Child Support Obligations Can Change With Circumstances
You may not realize it, but child support orders are not set in stone. Circumstances change, and child support payments can change too. One type of circumstance that can affect child support obligations is financial. Income can go up when your ex gets a promotion or a new job with more pay. These changes can affect child support obligations, but they must be brought to the court’s attention.
For divorcees, Oklahoma has a law in place that allows you to determine changes in your ex’s financial situation that could allow you to reduce your child support payments. You can get copies of your ex’s tax return every year, but you will need to take steps to do that.
Income Change Can Warrant a Child Support Modification
Regarding a parent’s income, Oklahoma law allows for modification of a child support order if the income change results in one of two possible scenarios:
- at least a 20% change in the calculated amount of child support to be paid, or
- there are significant changes in the circumstances of the child or parents
A significant change in income, revealed by reviewing your ex’s tax returns, could qualify you for a modification of an existing court order. An experienced child support modification attorney from Wirth Law Office – Muskogee can draft, file, and argue a motion for modification.
Obtaining Your Ex’s Tax Returns
Once a year, usually after taxes are filed on April 15, you can make a formal request to see documents relevant to your ex’s financial status (Okla. Stat. tit. 43 § 118.3). This includes tax returns, W-2 forms, 1099 forms, pay stubs, or other wage and tax information.
The request must be formally served on your ex, in the same way divorce papers are served. You can send it by certified mail, with signed proof of delivery. Then you must file a copy of the request with the court.
Within 10 days, your ex must supply the records. If your ex does not comply, you can ask the court for attorney’s fees and costs if you file a motion for modification. Courts do not like it when spouses fail to be forthright in their financial disclosures and will often include an order for attorney’s fees as a deterrent against future non-compliance.
This request can be made each year. You deserve to know whether your ex’s obligations should be increased. This protects you and your children.
Free Consultation: Muskogee Child Support Attorney
If you are trying to determine if this is the right step for you, bring your questions and concerns to an experienced Muskogee child support attorney. We can answer your questions and help you get a modification to reduce your child support obligations if the circumstances warrant it. Call us today at 918-884-7774 with your questions. You may also schedule a free, confidential consultation by clicking “request a consultation.”