Collecting Child Support

FAQ About Child Support

To collect your child support, you must first have a support order. A support order is an order from a judge requiring someone to pay you child support. Support orders are usually included in divorce decrees and paternity orders. They also are sometimes issued by the Department of Human Services (DHS). If you do not have a support order, you will need to get one.

Persons who are married to the other parent of their child may need to file for divorce or a separation. Those who have never been married should file a paternity case. In either event, it is a good idea to contact an attorney for assistance with getting a child support order. Once you have an order directing the other parent to pay a certain amount of support, you can take legal steps to collect. 

You can apply for child support with DHS online here

The State of Oklahoma maintains child support offices that serve every county in the state. In some counties, like Tulsa, child support services are provided through the Department of Human Services. In other counties, services are provided through District Attorney offices. One child support office may serve several counties.

Child support offices help collect support through a variety of methods. They can take from tax refunds, for example--something private attorneys cannot do. They can also use government computers to locate missing parents.

If you receive TANF benefits, the child support office automatically collects support to reimburse the State for the money DHS pays you. If you go off of TANF the child support office will continue to collect support for you unless you close your case. For a small fee, a child support office will collect support for you even if you have never received public assistance.

Child support offices can also refer cases to other parts of the country. If the parent of your child lives in another state, you can go to your local child support office for help. This method saves the cost and trouble of trying to hire an attorney in another location. Contact information for your local child support office may be found online here.

Income Assignment: An income assignment is similar to a garnishment. The other parent's employer is required to take money out of their paycheck and send it to you. If the payments are behind, the employer can take out additional wages to apply towards the past-due amount.

To issue an income assignment, contact a private attorney or your local child support office.Contemp is a type of legal action you can file to collect support.

Contempt Action: Contempt means someone has purposely disobeyed a court order. It is contempt when a parent does not pay support even though he or she had the money to pay. The judge can sentence the parent to as much as six months in jail. To file a contempt action, call a private attorney or your local child support office.

Last Review and Update: Mar 09, 2023
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