Wage Garnishment, Another Name for Child Support Intercept
In Oklahoma, it is mandatory that parents support their children financially. Most parents are more than willing to do that, even when times are stressful such as in the midst of a divorce, or when finances are difficult. But because there are times when a parent chooses not to pay child support, Oklahoma has made wage garnishment the main tool for the payment of court-ordered child support among divorcing and divorced partners. Thus, it is usually mandatory, although there are some exceptions. Okla. Stat. tit. 43 § 115
In essence, the wage garnishment acts like a child support intercept to ensure that child support is paid consistently and on time. It is an efficient payment mechanism. This is especially true if the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) is involved. In that case, support is paid by wage garnishment through DHS.
Exceptions to the Wage Garnishment Rule
There are situations in which no wage garnishment order is given. These exceptions are mandated by statute and include:
- Where one of the parties demonstrates and the district court finds there is good cause not to require immediate income withholding; or
- The parties have a written agreement that provides for an alternative arrangement.
There are times when taking the ordered Oklahoma child support payments from a parent’s check will not leave enough for that parent to live on. In that case, good cause may exist in the court’s eyes not to require immediate income withholding. A parent in this situation would need to bring this matter to the court’s attention immediately. This is an example of the first exception above.
An example of the second exception may involve a situation in which both parents are self-employed and there are no employer earnings to be garnished. In that case, the parents must enter into a written agreement for an alternative payment arrangement. The court must approve this as part of the divorce proceeding.
Questions regarding child support and wage garnishment can be complicated. If you want to better understand how Oklahoma law will affect your situation, give us a call. We are here to help.
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