Dealing with DHS Can Be a Hassle
Video Transcribed: Why does DHS have to sign off on my child support order in Oklahoma? My name is James Wirth. I am a child support attorney in Oklahoma. That’s the question we have as part of a series that we’re doing on child support in Oklahoma and Oklahoma Child Support Guidelines.
And this question is, why does DHS have to sign off on the order? All right. So I know it’s a hassle. We deal with these all the time in cases where we’ve got an agreed order. Maybe it’s not an agreed order. Maybe it’s a journal entry. But in any case, we must go to DHS to get them to sign off on it. DHS sometimes is very busy. It takes a long time to get a return on that order. Sometimes they’re particular about how it’s drafted. They’ve got their own rules on that.
So it can be a hassle having to deal with DHS, and you want to know, “Why do I have to deal with DHS?” And the answer is because that’s the law. There’s a federal law regarding child support collections that incentivizes states to develop programs to help people collect child support. That’s what DHS does.
And it’s adopted in Oklahoma law and determines when DHS is an interested party. If DHS is an interested party, they’re a party in the case just like the other parent is a party of the case. You can’t do anything related to child support in the case without them involved, either. That means you got to give them notice.
It means that they’re entitled to appear and participate in the hearing. And it means if there is an order agreed or otherwise, you got to get DHS’s signature on it or get the judge to waive their signature under the right circumstances. So why does DHS have to sign off your order? Because that’s what the law requires.
Now, when does DHS have to sign off the order? If DHS is an interested party. Sometimes you can have DHS initially as an interested party, and you may be able to get them to close out their case. And if they close out their case or file a disclaimer in the case, then that means they are no longer an interested party.
You don’t have to get their signature on the order. Sometimes it makes sense to try to do that if it’s applicable. Other times, it may not be possible. But long story short, we deal with it all the time. We know it’s a hassle having to deal with DHS and get them to sign off on everything.
But the law requires it in most circumstances where DHS has provided benefits to the parties’ minor or children, such as daycare assistance, TANF, and suitor care. If you’ve got a question about this, though, in your specific circumstances, you will want to talk to an attorney about that privately to get legal advice. To get that scheduled with a Tulsa Family Law Attorney at my office, you can go to makelaweasy.com.