Balancing Income, Expenses, and Custody Arrangements
Video Transcript: If both parties share custody, does anyone have to pay child support? My name is Jason Sorensen, I’m a Tulsa Attorney with Wirth Law Office, and today we’re going to be talking about child support.
So, in Oklahoma, unlike some other states, child support is controlled by a statutory formula, which takes into account the party’s income, and the amount of expenses that each party pays, like their insurance. So some states will have just a percentage that they pay of their income that goes towards child support.
But Oklahoma has a very specific formula that you put in different types of data, such as how much they make, and their different expenses that they have. And then it’s this formula that decides how much child support the parents will pay. But another thing that Oklahoma child support takes into consideration to come up with that number, is how many nights the children or child spends with each parent.
So, if they spend a lot of time with one parent and not a lot of time with the other, that’s going to have a big impact on how much child support that the parents pay. So a lot of times parents have the children half-and-half,. And so people think that, “Well, if the other parent has the child just as much as I have the child, why aren’t we paying the same amount?” Because that’s just the way Oklahoma works with this formula.
It is possible that even though parents share custody and they share the amount of time with the children, they can still have child support in their case. One parent can still be obligated to pay child support.
So, for example, let’s say one parent makes a lot of money and they live in a really big, nice house, and then the other parent doesn’t make a lot of money and they live in a tiny little trailer in a trailer park. And these parents have the child one week on, one week off. So they get the child for one week and then they don’t have the child for the next week. Even though the parents have the child the same amount of time, it’s likely that the Court is going to order that the parent in the bigger house that makes more money is going to pay child support to the other parent that doesn’t make as much money. And the reason is, they want to help with that difference between the houses. They want the child to live comfortably in both homes.
So, to help make up for that difference, for the parent that doesn’t make a lot of money, the parent that does make a lot of money is going to help support the parent and the child that don’t make a lot of money, so that the child can still have a good lifestyle in both homes.
But if you want more information about your case, specifically, or if you need help with a divorce case, visit us at makelaweasy.com to speak with an Oklahoma divorce lawyer.