Skip to main content

Library: Policy

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

Revised 9-15-20

(a) Legal authority.Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) 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 303of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations; and

(3) Section 83 of Title 10of 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 119to:

(1) establish the amount of current support; 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 uses (1) through (4) of this subsection, per 43 O.S. § 118B.

(1) Written earning record.For time periods when a parent has a written earning record, CSS uses the:

(A) actual monthly gross income; or

(B) average of the gross monthly income for the time actually employed during the previous three years.

(2) Ability to work and no written earning record.For time periods when a parent has an earning ability, but no written earning records, CSS imputes the most equitable of the:

(A) minimum wage paid for a 40-hour work week; or

(B) amount of gross income a person with comparable education, training, and experience could reasonably expect to earn.

(3) Combination. For time periods when a parent has a written earning record for some months, but no written earning record for other months, for the months worked CSS uses the actual income and for the months with no written earning record CSS uses the most equitable of either:

(A) the actual gross income; or

(B) an imputed amount of either:

(i) minimum wage paid for a 40-hour work week; or

(ii) the amount of gross income per person with comparable education, training, and experience could reasonably expect to earn.

(4) Reduced earning ability.CSS uses actual income when a parent has reduced earning ability due to the parent's limited education, physical or mental disability, incarceration, or other obstacle to employment, and there is evidence the parent has income of less than minimum wage for 40 hours per week.  • 8

(e) Child care.To establish the amount of current support, CSS considers "actual" child care expenses to be the amount paid to the child care provider by the parent(s) or custodial person (CP) except when (f) of this Section applies.CSS determines the amount of 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) Child care subsidy.When the parent(s) or CP is participating in the DHS Child Care Subsidy Program, per 56 O.S. § 230.50, CSS uses DHS Appendix C-4, Child Care Eligibility/Co-payment Chart, to determine the family share co-payment amount considered as actual child care costs on the child support computation form, per 43 O.S. § 118G.

(1) CSS considers a parent's share of the base monthly obligation for child support and the monthly income amount reflected in the records of the DHS Child Care Subsidy Program as the monthly income when applying Appendix C-4.CSS allocates the family share co-payment amount indicated on Appendix C-4, in the same proportion as base child support.CSS staff performs a separate child support guidelines calculation for each NCP.  • 9

(2) When a parent has a child(ren) in DHS subsidized child care other than a child(ren) included in the child support case being established, CSS uses the proportionate share of the family share co-payment for the child(ren) included in the case.

(g) Juvenile Court cases.

(1) Deprived cases.When a case is referred, CSS establishes child support orders in deprived court actions, per 10A O.S. § 1-4-702and 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• 11

(h) Intergovernmental majority age.CSS establishes child support orders for a child(ren) for whom child support is imposable under applicable law. • 12

(i) Minor parents.When a parent is a minor, CSS establishes paternity, per Oklahoma Administrative Code 340:25-5-176when necessary and establishes a child support order.  13

(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 imputed gross income for the minor parent(s) based on minimum wage at 20 hours per week or actual income.

(i) Minor parents.When the NCP is a minor, CSS establishes paternity, per Oklahoma Administrative Code 340:25-5-176when necessary and establishes a child support order.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.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 imputed gross income for the minor parent(s) based on minimum wage at 20 hours per week or actual income.

(j) 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.

(k) Incarcerated NCP.When an NCP is expected to be incarcerated for at least six-consecutive months from the date the support amount is reviewed or established, CSS requests the court enter a temporary child support and medical support amount using actual income of $0, unless there is evidence of income or assets outside of the correctional institution.At the time the order is entered, when there is:

(1) a pre-incarceration child support order, CSS requests the order state that upon release from incarceration, 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.When the NCP within the lapse period, requests in writing a review of the pre-incarceration order, the post incarceration monthly child support obligation does not begin until the review or modification is complete.When a review is requested and the NCP fails to appear for hearing, the monthly child support obligation reverts back to the pre-incarceration amount to begin the first day of the month following a lapse of 90-calendar days upon release from incarceration; or

(2) no pre-incarceration child support order, CSS requests the court order state; upon release from incarceration, the monthly child support amount is set based on minimum wage for a 40-hour work week beginning the first day of the month following a lapse of 90-calendar days upon release from incarceration.When the NCP within the lapse period requests in writing a hearing, the post incarceration monthly child support amount does not begin until the review or modification is complete.When a hearing is requested and the NCP fails to appear for the hearing, the monthly child support obligation reverts back to the support amount set based on minimum wage for a 40-hour work week, to begin 90-calendar days upon release from incarceration. .• 8

(l) Military.When CSS establishes a child support order for a child of an NCP or a CP who is a servicemember, CSS applies the provisions of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, codified in 50 U.S.C. §§ 3901 through 4043.14

(m) Disability benefits.CSS does not impute gross income to a person determined disabled by the Social Security Administration. • 3 & 5

(n) Default orders.When a default order for child support is ordered and either party contacts CSS in writing within 30-calendar days of entry of the default order 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.  15& 16

INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:25-5-178

Revised 9-15-20

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

(1) the base child support according to the combined adjusted gross income of both parents 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.When the child(ren) is receiving monthly Social Security (SS) benefits from the noncustodial parent's (NCP) claim, either disability or retirement, the benefit is offset from current child support, per 43 O.S. § 118B(G), and the remainder is offset against any cash medical support.

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 Social Security Disability Insurance (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.In 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 would be calculated based on the monthly $350 SSD benefit.The parent would be ordered to pay child support because the child would not be receiving an SSD benefit at this level of payment; or

(B) a similarly disabled parent without work history would receive the full $710 as SSI benefits and not be ordered to pay any child support.Therefore, CSS state's attorneys request the court to 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 custodial person (CP) is receiving an apportionment of the benefits on behalf of a minor child, 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 behalf of a minor child, 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 satisfied 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 no additional child support amount must be paid by the NCP.

(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."

5.CSS staff consults with the district office CSS state's attorneys for a legal interpretation when the amount of the monthly child support obligation 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 they did before and cannot adjust to other work because of a medical condition; and

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

7.CSS 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 Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) website athttp://www.okdhs.org.

8.(a) CSS staff reviews information provided by the parents to determine if a parent's earning records or other evidence of income is in accordance with the parent's prior job history.CSS staff consults with the district office CSS state's attorneys if the information provided by the parent differs significantly from the parent's known job history or earning ability.

(b) CSS applies the following hierarchy, subject to other evidence of a parent's job history or earning ability when requesting the court to determine a parent's monthly gross income.

(1) Written earning record.

(A) When a parent has a written earning record, CSS uses the:

(i) actual monthly gross income; or

(ii) average of the gross monthly income for the time actually employed during the previous three years.

(B) When a parent has a written earning record from an employer, such as a paystub or employer verification of hourly wages, CSS uses that written earning record as the parent's income in the child support computation form.

(C) When a parent has evidence of employment for the last three years but the parent's wages are inconsistent, CSS uses the average of the last three years income.

(D) When the biological parent (BP) is receiving family assistance benefits, CSS staff uses actual income in the child support computation when that information is available.Otherwise CSS staff imputes an amount based on the parent's work history, education, training, and availability to work.When these options are unavailable, staff imputes minimum wage for up to a 40-hour work week.

(2) Ability to work and no written earning record.For time periods when a parent has an earning ability, but no written earning records, CSS uses the most equitable of the minimum wage paid for a 40-hour work week or an amount of gross income a person with comparable education, training, and experience could reasonably expect to earn using either Oklahoma Wage Report from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission's website, available at https://www.ok.gov/oesc_web/index.html, or Oklahoma State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates from the United States Department of Labor website, available at https://www.bls.gov/home.htm.For example, when:

(A) the parent is purposefully underemployed, CSS uses at least minimum wage in the child support computation forms; or

(B) there is information indicating a parent is a plumber and CSS has no evidence of income, CSS may use the median hourly wage for a plumber in the child support computation form.

(3) Combination.

(A) When a parent has a written earning record for some months, but no written earning record for other months, CSS may apply both (2) and (3) of this subsection.

(B) For example, a parent may have a written earning record showing earnings of $6,000 in a quarter and no written earning record for the other quarters of the year.Staff inquires about the parent's earning ability for those quarters without a written earning record, and may impute income for those quarters or use actual wages, according to the evidence.

(4) Reduced earning ability.

(A) CSS uses actual income when a parent has reduced earning ability due to the parent's limited education, physical or mental disability, incarceration, or other obstacle to employment, and there is evidence the parent has income of less than minimum wage for 40 hours per week.For example when:

(i) a parent works 10 hours a week at $8 an hour, CSS uses actual income of $347.66 per month in the child support computation form;

(ii) an incarcerated parent has no assets or income, CSS uses actual income of $0 per month in the child support computation form; or

(iii) a parent has documentation of a disability that prevents him or her from working at least 40 hours a week and is not receiving any disability benefits, CSS uses actual income, even when it is $0 per month, in the child support computation form.

(B) When a parent is incarcerated, CSS staff registers on VINE Link at www.vinelink.com for notice of the imminent release or transfer of an incarcerated NCP.When registering, staff provides the anonymous district office email address as a method of contact.

(c) When establishing or modifying a child support order, CSS considers the Compliance Predictor Tool available on the Infonet.As part of the Healthy Families Initiative, the Compliance Predictor Tool is designed to encourage staff to request the court enter realistic child support orders.A realistic child support order is 20 percent or less of an NCP's gross monthly income.

9.When a parent is participating in the DHS Child Care Subsidy Program, CSS staff completes the child care subsidy section of the child support guidelines computation form.

10.(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 (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'sin 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 divide 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.

11.CSS staff requests the court order support against each parent according to the parent's proportional share.When the parents of a child in the state's 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.

12.The 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 for establishment of support orders.

13.(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 the minor parent is not accompanied by an adult, CSS staff consults with the CSS state's attorney about how to proceed.

(1) When a minor parent is younger than 16 years of age, 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 the presence of an adult after an evidentiary hearing about the minor parent’s capacity to understand the consequences of the court proceedings.

14.(a) 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 military status of the defaulting party 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.

15.When 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.

16.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.

Back to Top