Oklahoma Child Support is Statutory
Video Transcribed: Does DHS have to sign off on my Oklahoma child support order? I’m Child Support Attorney in Tulsa James Wirth, we’ll be doing a series of videos related to child support in Oklahoma. And this one has to do with Oklahoma DHS and they’re standing to appear and their necessity as a party.
And the question is, do they have to sign off on my child support order? Generally speaking, if the parents of the child have received benefits through DHS, then DHS is likely to be an interested party by statute. If not, then they are not and they do not have to provide them with notice.
But here’s what the law says more specifically, it is statutory, it’s Title 43, section 112, subsection F. And what it provides is that “In any case in which provision is made for the custody or support of a minor child or enforcement of such order and before hearing the matter or signing any orders, the court shall inquire whether public assistance money or medical support has been provided by the department of human services for the benefit of each child.
If public assistance money, medical support, or child support services under the state child support plan have been provided for the benefit of the child, the department shall be a necessary party for the adjudication of the debt due to the state of Oklahoma and for the adjudication of paternity child support and medical insurance coverage for the minor child in accordance with federal regulation. When such action is filed, a petitioner shall give notice to the department of the action.
The department shall not be required to intervene in the action in order to have the standing to appear. When the department is a necessary part of the action, any orders concerning paternity, child support, medical support, or the debt due to the state of Oklahoma shall be approved and signed by the department.”
So if DHS provides benefits, then they are automatically a necessary party. They do not have to intervene. It’s incumbent on the petitioner to give them notice. And then if you have an order to be entered, you have to get DHS’s signature on it. Because they’re not required to intervene, it’s almost as though the burden is on the petitioner, whoever’s trying to get the order in to get DHS to sign off on it, which can be tough.
Because sometimes DHS is a governmental organization, sometimes a bureaucracy, sometimes understaffed, it may be difficult to get them to sign off on any order, but you can’t get them to appear in court necessarily because they’re very difficult to get the judge to default them because they’re a necessary party by statute.
And sometimes it can be difficult to get the judge obviously, to sign off on it without DHS’s signature. So the hold up many times, if we’re trying to get something done quickly, as far as a child support order, usually the longest thing it takes to get is the signature by DHS and it’s the hardest thing to expedite, but under some circumstances, we can.
So if you are having difficulty getting an order entered due to DHS, or you’re having difficulty with your attorney getting an order entered, it may be DHS that’s holding that up. So don’t go too hard on them.
But if you’ve got questions about Oklahoma child support, how to get these orders entered, or when DHS is an interested party or not, you’re going to want to talk to an attorney about your circumstances and do so privately to receive legal advice confidentially. If you want to get that scheduled with somebody at my office you go online to makelaweasy.com.