Tulsa Attorney BlogDoes Child Support Include Athletics/Sports Team Costs in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma Child Support Allows Exceptions

Video Transcribed: Does child support in Oklahoma include sports or athletic costs? I’m Tulsa divorce attorney James Wirth, and that’s our question. It’s part of a series that we’re doing related to Oklahoma child support.

And that question is for today, does the child support amount include costs for sporting teams and athletics that the children are involved in? And the answer is that base child support does not.

attorney in OklahomaThe Oklahoma child support guidelines by themselves do not include those costs. So generally, the practical result is that the parent that wants the child to do those things, if they can’t get an agreement from the other side to put in money for that, usually that parent has to pay it. However, there is an exception.

The Oklahoma child support guidelines do have a section in them related to deviating from the guidelines.

And under that section, there’s a specific provision related to special expenses. And that includes sporting costs to athletics.

So you can request that the court deviates from the child support guidelines to add in those special expenses and to require the other parent to pay their pro rata share of that.

Most of the time, the courts go along with the Oakland child support guidelines and do not deviate, but in the right circumstances, they can deviate for certain things, including sports and athletic costs.

Now, how does the court decide whether to deviate or not? Well, as it relates to those types of costs, what the court’s primarily going to be looking at is the history of the kids engaging in this sport.

They’ve been involved in this extracurricular activity, sport, or athletics for a long period with the agreement of both parties. Is that a good reason to stop just because the parties are splitting? That will favor the court, saying we should avoid allowing the cost to be split as part of child support pro rata between the parents.

The other thing is the financial ability of the parents to pay. If one parent does not have the financial ability to pay, it will be more difficult for the other parent to say that they should pay their pro rata share, even though their pro rata share may be smaller due to their making less money than the other parent.

And the other thing is, does the child have a particular aptitude? Is the child good at this sport or athletic activity? If so, that can favor the court ordering a deviation from the guidelines for the parents to split those costs.

So to answer the question, are costs associated with sports and athletics part of child support, they are not. However, you can request a deviation from the guidelines to require the other party to pay their pro rata share of those costs. But most of the time, the court doesn’t do that, but they may under the right circumstances.

If the parents have the financial ability, then the child has a history of participating in that sport with the agreement of both parties, and the child shows an aptitude; those three factors favor the court deviating, but the court does have discretion.

It is not required to deviate. And most of the time, under most circumstances, courts generally avoid deviating from the Oklahoma child support guidelines.

Suppose you have a question about that or something related to Oklahoma law. In that case, you will want to talk to an attorney about it privately to get your specific information, to determine what is most likely to happen in your case, or what is the best for your circumstances. To get an appointment with a Tulsa divorce lawyer scheduled with my office, you can go to makelaweasy.com.

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