65%, depending if they’re supporting other people like a spouse or other children, and depending on whether the 12 weeks or more behind.
So if they’re not supporting anybody else in their household and they’re 12 weeks or more behind on the child support, you can garnish up to 65% of their disposable income, which is a lot.
The other thing is child support obligations are automatically judgments. So you don’t have to go to court and say, “Oh, he’s paid this much. He’s in arrears this much.” It’s automatically a judgment. So you don’t have to go back to court on that all of the time.
So that can make the process a little bit easier. The best thing is that when you’re garnished for other debts or your other people are being garnished for other debts, those garnishments have to be renewed every six months.
Child support garnishments or income assignments do not have to be renewed, which makes it all a simple process for collecting child support.
So if you’ve got child support that’s owed to you, you want to talk about collecting through an income assignment or garnishment or through other mechanisms, you can contact me or somebody in my office. Go into makelaweasy.com.