Ask DHS - Oklahoma Child Support Services (CSS)
Q. Why is there a child support program?
A. Federal law requires each state to designate an organization to handle child support cases. State law requires that both parents provide financial help in raising their child. Failure to locate the noncustodial parent or to hold them responsible can cause unnecessary hardship on the family, or heavy reliance on social programs.
Q. Who is eligible for child support services?
A. Many Oklahomans are eligible, including:
- Children who become eligible for DHS services like TANF, Medicaid (SoonerCare), Child Care Assistance, or Aid to the Blind or Disabled because one or both parents are absent;
- Custodial persons and noncustodial parents of children not receiving public assistance who apply for services; and
- Alleged fathers.
Q. What services does CSS provide?
A. We provide a number of services, including:
- Location of noncustodial parents and their assets;
- Paternity establishment;
- Establishment and enforcement of child support and medical support orders; and
- Review and modification of support orders.
Q. Does CSS charge for its services?
A. Yes, In qualifying cases, CSS collects an annual $35 fee once $550.00 support has been collected and issued. This fee is required by and sent to the federal government. CSS also charges the custodial parent a 3% up to $10.00 monthly service fee on all collections distributed.
Q. I am applying for assistance under TANF. Do I have to seek child support?
A. Yes. CSS will automatically initiate a child support case. Failure to cooperate with CSS can affect your TANF assistance.
Q. How much child support will be ordered?
A. Child support in Oklahoma is calculated per Oklahoma law using a formula including the gross income of both parents, medical costs, child care expenses, and other expenses. You can obtain a copy of the Child Support Guidelines Computation at your local court clerk or these websites:
- Child Support Computation www.okdhs.org/programsandservices/ocss/docs/computation.htm
- The Oklahoma Supreme Court Network www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/start.asp (Link opens in new window)
Q. What can I do to get my support increased if I think it is too low?
A. If there is a qualifying change in circumstances or the order is more than one year old and has not been reviewed, you can submit a written request for modification to your child support caseworker. If you qualify, we will ask the court to modify the support order.
You may also file your own motion to modify with the court. You can obtain a copy of self-help motions on the CSS website http://www.okdhs.org/library/forms/ocss/.
Q. Can CSS help with questions or problems about visitation?
A. CSS does not provide visitation services. However, some areas of the state have services that help with visitation. CSS can refer you to a service for your area.
Q. My child will turn 18 soon but he is still in high school. What will happen to the child support?
A. If the order was issued in Oklahoma, child support is owed until age 18 unless the child is still attending high school then support is owed until the age of 20, or the date of high school graduation, whichever comes first. For orders issued in other states, the law of that state governs the termination of child support. Any unpaid child support, or arrearage, is still owed regardless of the child’s age.
Q. What information is needed to collect child support?
A. The most important piece of information CSS needs is the noncustodial parent’s social security number. Other helpful information includes the noncustodial parent’s date of birth, address, employer and bank account.