If you have gone through the process of establishing child support payments in the court system and the proper Oklahoma Child Support Guidelines were followed and all required provisions were addressed, you may be under the impression that you are locked into the amount that was set. However, this is not necessarily true. If you have undergone a change in circumstance, such as serious illness, job loss, job relocation, or other life-altering event, then we may be able to help you modify your payments to reflect your new circumstances.
For obvious reasons, child support is one of the most closely scrutinized facets of family law. It is imperative that children have the necessary resources to live healthy and productive lives, which is why stringent guidelines are established by the state and enforced by the courts. A relatively small decrease in income or other adjustment will not justify a modification, even if the change requires you to go without certain things to meet your obligations. This means that you will need to give up all luxuries, such as going out to dinner, cable, the Internet, and even your cell phone, rather than reduce your support payments. However, there are circumstances where you have done all that you can and you still do not have the means to satisfy your obligations. That is where an experienced attorney can make a difference.
A child support order may be modified based on a significant change in circumstances if:
- You have a verified permanent medical disability;
- You have a significant change in your income that is not short-term or temporary;
- There has been a change in the custody arrangement;
- There is a permanent change in medical or daycare insurance coverage; or
- The child is no longer eligible for child support payments.
Although an attorney can expedite the process and ensure that the court has all the necessary information to make an informed decision, it is possible for a parent to file for a modification pro se (on your own). Even if you do opt for this route, having an attorney review the paperwork to make certain that you have fulfilled all the requirements will be a beneficial extra step. If the Oklahoma Department of Human Resources is involved in your case, you may request a review of your payments and a determination of whether a modification is justified. If you and the other parent of the child(ren) affected by the support order are able to reach a voluntary adjustment of support payments, that modification request will need to be reviewed and approved by the court.
If you are facing changed circumstances in Oklahoma that impact your ability to make child support payments, contact The Handley Law Center for a free confidential consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. You can also contact us during normal business hours at 405-295-1924 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to providing you with advice and representation in your child support case.