The Oklahoma Statutes have expanded provisions regarding child support orders in Child Welfare (CW) cases. This article provides guidance for the establishment of child support in CW cases. Some provisions are unique to CW cases, but most reflect current child support law found elsewhere in the Oklahoma Statutes.
Notice of Child Support Issue:
Each parent of any child named in a deprived petition shall be given notice in the petition and summons that child support may be ordered or modified in the deprived action. This is handled by the Assistant District Attorney’s (ADA) office responsible for drafting the petition.
Timing of Orders:
The court in a deprived action must address child support within six months after filing of deprived petition or defer issue to Child Support Services (CSS).
Prior Child Support Orders:
Child support orders established prior to the CW case remain in effect unless the deprived court determines the prior order is not in child’s best interests.
Child Support Guidelines:
The court is required to use the child support guidelines to determine each parent’s obligation. Further, the court may deviate from the guidelines when appropriate. The reasons supporting deviations shall be specified and documented in the guidelines computation. A completed child support computation form is required to be signed by the judge and attached to the child support order.
Orders for Each Parent:
Each parent shall have his or her own child support order if the child does not reside with the parent, even if the parents reside together. Each parent has a separate and independent duty to support the child. The child support order is required to include health insurance, medical support, and income assignment provisions as any Oklahoma child support order.
A child support order is required to be a separate order that does not include any confidential information from the deprived case. The child support order uses the same case style as the deprived cases, but when the order is docketed elsewhere, the style on the Request to Docket is a “regular” case style as used in an administrative or domestic case.