Applying for and Collecting Child Support

What is Child Support?

Child support is money paid by a parent to financially support a child. 

Only money paid directly to the parent or person taking care of the child is considered child support. Usually this is a monthly payment from one parent to the other after they have separated. Child support is required when someone other than the legal parents has custody of a child in a minor guardianship. In a minor guardianship both parents would pay child support to the guardian. 

Both parents are financially responsible for the child, even if child support has not been determined by the state or a court. The parent with fewer overnight visits with the child is required by Oklahoma to give the other parent money to support a child.

FAQ About Child Support

Oklahoma law says that both parents are required to financially support a child. A child support computation can help separated parents determine who owes support, and how much. Any single parent can request child support from the other parent. It’s Oklahoma Law.

The income of each parent is listed and takes into account costs each parent pays, like:

  • Daycare for the child,
  • Child’s ongoing medical issues,
  • Child support paid for other children,
  • State benefits the child is enrolled in, and
  • How many nights the child spends with each parent

For more information about child support and to calculate or file for child support , go to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Child Support Services website.


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: Oct 30, 2023
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