Child Support in Oklahoma Is Statutory
Video Transcribed: Child support cannot be modified retroactively in Oklahoma. I’m Oklahoma lawyer James Wirth, and that is the issue we’re talking about related to Oklahoma child support in the series that we’re doing. And this one, again, is statutory. So you can find this rule under Oklahoma law.
It’s in Title 43, Section 112, subsection A3. And what it provides is that the court may modify or check change any order whenever circumstances render the change proper either before or after final judgment in the action provided that the amount of the periodic child support payment shall not be modified retroactively, or payment of all or a portion of the past due waived, except by mutual agreement of the obligor and the obligee.
So cannot be modified retroactively. What does that mean? Okay. So if you’ve got a change in circumstances, you lost your job. The other party lost their job. More income, less income, whatever the change is that would change the amount of child support.
Maybe there are other subsequent kids born, maybe daycare costs went up. Whatever the case may be, you can file to get that modified if it’s a permanent substantial essentially relevant change in the circumstances, but you cannot go back. So if you wait to file with the court, if that change happens on January 1st and you wait until June to file for the modification.
You get the decision in August. That decision in August is only going to be retroactive to the date that you filed your motion. It can’t go back to January. It’s only going to go back to June. So that’s six months that you lost the benefit of that modification because you did not file it because you cannot modify it retroactively.
So if there are any changes of circumstances where child support needs to change in your case, you need to file that motion to modify immediately because you cannot do it retroactively by law unless there is the one exception that I listed there. And that is if there’s an agreement between the parties.
If you and the other party agree to modify it retroactively, then you can include that as part of the order. You draft up the order that way, give it to the judge, the agreement. Parties both sign off on it. If DHS is involved, you’re going to want the DHS to sign off on it. And then the judge will likely sign off for it. Even if there were no agreement, the judge would not have the authority to enter those terms.
And you can’t count on the other side to agree. Just because they’re agreeable on the day one doesn’t mean they’re going to be agreeable on the day that you’re before the judge. So don’t rely on that.
File for that modification quickly so that you can have it retroactive to the date of that filing rather than losing out on those changes, which could be, amount to thousands and thousands of dollars depending on your circumstances and what has changed. So if you’ve got any questions about child support in Oklahoma, talk to an attorney about that privately, confidentially. To get that scheduled with somebody at my office, you go online to makelaweasy.com.