One of the most difficult parts of divorce surrounds the issue of child support payments, especially delinquent payments. But Oklahoma law is clear on the subject. We are legally, morally, and ethically bound to support our children financially until they turn 18. That is the law and our duty as parents.
Oklahoma child support payments are determined by the court using guidelines. That means the court looks at a number of factors in terms of determining child support amounts. Both parents’ incomes and other obligations are taken into consideration.
It is not unusual for the parent of a child to seek help from public assistance when the other parent falls behind in child support payments. When this happens, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS), which provides that assistance, has a vested interest in ensuring the delinquent parent catches up on their child support payments.
Delinquent Payments Need To Be Collected
When a parent owes delinquent child support, steps must be taken by the custodial parent to collect it. There are two basic routes to take in collection.
One is through Oklahoma Child Support Services (CSS). CSS is a part of the DHS. They can be helpful in collecting all child support payments, including delinquent payments.
If the parent is receiving public assistance, CSS can handle the matter. CSS will subtract any amount of public assistance given from the amount collected. However, they are often backlogged and it may take time to get those delinquent payments.
The other route is to go through an experienced Okmulgee child support attorney. If the custodial parent is not receiving any sort of public assistance benefits, wage garnishment or another enforcement tool can be handled by a private family law attorney.
You do have to pay for these services, but often you can collect the delinquent payments much more quickly. This can be important when those back payments accumulate.
Collections Tools Available
Wage garnishment is the tool most often used to collect delinquent payments until the delinquency is paid off. This is an income assignment and is handled by the DHS or the local district attorney’s office.
There are other tools available for collection. States uniformly work together with federal agencies to allow any tax refunds, whether state or federal, to be intercepted and applied to delinquent support payments. It is also possible to have a lien placed against any property owned by the delinquent parent.
The delinquent parent’s bank accounts may also be seized. Professional and state licenses may be denied, driver’s licenses may be suspended, and federal passports can be denied. None of this is pleasant for the delinquent parent.
If the delinquent parent holds a professional license, their ability to work will be impeded. The suspension of a driver’s license can provide an incentive to pay delinquent child support.
The longer you wait to begin collection against a delinquent parent, the worse it is for everyone involved. Bring your questions to an experienced Okmulgee child support attorney and get the help you need today.
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