View Full Version : Question about child support?

03-24-2009, 10:22 AM
I have a friend who is going to divorce his wife in a couple of months. They have agreed to this and she does not want child support for their 3 year old daughter who is recieving SSI because of Down's Syndrome. A paralegal told my friend that state law says he has to pay child support no matter what. I was wondering if this is true.

Thanks for your help.

03-24-2009, 11:38 AM
This is something you really, really need to talk to a lawyer about.

03-24-2009, 11:38 AM
Your friend should consult a lawyer. I don't do that kind of law in Oklahoma but when federal funds are involved, child support enforcement may be required to seek child support. A special needs child needs it even more than most.

I can't hold back --- Why in heaven's name would a father not financially support his special needs child??????? Is he planning to do it informally? The mother would have to be a loon to agree to that. She has an obligation to make sure that child is financially cared for.

Back to the discussion:

In my nonOklahoma jurisdiction, if child support goes before the court for any reason - either because child support enforcement was seeking reimbursement for TANF, for example, or because a parent had filed something, the courts appoint a guardian ad litem for the child before they will accept an agreement to waive or reduce child support set by the state guidelines. Most guardians ad litem aren't going to agree to waive child support, especially for a special needs child, unless the parents can convince them that it is somehow in the child's best interest. Good luck with that.

Your friend should consult an attorney - seriously. Special needs children make for complicated divorces.

03-24-2009, 11:43 AM
Like midtowner said, call a lawyer for more than opinion. However, I did have a friend go through this and the divorce judge ordered child support payments at a set amount, regardless of what the couple desired. That being said, if the recipient doesn't complain then the courts will not enforce or even know about it. But that could always backfire if the recipient later gets made and claims unpaid support.

03-24-2009, 12:18 PM
Maybe she is thinking if he doesn't pay her support then he forfeits his rights to see the child. No strings attached maybe?

03-24-2009, 02:44 PM
Maybe she is thinking if he doesn't pay her support then he forfeits his rights to see the child. No strings attached maybe?

She needs to consult a lawyer, too.

Please god the judge gets the baby a guardian ad litem because it sounds like she needs one.

03-25-2009, 10:47 AM
Before you all get your panties in a wad let me explain. His wife cheated on him 2 months after the wedding with one of the groomsmen, and he is buying clothes and food for his daughter for he is the only one working right now. He and his wife have agreed to the divorce with joint custody with her being the primary residence (she lives at home with her mother). She recieves the Social Security checks for the girl. She gets help from her family and him, so that is why she does not want extra child support. So I hope this helps all of you who went all holier than thou understand. My friend is an outstanding father who loves and cares for his child and wants nuthing but the best for her, so get of your soap boxes. I just wanted to know if state law requires child support in divorce cases.
Thanks for your assistance.

03-25-2009, 11:32 AM
Here's the thing -- no lawyer in his or her right mind (or a law student for that matter) is going to give you legal advice on an internet message board. The problem for law students is that we're prohibited from giving legal advice (unless we're licensed legal interns and are doing so in a case we're allowed to handle per the Supreme Court Rules). The problem for lawyers is that they're potentially creating a lawyer-client relationship with you and potentially exposing themselves to liability, both ethically and financially. And of course, that relationship on a place like this doesn't end with just you -- it could potentially apply to anyone who read that advice (which might even be good advice for a certain set of facts) then applying that advice to another set of facts where that advice might not be good advice.

And this is a really thorny issue. I'd want to tell mom and dad several things about what they should be doing here, what sort of legal wranglings need to take place, etc. I'd also want some more facts which could change the situation dramatically.

In other words, competent legal advice can't happen on this subject without mom and dad each talking to lawyers and fully explaining the facts. While the non-lawyers of this forum might have advice for you, it's probably wrong because like I said, this situation is a legal minefield even for someone who practices this sort of law professionally.

There may be law students and lawyers who aren't concerned about these things, but that's not how I roll.

Bottom line: mom and dad need to talk to lawyers, maybe just consult so that they know where to go from here. They absolutely need to do this, and no, no one can or will tell you why because to do so would probably mean giving legal advice.

I'm not trying to be unfriendly here. Really I'm not. I'm not judging your friends either. Good people do bad things. If they didn't, my career prospects post-graduation would be slim. I hope that this post better explains why you are running into a brick wall here.

03-25-2009, 11:43 AM
I am not looking for legal advise, just if state law requires child support payments be made. I don't know where to find the info. I have gone to the state website, but can't locate the info. If you now where I can find it, then please give the site and I'll look it up myself.
Again thanks for any assistance you can give me.

03-25-2009, 12:10 PM
Well let me rephrase then.

These folks need legal advice. The answer here isn't an easy one (well, it would be with more facts, but even then there'd be some big 'ol loose ends). Sorry that I can't elaborate other than to tell you that they need to get legal advice. Even if you don't think they need that sort of thing, they really, really do.

And as for you not asking for legal advice, whether you know it or not, that's exactly what you're asking for.

03-25-2009, 07:00 PM
My friend is an outstanding father who loves and cares for his child and wants nuthing but the best for her, so get of your soap boxes.

What are you talking about?

03-26-2009, 10:35 AM
His wife cheated on him 2 months after the wedding with one of the groomsmen... I think Oklahoma is a "no fault" state. Even if she had cheated with the groomsman right in front of your friend, it wouldn't make any difference on child support. It might make a difference if your friend was fighting for custody, but even then, it would be iffy, I think.

...and he is buying clothes and food for his daughter for he is the only one working right now. This is exactly the type of expenses that child support is supposed to be used for. So, whether he thinks so or not, your friend is already paying child support. However, I think that one of the reasons Midtowner is harping on getting a lawyer's advice is because unless your friend is keeping strict records of what he's spending, he's running the risk that his ex may get pizzed off at him somewhere down the line and sue him for back child support and possibly even alimony (since he's the only worker in the family). She WILL win that, btw. Certainly the child support, if not the alimony. Now, if your friend has records of what he's paid, then that can be deducted from the child support he owes. But if he's kept no records, he might well get dinged for a heck of a lot more. At the very LEAST, your friend needs to see a lawyer himself just so he can establish what his child support would be. It's a math formula based on the income of both parents, so it should be no biggie. Then, if your friend wants to pay more than that, there's nothing stopping him from doing so. Regardless of what your friend and his ex have agreed to verbally, if it goes to court, it's pretty much a certainty that the judge is going to follow the law and I think the law says your friend must pay child support. I just think your friend needs to protect himself. I mean, if he could trust his ex, would she have been screwing around on him 2 months after the wedding?

03-26-2009, 11:09 AM
Thanks Tao that is the info I was looking for.

03-26-2009, 12:57 PM
I mean, if he could trust his ex, would she have been screwing around on him 2 months after the wedding?

Here's the deal, no matter what the parents want, when children are involved in a divorce case, the Judge must seek the best intrest of the child/children, hence, he/she now has to follow DHS guidelines as to support.

Oklahoma does indeed have a formula that they use...see Oklahoma Department of Human Services - Unofficial Online Child Support Guidelines Calculator (

I'm not trying to be a jailhouse lawyer, but speak from experience. As everyone else has said, see a lawyers advice, because if you don't, this could turn into a very expensive and long lasting lesson.

04-10-2009, 11:43 AM
Not sure if its "guilt" the wife is feeling, but why wouldn't anyone want child support, not for THEM, but for their child???....If she doesn't need the money, fine, put it into a college fund. But for the wife to act suddenly righteous and thinking by not "screwing" the father out of child support will somehow make up for her transgressions...? Good advice on here as for seeing a Lawyer....who's to say she will forever live with her Mom? She may not need the money right now, but somewhere down the line she will. And then he'll remind her of the "agreement", then she'll become irate, and hello court!

04-10-2009, 01:23 PM
I agree - regardless of circumstances, not pursuing or accepting child support is doing an injustice to the child. My wife gets child support for our now 17-year old. We simply put it into savings knowing his father isn't going to contribute a dime once he graduates high school and goes off to college. Our son has a scholarship, but that doesn't cover living expenses or a graduate degree.

05-11-2009, 08:37 PM
ewoodard---I don't know if you are still checking this thread, but, tell your friend to look up the Oklahoma Statutes, Title 10 and Title 43. He can go to OSCN: The Oklahoma Supreme Court Network ( and use the Research feature to look up the statutes.

Also, there are some key Bills in the State Legislature he might be interested in as well, with regards to non-custodial parents.

And finally, tell your friend that he wants to stay clear of DHS/Child Support Enforcement, even if they "offer" to set up child support payments through their Division.

05-19-2009, 12:47 PM
Thanks for all of the info that all of you gave me it really helped. My friend filed for divorce yesterday and the mother agreed to all terms (he continues what he is buying already, and yes he'll keep records), as well as visitation. He will not be forced to pay "extra" support outside of current expenses so DHS will not be involved "yet".
Again thank you all for the solid information given and if I upset anybody with earlier remarks I sincerely apologize and wish you all well.

09-17-2009, 02:50 PM
I can't believe I missed this tread. My ignurt butt thinks by the mothers actions about not child support is because it's not his baby and she wants to let sleeping dogs lie.

09-18-2009, 10:47 AM
The child is definitly his and he is doing what is right for his child.

09-18-2009, 01:15 PM
My head just started hurting after reading this. And my stomach is sick. My divorce was 9 years ago, my son doesn't receive any kind of assistance from the state, his father has always paid child support...and we STILL have problems with DHS. My advice is to put EVERYTHING in legal documents and go before a judge. And invest in a crap ton of tylenol because this will be a nightmare.

09-18-2009, 01:41 PM
I smell disaster down the road.

09-18-2009, 02:32 PM
And, I fear, it'll be a short road. Of course, the court may well fix it at decree signing time. Hope springs eternal.

09-18-2009, 03:45 PM
The child is definitly his and he is doing what is right for his child.

By not paying child support?

09-18-2009, 04:33 PM
There have been plenty of times in my line of work that I have wished a poor kid wasn't saddled with a particular parent but one thing I have NEVER wished for was that the louse wouldn't at least cough up child support. It is the absolute least they can do. To not pay child support is dispicable. To not pay child support for a special needs child is beyond dispicable.

I see guys who just buy diapers and christmas presents and they think they are god's gift to all the little children.

Sorry - just steamed.

And if he thinks that is the end of it, he is a fool as well as a cheapskate. I predict he'll be back in court inside of two years and it won't get better after that.

09-21-2009, 10:53 AM
For those of you that are saying that my friend is "dispicable" for not paying child support and you have no clue as to what is really happening. This friend of mine went to divorce court to get the divorce finalized and the exwife did not show up. He is doing the right thing by buying the things the mother can't because she is not working. She is still living with him in a one bedroom apartment because she can't find another place to live, her own family wants nothing to do with her. Her sisters and mother have even kicked her out of their homes because all she does is lay around and complain.

She has a supposed fiance but he still lives with his dad in a 2 bedroom home.

Yes my friend is doing everything he can to make sure his daughter has everything she needs. He is working 10-12 hours a day @ 8$/hr to make all of his payments. He has liitle debt, except for medical bills due to a back injury.

Don't get on here and accuse any body of being "dispicable" until you know all of the facts.

ECO, I applaude the work you do, and as a teacher I have dealt with the situations you speak of, but I don't assume I know all until I learn the facts first. Not all situations are the same. There are times when the mother is "dispicable".

I applogize for the rant, but this is a very close friend of mine and I don't appreciate the assumptions that have taken place when I was only asking a simple question about child support. I might have misrepresented the question and so for that I am sorry.

09-21-2009, 12:12 PM
I will take you at your word that the mother is pretty useless - or worse. Point is, it isn't about her. Even if he is doing what you say, I haven't changed my mind that is going to go south. If she is half as bad as you say, then I would be willing to put money on it if I were a betting woman.

I appreciate you taking up for your friend and don't mean to offend you. Your friend is either someone who inspires loyalty or you are just a good guy.

All the best.

09-21-2009, 02:47 PM
I think what some have tried to get across to you re your friend is that reaching an agreement is all well and nice, until someone decides it is not nice enough, and then your friend can later find himself facing what the support guidelines say he should have been providing under the guidelines.

If the momma is not stellar, well, that's frankly a bigger, not a lesser, worry.

Luck to your friend, though I do think there is a support dawg out there that's gonna bite him on his arse somewhere down the trail.

I could be wrong. It's been known to happen. But I'm not gonna bet against me.

09-23-2009, 11:27 AM
ECO and kevinpate, I appreciate what you are saying, and I understand where you are coming from. I talked to my friend yesterday and he has been keeping reciepts since January and having her sign them for the things he has bought for his daughter. He also had her write and sign a letter stating that he provided them a place to live while she is working things out with her "fiance" to get a place to live. He is doing these things at the advice of an attorney to prove that he is holding up his end of the divorce agreement.

Thank you for your concern on this matter, and I pray that you peace and happiness finds you everyday.