Every parent has a legal obligation to support their biological children, marital or non-marital. Learn how Tahlequah, Oklahoma child support is determined and what happens when paternity is contested. As always, a Tahlequah attorney is your best source for case-specific advice.
Tahlequah, Oklahoma Child Support Facts
Child support is the duty of financial support that a parent has to his or her biological children, marital or non-marital.
Child support must normally be paid until the child reaches the age of 18, but can extend beyond that if:
- the child lives at home,
- is a student,
- financially dependent on their parents, or
- physically or mentally disabled — in which case child support in may last the child’s entire life.
Child support is normally linked to child custody. Usually, the custodial parent will be entitled to receive child support from the non-custodial parent. Even if the parents share custody equally, the parent with highest income will owe child support to the other.
In Tahlequah, Oklahoma, parents can agree on the terms of child support on their own and have these terms approved by a judge as part of a separation agreement or divorce decree. When they cannot come to an agreement on the terms of Oklahoma child support, the court will determine the arrangement for them.
In making this determination, the court will employ a set of specific guidelines that take into account such things as:
- the income of each parent,
- the number of children to provide for,
- the cost of daycare and health insurance, and
- special needs like tutoring and transportation from one parent to another for visitation.
Contested Paternity Facts
Child support is difficult to avoid. In the eyes of the state your responsibility to support your children is not lessened by the fact that you are not now, or have never been, married to the other parent.
Thus, for instance, if you are an absentee father and the single mother of your child has applied for financial assistance, the state will do whatever it can to find you and obtain a court order to oblige you to pay child support, so that the state and federal government don’t have to.
If you are married, the court will make the assumption that the husband is the biological father of the children, until proven otherwise.
In order to dispute this assumption and avoid being obligated to pay Oklahoma child support for children that are not yours, you will need to provide conclusive DNA evidence to the contrary.
On the other hand, the state, the child, or the mother can also initiate a paternity suit against you at any time to establish that you are the biological father and responsible for supporting the children. This also requires conclusive DNA evidence.
Free Consultation: Tahlequah Child Support Attorney
For a free and confidential consultation with a Tahlequah child support attorney, call 918-458-2677 or toll free at 1-888-447-7262.
Or, if you prefer e-mail, you may enter a legal question in the form at the top right of this page and we’ll contact you by e-mail as soon as possible.