Oklahoma Child Support Guidelines Have the Answer
Video Transcribed: How do I know if my ex’s income has changed since the last time that we entered a child support order? I’m Tulsa lawyer James Wirth. And that’s the question related to a series on Oklahoma child support and the Oklahoma child support guidelines.
Well, that’s your ex. You’re not in a relationship anymore; you’re not communicating well or maybe not very frequently, so how do you know if they’ve had a change in circumstances where they got a new job, or they got a raise or a promotion? How are you to know that? Well, the Oklahoma child support guidelines have an answer to that.
First off, you can specify in your order that you’re required to exchange certain information every so often, so you could put in there that you’re required to provide your last pay stub of the year, your W2, your tax returns, whatever may be applicable documentation for determining income or information related to costs for health insurance, daycare costs.
And you can have that in the order that it has to be provided often. However, even if it’s not in the order, the Oklahoma statute provides that you can still make those requests, pursue it to statute annually, and they’re supposed to get those responses back within 45 days.
So you can make that request. And it’s based on title 43, section 118-I, subsection D, and you can request information related to income changes, and they should get those responses to you within 45 days.
And then, at that point, whether there is a basis to file for a modification. If there is, file for that modification. Now, what if they don’t comply with the statute?
If you send the request, formally pursued to the statute, and they ignore it, well, I’d say that you’d have a good argument that can create a presumption, at least, a reasonable inference that their income perhaps has changed on the upward side and that’s why they’re avoiding that.
So I’d say you could probably file the modification anyway. Send out discovery requests, formal requests for that information, and request that they pay your attorney’s fees for any cost associated with them not complying with the statute.
I think it’s reasonable for the court to grant that in those cases, although the court is not required to do so. The court would have discretion. But from my perspective, as an attorney advising clients, we’ve got a form letter for this. We send it out.
We file for a modification and discovery request if they don’t comply. If we find out that there was not a strong basis for modification that we thought based on them not responding, then we would still request that they are responsible for attorney’s fees because they didn’t comply with the law.
So if you’ve got questions about any circumstances related to Oklahoma child support or Oklahoma law in general, you’ll want to talk to an Oklahoma attorney about that privately, confidentially, so you can get legal advice. To get that scheduled with somebody at my office, you can go online to makelaweasy.com