Child support cases in Oklahoma recently hit a record high, according to data from the state’s Department of Human Services (DHS).
The Tulsa World reports that there are more than 200,000 open child support cases in the DHS’ Child Support Division for the first time. These 200,240 cases represent 222,740 children, Child Support Division spokesman Jeff Wagner said.
The news source reports that Oklahoma has experienced the second-highest rate of growth in its collection of child support over the past decade. Specifically, in 1998 the state collected $96 million in child support and in 2010 that number increased to more than $300 million.
“Parents who pay child support regularly are also shown to be more involved with their children, providing them with emotional as well as financial support,” said Wagner. “It’s critical to our whole society that parents take responsibility for raising their children.”
A number of factors go into computing child support payments in Oklahoma, including gross monthly income, child care expenses and the percentage of nights the child spends with each parent, according to the DHS.