Table of Contents

When can I get my divorce? What if we are in agreement?

Can I modify child support retroactively?

What amount is considered the minimum wage for the purpose of figuring child support?

What if my spouse is earning less than minimum wage or is self employed?

Am I divorced? I signed the documents s/he gave me, but no one will tell me the status of my case. Help!

I need legal help with my case. Why won't anyone respond to my request for legal answers?

How do I read the forms? I get gibberish?

Where can I find the actual Child Support Guideline Schedule?

The Child Support Guidelines page won't print correctly. It leaves off the right column. What am I doing wrong?

How can I see the full Child Support Computation on my screen?

 

 

 

 

 

Forms & Lists: Need for Acrobat Reader

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Question: Help!! I am unable to open the mediator list (all I see are symbols). I have MS Word and do not know what the .pdf file means. How can I open the list as a word document or in a format that can be read.

Answer:    Sorry you are having problems. 

The various forms, including the mediator list, are saved in what is called "pdf" format. [ Stands for Portable Document Format ]. To read the form you must have a program called Acrobat Reader, put out by a company called Adobe. This has become the standard and is the format used by the IRS and Oklahoma Tax Commission, etc for downloadable forms. 

Acrobat Reader is a FREE program. In the top left corner of the Familiesintransition website, you will see an orange (yellow, gold? ) rectangular button. Click on it and it will take you to the Adobe Download site. Or click on this address:                 http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html 

Then follow the instructions for downloading Acrobat Reader 4.

When it is installed it will integrate itself with your web browser so that when you click on a pdf form or document, such as the mediator list, it will automatically call up the reader and display the document. It can then be printed exactly as prepared (formatting and all) without your having to have the underlying wordprocessing or graphic program that created it. 

Sounds complicated but really isn't. Doesn't adversely affect any program on your computer 

These forms etc were being included in other formats, i.e. Word and Word Perfect, but it became too much trouble to adjust for the various versions out there ( e.g. some attorneys are still using the WordPerfect DOS version 5.1). 

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Printing Child Support Guidelines

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Question: When I print the Child Support Guideline page on my printer, it cuts off the right column for "Combined" calculations. How do I correct this?

Answer:    Sorry you are having problems. 

The child support guideline form page takes up a full screen page. 

The most common problem printing is caused by your printer setup having margins set up for anything greater than 0.  You need to change the page setup for your computer printer. 

In Internet Explorer, first click on
File on your menu line.  When the pull down menu appears, click on Page Setup.   When the Page Setup dialog window appears, go to the bottom right corner of that window.  You will see a rectangular area designated Margins, with input areas for Right, Left, Top and Bottom.  Set each of these ( or at least the right and left margins )  to 0.     

[
Don't worry if it later reads 0.25".  This is just the normal  0 setting for your printer. ]

This should correct the problem.

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Viewing Child Support Computation on Full Screen

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Question: When the Child Support Computation page appears  on my computer screen, I can't see the full width of the form, and I have to scroll back and forth. How do I correct this so I can look at the whole form at once?

Answer:    Sorry you are having problems. 

Right click with your mouse anywhere in the final Child Support Computation page. You should see a pop up menu appear. Highlight and click on the selection named Open Frame in New Window.  

Internet Explorer will open up a new window with only the Child Support Computation page in it.  If you maximize this page, you should be able to see the whole form width at one time.

When you are through looking at the Child Support Computation page, you will have to close it to get back to the Families In Transition web page.  Do this by either clicking on the
X in the top right corner of the new window, or clicking on the File menu item and selecting Close.
 
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Look up Child Support Guideline Schedule

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Query:    Where can I find an actual  copy of the Child Support Guidelines Schedule?

1.    Click on the RESOURCES category on the left side of the website home page

2.    When the main frame (middle of screen ) changes, click on the selection  Oklahoma Statutes - Title 43 selection in the main frame.

3.    When the main frame (middle of screen ) changes again, scroll down to 
       
§ 119 -  Child Support Guideline Schedule and click on that selection.

You should now be looking at the statutory section containing the child support schedule that you are seeking.

Thank you for using the Families in Transition website.  If you should have any problems with the site, or suggestions for improvement, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Gross Monthly Income for Minimum Wage Earners

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Query:    What amount is considered the minimum wage for the purpose of figuring child support?

Thank you for your question.  This is  an important issue in many calculations, both when a worker is earning minimum wage and when the Court imputes  minimum wage to a person.  Imputing minimum wage can mean that a person is not working but the Court determines that the person could be working at a job making at least minimum wage.      

To answer your question:

Gross Monthly Income using current Minimum Wage is 
$1,256.67

      Minimum Wage = $7.25 per hour
       Work Week =  40 hours per week
       Number of weeks in year = 52 weeks per year
       Number of months in year = 12 months per year

      ( $7.25  X  40  X  52 ) / 12 =  $1,256.67 per month

Thank you for your use of and participation in  the Families in Transition website.
 
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How does the Court impute income in unique cases?

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Query:    What if the mother has never made minimum wage and currently has her own business, but is not showing profit...Does the court still figure them at minimum wage? Also, if the father was to quit his job would they figure him at minimum wage or what he is capable of earning?

This is a good question, because the Court looks at just these issues very often. 

Every case is different, and the Court may rule differently in two cases which look a lot alike factually.  The difference is that the Court must make a decision which is most equitable in light of the facts of the actual cases which is being decided. 

An equitable decision is not the same as a decision which is arbitrary or based upon the whim of the Court.  In making its decision, the Court is guided by the statutory framework provided by the Oklahoma Legislature in 43 O.K. §118(E)(4).  That statute says the following:

 

4. a. For purposes of computing gross income of the parents, the district or administrative court shall include for each parent, whichever is most equitable, either:

(1) all earned and passive monthly income,

(2) all passive income, and earned income equivalent to a forty-hour work week plus such overtime and supplemental income as the court deems equitable,

(3) the average of the gross monthly income for the time actually employed during the previous three (3) years, or

(4) the minimum wage paid for a forty-hour work week.

b. If equitable, the district or administrative court may instead impute as gross monthly income for either parent the amount a person with comparable education, training and experience could reasonably expect to earn.

c. If a parent is permanently physically or mentally incapacitated, the child support obligation shall be computed on the basis of actual monthly gross income;

In a case with the facts which you describe, the mere fact that a person has never actually earned minimum wage doesn't mean that he or she cannot get a job earning minimum wage, assuming the person is otherwise healthy and able-bodied.  A person who quits their job, with no good reason, who knows that they either have or will have a child support obligation might have their former income used or an equivalent income to one a person with similar skills might earn.

It is the responsibility of the litigant or their advocate to provide the Court with the facts which it needs to make an equitable and well reasoned decision.

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Retroactive Modification of Child Support

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Query:    My spouse dropped my children off with me several months ago, but I am still paying child support. Can I get my support payments back?

This is an excellent question. 

Consider this hypothetical situation. Mother is granted custody in a divorce of two children. Ten (10) months ago, the children go live with their father. No legal action is taken to reduce father's child support obligation set in the decree. Can the father file a Motion to Modify now and ask the Court to change the child support back to the date the children came to live with him? 

As a general rule, the answer is No.  Oklahoma statutes do not allow retroactive modification of child support.  43 O.S. §118(e)(16).  Likewise, the Oklahoma Courts have held that you can't file a motion now and ask the Court to change your child support back to when the children first came to live with you. You can review current case law by clicking on this link: Retroactive Modification Cases in Oklahoma.   You should consult with your attorney when changes are being made to the custody arrangement you have with your spouse.  That way you take care of issues such as child support. 

Query:    What happens if I file a Motion to Modify today, but I can't get a hearing for three months.  Am I still obligated to pay the old child support amount?

Until you have a Court Order telling you to pay less, the answer will generally be yes; however, in this case the child support statute will govern when any reduced child support would start. At this time, the Oklahoma statutes allow the Court to change child support orders back to the time you filed the Motion to Modify, so you wouldn't necessarily be penalized for not getting a quick setting. The statute you need to consult is 43 O.S. § 118(e)(16)  You should  talk with your attorney before you pay anything less than what the Court ordered, unless you have a valid Order actually reducing your child support.
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Am I divorced? I signed the documents s/he gave me, but no one will tell me the status of my case. Help!

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Query:    I attended the Children Coping with Divorce seminar and signed the papers my spouse gave me, but that was the last I heard from anyone. How do I find out what happened and wether I am divorced? 

Answer:    Your spouse or his/her attorney should have mailed you the final papers. The Court clerks don't have time to respond to everyone's status requests, so there is a solution built into the website.

 On the left side of the website, click on Court File Docket Search.  When you get the search screen, enter your case number ( FD-xxxx-xxxx) in the box marked Enter the Case Number... .  Then click on the button bar at the bottom of the form called Click Her To Start Search.  This should show you the docket sheet with everything that has happened in your case. 

If you don't know your case number, you can enter your last name in the Last Name box and then either click on the button bar at the bottom of the form called Click Her To Start Search  or you can optionally add your first name and to narrow it down enter FD into the case type box.  Then click on the button bar at the bottom of the form called Click Her To Start Search.  You will get a list of cases with those names.  Just click on the one that pertains to your case, and you will get the information you need.

Good luck finding your case.  Thank you for your interest.

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I need legal advice. Why won't anyone respond to my Comments questions?

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Query:     How do I enforce my visitation rights?
                 How do I modify child support when I don't know how much s/he earns?
                 How do I .........?     What do I do next?
 

Answer:    These are all important questions that you have submitted through the Comments section of the website.

We are unfortunately prohibited from  giving legal advice on how to proceed with any aspects of your case, other than general topics which you may find in these Frequently Asked Questions.  If your question deals with these prohibited areas then you will usually not get a response to your inquiry through Comments Section.

You might find the answers to some of your questions in the Oklahoma Statutes which you may access  in the Resource Section of the website.  You might find answers the appellate cases handed down by the Oklahoma Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal.  You can access these through the Legal Research Section of the website.

For most questions dealing with strategy, or procedure or substantive law applications, you will probably need to contact a lawyer to get help with your problem.  You can find the names of lawyers who deal with Family Law through the various directories in the Resource Section of the website.  Sign up with Lawyer Referral.  Call Legal Aid.  Ask people you know who have gone through similar experiences whom they recommend.

Good luck finding your the solution to your legal questions.  Thank you for your interest.

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How soon can my divorce be granted?

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Query:         If my spouse and I are in agreement, how soon can our decree be entered after filing?;


This is a question asked by a lot of people. The answer is based on a District Court Rule and a statute, and is different depending upon whether you have children or not. Also, there is an exception to each.

If you do not have children, then   Rule 8 of the Rules for District Courts of Oklahoma   requires that at least 10 days have passed since you filed your Petition for either Divorce, Dissolution of  Marriage, Separate Maintenance or Annulment, before the Court can hear your case on its merits.

If you do have children, there are two (2) separate timing rules.
          [ 1 ]   §107.1 of Title 43 of the Oklahoma Statutes   dealing with divorce and custody requires that ninety (90) days have passed since you filed your Petition before the Court can grant a final order.
          [ 2 ]   In addition, Rule 8 of the Rules for District Courts of Oklahoma requires that at least 30 days have passed since you filed your Petition for either Divorce, Dissolution of Marriage, Separate Maintenance or Annulment, before the Court can hear your case on its merits.

Under these two rules, the Court could hear your case on the merits after 30 days but could not grant a final order until 90 days after the Petition was filed, even if there was an agreement.

The Exception: As you can see in each of these rules, the Court has the power to waive or disregard the 90 day requirement if it finds that good cause exists to issue a final order. Then, if you file an application showing that an emergency exists and there is good cause to waive the 10 and 30 day requirements under Rule 8, ; you could have your case heard by the Court as soon as you were ready to present your agreement to the Court.

But: Even though you may waive the 10, 30 and 90 day requirements, you should plan on allowing 24 hours from the time you file your Petition until you present your Decree for signature. This will meet the requirement for filing appearances and waivers which is also in Rule 8.  All entries of appearance and waivers must be in writing, must be duly signed and witnessed or acknowledged at least one (1) day  after the filing of the petition, and must be filed in the action.

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