The Oklahoma Legislature enacted its child support guidelines in 1988. Aside from modest amendments, the guidelines have remained primarily unchanged until recently.
In 1999 the Oklahoma Legislature enacted
the most comprehensive changes to the Oklahoma Child Support Guidelines
since they became law. The changes included adjustments for "shared
parenting time", as well as earned income tax credit, child care
expenses, and allocation of health insurance costs.
Current law provides for an adjustment in the base monthly child support obligation of a noncustodial parent when shared parenting time has been ordered by a district court or agreed to by the parents. "Shared parenting time" means that each parent has physical custody of the child or children overnight for more than one hundred twenty (120) nights each year.
The amount of the reduction in child support is determined by a formula that accounts for the number of overnight stays a child has with the noncustodial parent. For example, if a noncustodial parent's income is $2,080 and a custodial parent's income is $1,040 per month, the noncustodial parent's base monthly child support obligation for one child will be $321. If the noncustodial parent has physical custody of the child overnight for 125 nights (1/3 of the year), the shared parenting time adjustment will decrease the noncustodial parent's base monthly child support obligation by $65.
Standard visitation in sole custody cases usually includes alternating weekends, approximately two weeks in the summer, and some holidays-approximately 20 percent of the year. To receive a shared parenting time adjustment the visitation threshold is approximately 33 percent of the year.
Lawmakers want to make sure that child support and custody laws are fair to families-both the parents and the children. Shared parenting time may result in fairer support awards and may lead to increased parental involvement.
Summary of Actions
Oklahoma Child Support Guidelines
HB 2190 (Benson/Taylor) This measure primarily
simplifies the methods of computing equitable child support obligations
SB 6x (Taylor/Benson) Corrected the computation provisions for shared parenting time adjustments by striking an unintended additional step in the calculation.
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