If You Are Divorcing You Can File in the County District Courts
Video Transcribed: How to file for child support in Oklahoma? My name is James Wirth and I am a Family law attorney in Tulsa, Okla, and that’s the topic we have for today’s video, is how do you file for child support? So, first off, there’s a couple of different ways to do it, depending on what’s going on under your circumstances. So if you are in a marriage, you’re looking at potentially doing a divorce or a legal separation, then you can file in the county district courts.
Whatever county you’re a resident of, that you’re residing in, and the kids are residing in. You can file in that court for a dissolution of marriage, divorce, or for legal separation. And as part of that case, you request that there be orders regarding custody, visitation, and child support.
And that would be incumbent on you to file that, so you can retain an attorney to do that, you can maybe get a drafting service, or you can draft your own paperwork, pay the court’s filing fee, and then go down to the court, get it filed, set it for hearing to get to child support established.
So that’s one option for you. If you are not married, then you may look at doing a paternity action. That would establish who is the father. So if you are the father filing, establish yourself as the father, get parental rights and seek child support from the mother.
If you’re the mother, then you’re filing to establish that the father is the legal father, biological father, and should be paying child support. As part of that paternity action, you make a request for custody to be granted to you, child support to be paid by the other parent.
Also, like the divorce, that’s incumbent upon you. The court’s not going to have paperwork for you. They’re not going to appoint an attorney for you to do that. So you’re going to either have to hire an attorney, get a drafting service to draft paperwork for you, or represent yourself in drafting that and filling it with the court.
The other option is not to go to the county court. There is Oklahoma’s child support enforcement. They have an administrative court that determines paternity and enters child support orders.
And you can go and request that that be done, and they may help you out in doing that. So there’s a couple of things to consider on that. One, in order for it to go to that court, the easiest way to get it there is if services are being provided by the state of Oklahoma. And that would typically be TANIF, or daycare assistance, or SoonerCare.
If those things are being provided by the state of Oklahoma, then the state of Oklahoma has an interest in child support, and a DHS attorney may file for child support regarding your child. So the important consideration for that, they may do all that work. They draft the paperwork, but it may take time to do that. They’re not going to do it on your schedule. They’re going to do it on their schedule, depending on how backlogged they are, it could take months for that to happen.
So if you don’t want to wait months, you can do it on your own, but if you don’t want to do it on your own, then you can wait potentially for DHS to do it. The other important thing to remember, besides that it could take time, is that DHS does not represent you. So if they have an attorney, the DHS attorney that is filing to establish child support, that may benefit you, but they don’t represent you.
They represent the state of Oklahoma and they’re doing what is required as part of the representation of the state of Oklahoma. Now, because they’re going to collect child support if you are the custodial parent that may benefit you, but it’s important to note that distinction.
So if you’ve got a question about your particular circumstances, the best way to get you into court, get that child support order in place, get that money coming in, and to enforce that obligation, you may want to consult with an attorney about that. To do that, you can go to makelaweasy.com to speak with a Tulsa Family Law Attorney.