Parents have a legal obligation to support their children. This is regardless of where you live and under what circumstances. If you are a divorced, separated or unwed parent who can’t agree with your child’s other parent about how support for your child is to be allocated, the court will intervene. This often means ordering the non-custodial parent to pay child support to the custodial parent. The question that this article deals with is whether or not you can withhold child support payments in Oklahoma.
You Cannot Withhold Child Support
As a rule, you must pay court ordered child support no matter what your circumstance may be. You cannot for instance, withhold payment because you have a dispute with the custodial parent over visitation or how your children are being raised. You may however, seek a modification of your payments if there have been significant changes in your circumstance since your payment amount was last calculated. The loss of employment and serious illness, as well as, a change in marital status or income of either parent may be grounds for a modification.
Back Child Support Doesn’t Go Away
While future child support payments may be modified in the event that your financial circumstances change, it is virtually impossible to avoid paying back child support. Back child support cannot be reduced retroactively nor can it be discharged by filing bankruptcy. Furthermore, back child support may even be enforced against your estate in the event of your death.
The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act
If you have been ordered to pay child support you are legally required to make your payments, regardless of where you live. The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act allows for child support to be enforced across state lines. The Oklahoma Child Support Enforcement Division has access to federal resources that enable them to find you and begin enforcement procedures in the state where you are found.
Consequences of Withholding Child Support
You can face serious consequences if you withhold child support payments in Oklahoma. The following is a list of enforcement measures that can be used against those who don’t pay their child support:
- An order may be given to your employer to withhold income from your paycheck.
- Your federal and state tax returns may be intercepted.
- You may have liens placed on your property.
- Your may name included on the Oklahoma Child Support Enforcement’s Most Wanted list.
- You may have licenses and permits suspended. This could mean your drivers license, professional licenses, recreational licenses and/or your business permits.
- You may also have your vehicle registration suspended, meaning the registrations for your car, motorcycle, boat, airplane, truck etc.
- You can be denied a passport
- You may be held i contempt of court and be sentenced to jail time
Pay Child Support Or Face Collection Process
Wage garnishments is the standard way of paying child support in Oklahoma, unless the custodial parent agrees to other arrangements. If you quit your job to avoid paying child support, you may have your assets seized or be held in contempt of court and sentenced to jail time. In addition, the court may continue to use your previous income to calculate how much child support you must pay.
Free Consultation: Oklahoma City Child Support Attorney
For a free confidential consultation with a knowledgeable Oklahoma City child support attorney, call (405) 880-8222 today. If you prefer e-mail, send us your question using the “Ask the Lawyer” form at the right side of this page.