Child Support Is Deferred Maintenance
Video Transcribed: Hello, I am the Oklahoma Dad’s Attorney, Jason Lile. I wanted to talk to you about one aspect of child support that often trips up my male clients and here’s what it is.
Suppose you, at the moment that you come to see me, or before you come to see me or any other family law attorney, aren’t paying child support, either because you can’t or because you don’t feel like you should because you’re not seeing your children or because there is no order to. In that case, you really need good advice on that issue. And what I mean by that is you may be going to be asked to pay back child support from the time of the separation.
It’s possible that you have had a child support case filed against you by the Department of Human Services, and you won’t find anything in the district court directly. It’s possible that you are in contempt of court because you think wrongly that you shouldn’t be paying child support because the mother is denying you visitation with your children. So when it comes to child support, what I tell my clients is this is like deferred maintenance.
It would be better for you to pay and then be told later you have overpaid and have a good attorney help you get that money back, or get credit for that than it is to be in debt for two reasons. Number one, back child support accrues interest at a statutory rate, and number two, not paying child support is criminal in the state of Oklahoma if you were ordered to do so.
One thing that I don’t want to have to happen to my male clients is they weren’t well informed or they were unaware of what they were supposed to be doing to protect themselves. And now all of a sudden, they go into court and they find out they have a huge debt that can put them very deeply into a hole. And believe me, when I tell you that being in debt with regard to child support can and will be used against you in court.
A talented attorney on the other side will often point to that child support debt as evidence that you are not taking care of your children, and it’s not in your best interest to have custody or visitation with them.
Even though it’s not supposed to work that way, it often does. I admonish you to look into an experienced family law attorney who can give you circumspect advice about when you should be paying child support, whether it’s formally or informally ordered and/or expected, and how you can help strengthen your case by making sure that your hands are clean when it comes to the issue of child support. If you have questions about this or any other family law matter again, my name is attorney Jason Lile, and I am an Oklahoma Child Support Attorney For Men, you can reach me at Dads.law.