In Muskogee, Oklahoma, both parents are expected to pay for the upkeep of their children even when they do not live with their offspring; this is called child support.
In an ideal situation, both parents are willing to support their children as required.
Unfortunately, sometimes one of the parents may be unwilling or unable to play his or her role.
Oklahoma Child Support Laws
The state of Oklahoma recognizes that the best interests of a child are served when both parents contribute to the child’s upkeep. Leaving the burden of raising a child to one parent can be asking too much of the parent.
When child support is in arrears, the custodial parent has recourse through legal channels to compel the defaulting ex to pay up.
Taking Legal Action
If your ex is not paying the child support due, you can take one of the following actions:
1. You can pursue collection through garnishment of wages (wage intercept) or bank attachments (bank levy). The custodial parent does not need a judgment to effect wage garnishment. Only authorization is required from a court to garnish (intercept) the wages of the other parent.
When payments are garnished, the owed parent receives a portion of the income of the owing parent direct from the employer. The amount taken from the defaulting parent’s paycheck is a percentage of what they earn, irrespective of what they had been asked to pay for child support.
The court leaves the paying parent with a minimum amount to live on until what is owed is paid up. Depending on the circumstances, the court can take a maximum of 65% of the defaulting parent’s income. The parent whose income is garnished is informed by their employer of their ex’s actions.
However, the non-custodial parent can go to court and challenge the decision to intercept their wages on several grounds. The parent can, for instance, show they had the child during the time they did not pay child support.
Money may also be taken from the bank accounts of the delinquent parent and used to pay up arrears in child support. The custodial parent obtains court authorization to attach the bank accounts of the other parent.
2. If your ex doesn’t pay child support, you can have them held in contempt of court. You or your attorney can make the petition to a court. The petition asks the court to punish the non-custodial parent for not following court orders. The custodial parent begins the process by making a written legal request asking a judge to order the non-custodial parent to show up in court and explain why they have not paid up.
If the paying parent is found in contempt of court, they can be fined, sent to jail for a period not exceeding 90 days, or both. The parent who has defaulted on child support payments can be released from prison as soon as they pay what they owe in child support arrears. If they are quite regular in defaulting on child support, they could be held in criminal contempt — which could be a felony offense with harsher penalties.
3. You can seek criminal prosecution to pressure the obligor (delinquent parent) to pay. You could get your child support attorney to talk to the district attorney about prosecuting your ex for non-payment of child support. District attorneys prefer to speak to lawyers, and this strategy is usually quite effective.
You could also go to the police and report your ex for non-payment of child support.
Getting Help with Child Support
If your ex has defaulted on child support payments or you are facing any other issues regarding your children after your divorce, talk to a Muskogee child support attorney today. A professional and skilled legal expert has the knowledge to advise you on the best course of action regarding your matter.
Free Consultation: Muskogee Child Support Attorney
If you would like a free, confidential discussion with a Muskogee child support lawyer, call the Wirth Law Office — Muskogee today at 918-913-0725 or toll-free at 1-888- 447-7262.
If you prefer to contact us by email, use the form at the top of this page.