When you decide to call it quits, you might be wondering about the financial implications to you and your children. Perhaps the most important question running through your mind is what type of financial support you can receive from them. You would want to be able to pay your bills and afford a good lifestyle for yourself and your children.
If you file for divorce in Oklahoma, you can potentially get alimony which goes towards your needs. You could also get child support to ensure that your children have the food, clothing, and overall care they need. Here’s more about alimony and child support, including what you can do to secure these forms of financial support.
Alimony or Spousal Support in Oklahoma
Two types of support may be available to you: (1) alimony or spousal support, or (2) child support. The judge assigned to your case will determine the type and amount of support. Either spouse may request support in a divorce action.
Under Oklahoma law, a judge may award a just and equitable alimony award. If your spouse was the primary breadwinner, the court might decide that you should receive such an award. Spousal support may take one of the following forms:
Temporary Spousal Support
Temporary spousal support may be awarded while your divorce is ongoing to help you meet your financial needs.
Short-Term Rehabilitative Support
A judge may award you rehabilitative support to help you pay for education or for additional job skills. This support will help you land the type of employment that will allow you to achieve financial independence.
Permanent Spousal Support
In a long-term marriage, a judge may award permanent spousal support. This type of support may terminate at some point. Termination could be a date specified by a judge, the date you remarry, or upon the death of either party. A court might decide to allow you to continue to receive permanent spousal support even if you remarry. However, you must show that you still need some amount of support within 90 days of remarriage.
Oklahoma does not have a specific set of factors that courts are required to consider when deciding an alimony award. However, judges often consider the following factors to determine a just and equitable award:
- the length of the marriage
- each spouse’s earning capacity
- income and liabilities for each spouse
- whether the supporting spouse can remain financially independent while paying alimony to the recipient
- the health and age of both spouses
- the standard of living the couple had while married
- whether one spouse supported the other’s earning capacity during the marriage
- monetary and non-monetary contributions to the marriage
You may ask the court to modify an alimony award if you can demonstrate a change in circumstances since the last court order. The judge will not change the award unless the new circumstances are substantial and ongoing such that it makes the current award unreasonable. Under Oklahoma law, if the spouse receiving alimony lives with a third party in a marriage-like relationship, the supporting spouse may ask the court to terminate support.
About Child Support
If there are children from the marriage, then child support may be another form of support for you. Children in Oklahoma are entitled to financial support until they reach the age of 18, or until the age of 20 if still in high school. The state established child support guidelines to determine the amount of support to be paid by parents.
The guidelines consider both parents’ adjusted gross incomes and then use a formula to arrive at each parent’s expected contribution to the children’s care. The parent with the larger required contribution pays the difference between the amounts to the other parent.
The guidelines presume a standard time-sharing or visitation schedule, whereby the children spend approximately 70-90 overnights per year with the parent who does not have primary custody. If you and your spouse share parenting, with each of you having the kids for more than 120 nights per year, the guidelines’ formula adjusts the child support to account for the additional overnights with the parent who does not have primary custody of the children.
The Oklahoma child support guideline schedule applies for parents with a total combined income of up to $15,000 per month. If the combined income is greater than $15,000 per month, child support is determined using the maximum from the guideline schedule, plus an additional amount determined by the judge. To set this additional amount of child support, the judge may consider the child’s actual needs, each parent’s ability to pay, and the child’s standard of living before the parents split up.
Oklahoma Alimony, Child Support Lawyer
If you think that you might be entitled to either spousal support or child support, then you should speak to a family law lawyer. They can explain your circumstances and place you on the best path towards getting the support you deserve. Moreover, they can give you the peace of mind in knowing that a professional is on your side and protecting your rights. Naidu Law is devoted to handling all types of family law matters including spousal support, child support payments, child custody and divorce. Consult with one of the experienced family law lawyers at Naidu Law by calling (405) 792-2400 or by contacting us online today.