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Library: Policy

340:25-5-178. Calculating new and modified child support obligations

Revised 10-20-21

(a) Legal authority.  Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS), Child Support Services (CSS) establishes current child support, per:

(1) Sections 654, 656, and 666 of Title 42 of the United States Code (42 U.S.C. §§ 654, 656, and 666);

(2) Parts 302 and 303 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations; and

(3) Section 83 of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes (10 O.S. § 83); Title 43; and 56 O.S. §§ 231 through 240.23.

(b) Child support guidelines.  CSS uses the child support guidelines in 43 O.S. §§ 118-118I and 119 to:

(1) establish current child support amount; and

(2) prepare a child support computation form prescribed by CSS and published by the Administrative Office of the Courts on the Oklahoma State Courts Network website, per 43 O.S. § 120■ 1 through 6

(c) Child support computation.  CSS uses the best evidence available to determine a parent's monthly gross income for the child support computation form, including written earning records, past job history, and earning ability based on education and training, with a continued emphasis on setting fair and equitable child support orders, per 43 O.S. §§ 118-118I.  When requesting the court enter or modify child support orders in a noncustodial parent's (NCP) multiple cases, CSS may request the court deviate from the child support guidelines amounts, per 43 O.S. § 118H■ 7 & 8

(d) Gross income.  When determining gross income for the child support computation, CSS follows 43 O.S. § 118B■ 8

(e) Child care.  To establish the current child support amount of current support, CSS considers "actual" child care expenses to be the amount the parent(s) or custodial person (CP) pays to the child care provider.  CSS considers a child care subsidy recipient's copay to be the actual child care expenses.  CSS determines prospective annual child care costs and allocates this amount between the parents in the same proportion as their adjusted gross income.  The amount allocated to the NCP becomes part of the fixed monthly child support obligation.

(f) Juvenile Court cases.

(1) Deprived cases.  When a case is referred, CSS establishes child support orders in deprived court actions, per 10A O.S. § 1-4-702, and prepares the child support order on the standard child support order form prescribed by CSS and published by the Administrative Office of the Courts on the Oklahoma State Courts Network website.  ■ 10 & 11

(2) Delinquent cases.  When a case is referred, CSS establishes a child support order against each parent of a child in the custody of the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs, per 43 O.S. §§ 118 through 118I■  10

(g) Intergovernmental majority age.  CSS establishes child support orders for a child(ren) for whom child support is imposable under applicable law.  ■ 11

(h) Minor parents.  When a parent is a minor, CSS establishes paternity, per Oklahoma Administrative Code 340:25-5-176, when necessary, and establishes a child support order.  ■ 12

(1) When a minor NCP or a CP is younger than 16 years of age, CSS does not impute gross income for the minor parent in the child support computation and only uses actual income.

(2) When a minor NCP or CP is between 16 and 18 years of age and regularly and continuously attending high school, unless otherwise inappropriate, CSS uses either the minor parent(s) imputed gross income based on minimum wage at 20 hours per week or actual income.

(i) Adult disabled child.  CSS enforces child support orders for adults with disabilities, per 43 O.S. § 112.1A.  CSS establishes or modifies child support orders to continue after the child reaches the age of majority, per 43 O.S. § 112.1A, when the application or referral for Title IV-D services is received during the period when child support is due, per 43 O.S. § 112.

(j) Incarcerated NCP.

(1) Per 43 O.S. §§ 118B and 118I, when an NCP is incarcerated for more than 180 consecutive days, CSS requests the court enter a child support and medical support order using actual income of $0, unless:

(A)      there is evidence of income or assets independent of incarceration;

(B)      incarceration is a result of indirect contempt of court for failure to pay child support;

(C) incarceration is a result of a crime of omission to provide child support; or

(D)      the incarceration is a result of an offense in which the CP dependent child or the CP was a victim.

(2) Release from incarceration.

(A) When an existing child support order is abated:

the monthly child support obligation reverts back to the pre-incarceration order amount beginning the first day of the month following a lapse of 90-calendar days upon release from incarceration, per 43 O.S. §§ 118B and 118I.

(B) When there is no existing child support order, CSS requests the court order state that upon release from incarceration, the monthly child support amount is set based on 43 O.S. §§ 118B and 118I■ 8

(k) Military.  When CSS establishes a child support order for a Servicemember's child, CSS applies the provisions of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, codified in 50 U.S.C. §§ 3901 through 4043■ 13

(l) Disability benefits.  CSS does not impute gross income to a person the Social Security Administration determines disabled.  ■ 3 & 5

(m) Default orders.  When a default order for child support is ordered and either party contacts CSS in writing within 30-calendar days of the entry of the default orde and provides information to calculate an accurate child support obligation, CSS treats the request as a motion to vacate or modify, and requests the court enter a new order consistent with the evidence presented.  ■ 14 & 15  

INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:25-5-178

Revised 9-15-22

1Per Sections 118 through 118I of Title 43 of the Oklahoma Statutes (43 O.S. §§ 118 through 118I), Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) Child Support Services (CSS) staff calculates, on the child support computation form each parent's contribution toward:

(1) the base child support according to both parents' combined adjusted gross income following the child support guidelines schedule, per 43 O.S. § 119;

(2) any actual medical and dental insurance premium; and

(3) any actual employment related child care expenses, per 43 O.S. § 118G and Oklahoma Administrative Code 340:25-5-178.

2(a) When the child(ren) is receiving monthly Social Security benefits from the noncustodial parent's (NCP) claim, the benefit is offset from current child support, per 43 O.S. § 118B(G), and the remainder is offset against any cash medical support.

(b) In the child support computation, when the child's portion of the Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is paid to the NCP, it is included in his or her gross income rather than being placed on the SSD benefits, paid for the benefit of the children, line.  CSS only applies the offset when the child's SSD benefit is paid to the current custodial person (CP).

3(a) When a parent or minor child is disabled and receiving monthly Supplemental Security Income (SSI), CSS excludes SSI from either parent's gross income, per 43 O.S. § 118B(G)(1).

(b) When a parent's SSD benefit amount, or a combination of SSD and SSI benefits, does not exceed the maximum monthly SSI benefit amount, CSS staff uses only the SSD amount as income and requests the court deviate from the guidelines to set the current child support at $0.  To support of the deviation, CSS state's attorneys advocate the guidelines amount is unjust or inappropriate under the circumstances, because it treats a similarly situated parent who receives only SSI benefits differently from a parent receiving a combination of benefits that equals the SSI amount.

(1) An example of the unjust guideline amount is:

(A) a parent with some work history receives a total of $710 in monthly Social Security benefits.  This includes $350 SSD and $360 SSI benefits.  Under the guidelines, child support is calculated based on the monthly $350 SSD benefit.  The parent is ordered to pay child support because the child does not receive an SSD benefit at this payment level; or

(B) a similarly disabled parent without work history receives the full $710 in SSI benefits and is not ordered to pay any child support.  Therefore, CSS state's attorneys request the court deviate from the guideline computation, per 43 O.S. § 118H, due to the guideline amount being unjust and inappropriate under these circumstances.

(2) The maximum monthly SSI benefit amount is found at the SSI Federal Payment Amounts webpage at: http://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/SSIamts.html.

4 (a) When CSS staff verifies an NCP is receiving disability through the Veterans Administration (VA) and the CP receives an apportionment of the benefits on the minor child's behalf, CSS requests the court:

(1) consider the apportionment as alternative compliance with the child support order; and

(2) calculate child support in the same manner as when SSD benefits are received on the minor child's behalf, per 43 O.S. § 118B(G).

(b) CSS staff requests the court include the apportionment as part of the NCP's income.

(c) When the child support amount is:

(1) greater than the apportionment, CSS requests the court find the apportionment partially satisfies the child support obligation and the NCP pay only the amount in excess of the apportionment; or

(2) equal to or less than the apportionment, CSS requests the court find the child support obligation is met and the NCP pays no additional child support amount.

(d) When the court grants the CSS request, CSS staff memorializes the court's order regarding the offset of the current child support amount by the apportionment.  For example, CSS staff includes the following language in the child support order.  When the child support amount is:

(1) greater than the apportionment:  "The court finds the obligor is satisfying the child support obligation by the apportionment of VA benefits in the amount of $x.xx.  Therefore, the obligor is ordered to pay the remaining amount of $x.xx.  If at any time the apportionment is not in effect, the obligor is responsible for payment of the full current child support as shown on the guidelines computation attached."; or

(2) is equal to or less than the apportionment:  "The court finds the obligor is satisfying the child support obligation by the apportionment of VA benefits in the amount of $x.xx.  Therefore, the court finds the child support obligation is met in full and no further payment by the obligor is required.  If at any time the apportionment is not in effect, the obligor is responsible for payment of the full current child support as shown on the guidelines computation attached."

5CSS staff consults with the district office CSS state's attorneys for a legal interpretation when the monthly child support obligation amount in the body of an order conflicts with the amount in the child support computation form. 

6. CSS staff computes the child support obligation on the basis of actual monthly gross income for an NCP or a CP who is permanently physically or mentally incapacitated, per 43 O.S. § 118B(C)(2).  The documentation required to determine if an NCP or a CP is permanently physically or mentally incapacitated includes a Social Security Administration award letter or a physician's statement affirming the:

(1) person is unable to do the work he or she did before and cannot adjust to other work because of a medical condition; and

(2) disability is continuous or is expected to continue for at least one year or to result in death.

7CSS staff accesses the Guidelines screen (GLS) on the CSS automated Oklahoma Support Information System.  CSS staff may also use Form 03EN025E, Child Support Computation, and its child support guidelines computation form completion instructions, available on the OKDHS website.

8CSS uses current monthly income when a parent has an earning record.  Current monthly income may be zero based on the parent’s circumstances.  CSS only imputes income when there is no evidence of an earning record or it is not equitable.  When a parent is voluntarily unemployed, CSS calculates the parent’s income based upon their previous earning record, education, training, and ability to work.

9. (a) CSS staff requests the court establish child support orders for each parent in a deprived court action.

(b) When the parent has lost custody of more than one child and one or more of these children has a different mother or father, CSS staff requests the court deviate from the child support guidelines and set a child support order for the parent who lost custody per (c) of this Instruction.

(c) To determine the former CP's gross monthly income, found on Line 1 of the child support computation form, CSS staff follows 43 O.S. §§ 118 through 118I.

(1) CSS staff calculates the child support obligation by using the former CP's gross monthly income and the average gross income amount of the other parent's in Line 1 of the child support computation form.

(2) To determine the amount to use in Line 1 for the other parent's income, CSS staff averages all of the other parents' gross incomes and divides the total by the number of the other parents.

(d) For example, a mother has three children with three different fathers.  The mother's gross monthly income is $1,000 per month.  Father # 1 earns $1,500 per month, father # 2 earns $1,800 per month, and father # 3 is imputed at minimum wage, or $893 per month.  CSS staff totals the fathers' income ($1,500 + $1,800 + $893) to obtain a total of $4,193.  This amount is divided by three to obtain an average of $1,397.66.  CSS staff calculates the total child support obligation using $1,000 for the mother and $1,397.66 for the father.  The mother's child support obligation would be $299.04 for three children, $254.41 for two children, and $176 for one child.  If there is a prior order against this former CP, a new child support order supersedes that order.

10CSS staff requests the court order support against each parent according to the parent's proportional share.  When the parents of a child in OKDHS custody live together as an intact family and the total child support amount per the guidelines is equal to or exceeds 20 percent of the family's gross income, CSS staff requests a deviation when a child support amount set per the guidelines would cause extreme economic hardship.

11The age of majority varies by state.  CSS staff may use the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) Intergovernmental Reference Guide (IRG), available at https://ocsp.acf.hhs.gov/irg/welcome.html, to obtain information about referrals to other states to establishment support orders.

12. (a) CSS requests an adult guardian or next friend of the minor parent accompany the minor parent to any office visit, settlement conference, or court hearing.

(b) When an adult does not accompany the minor parent, CSS staff consults with the CSS state's attorney about how to proceed.

(1) When a minor parent 16 years of age or younger, CSS requests the case be transferred to district court and requests the court appoint an attorney for the child.

(2) When a minor parent is between 16 and 18 years of age, CSS requests the court enter an order without an adult's presence after an evidentiary hearing about the minor parent’s capacity to understand the consequences of the court proceedings.

13.  CSS staff follows the Guide to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), available from the CSS InfoNet for procedures regarding:

(1) waivers of rights and protection under SCRA;

(2) appearance in court actions;

(3) stays of court; and

(4) default orders.

(b) When a party to the case is in default, CSS staff confirms the defaulting party's military status on the SCRA website, https://scra.dmdc.osd.mil/scra/#/home, and files the default affidavit with the court in accordance with Sections 3901 through 4043 of Title 50 of the United States Code.

14When a party provides CSS with a written request to reconsider a default order within 30-calendar days of the entry of the order, CSS staff:

(1) files the written request and sets the request for hearing; or

(2) provides the party with an appropriate CSS pro se self-help motion.

15. After one party files a written request, CSS sets the case for hearing and notifies the parties by mail, per Rule 2 of the Rules for District Courts.  After considering the income information provided, CSS requests the court:

(1) dismiss or deny the motion to vacate and leave the default order in effect; or

(2) enter a new order replacing the default order.

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