PTA Is a Discount on Your Child Support
Video Transcribed: What is the parenting time adjustment for Oklahoma child support? I’m Child Support Attorney in Tulsa James Wirth, doing a series of videos related to Oklahoma child support and Oklahoma child support guidelines. And the question here is, what is the parenting time adjustment? And what that means is that you’ve got an obligor and an obligee, and the obligee is the person generally receiving the child support.
The obligor is the person paying the child support, generally the non-custodial parent or the secondary custodial parent. So parenting time adjustment basically says that we’re going to lower child support if the secondary custodian or non-custodial parent has a certain amount of time with the children, counted in overnights.
And it starts at a certain level, and then it steps up to where you get more off of your child support obligation. And the calculation is somewhat complicated. But the information that you need to know is kind of the stairsteps and where they’re involved.
So if you are the non-custodial or the secondary custodial parent, you want additional time. Not only do you get that additional time, but it’s presumed under the law that if you have the kids more, you’re going to be spending more on them to feed them and have clothes or whatever else is necessary for them. And because of that, if you have them for a significant amount of time, you should not be paying the same amount of child support as somebody is that has them for less time.
But rather than having it a day for day, there’s an increase every additional day that affects your child support, Oklahoma law has it in these stages. So if the non-custodial secondary custodial parent and I say secondary custodial parent because sometimes you have joint custody orders, they’re still going to have child support based on the visitation schedule, but you can still have joint legal custody and have to pay child support.
You know, you could have sole custody, technically speaking, but that’s generally not something that happens. But long story short, if we’re talking about legal custody, that’s joint versus sole, that deals with who makes decisions.
It does not deal with how much time you spend with your kids. And it does not affect child support. What does affect child support is how many overnights you have. So if you have at least 121 overnights, that amount up is starting to affect or lower your child support obligation.
Anywhere from 121 to 131 is kind of that step one reduction. If it’s 132 to 143 overnights per year, that’s that second step deduction. And if it’s 144 or more overnights per year, then that’s even more of a deduction. Now, if you have equal time under the statute, that does not automatically mean you have no child support.
Equal time means, what, 182.5 or 183, depending on how you look at it, overnights per year. Under that circumstance, you still fall under that third step, which you get that amount deducted for…you get that factored in based on how many overnights you have.
I mean, technically speaking, if you’re doing the calculation, then your factor is 1.5 there, whereas it’s 1.75 if you have 132 to 143, and it’s two if you have 121 to 131, and then that amount is utilized based on the actual number of overnights to determine the amount of your actual deduction. But as long as you know where those stair steps are, you kind of have an idea of where you want to be if you’re trying to negotiate an appropriate agreement here.
So what I was talking about though, is if you have an equal amount, that doesn’t mean you automatically have no child support. You’re still in that stair-step of the 144 and above, and under those circumstances, where it is even 50/50, the way that it works out is, whoever makes more money is usually the one that’s paying a little bit of child support, but it’s mostly offset, sometimes it’s zero, a little bit above zero.
But doesn’t automatically mean it’s going to be zero, just because it’s equal parenting time there. So what is the parenting time adjustment? That is the discount off your child support based on the algorithm in the Oklahoma child support guidelines, based on the number of overnights that you have.
If you’ve got any questions on how that works in your circumstance, and how to fill that information into the child support guidelines to see what you’re dealing with, you may want to talk to an attorney about that to do so privately and confidentially. You can go online to makelaweasy.com.