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Smith v. Smith

67 P.3d 351 (Okla. Civ. App. 2002)

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Smith v. Smith

Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals

67 P.3d 351 (Okla. Civ. App. 2002)

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Facts

Stephen Smith (defendant) and Judith Smith (plaintiff) divorced. They had one child. The divorce decree awarded Judith custody and ordered Stephen to pay child support. Judith petitioned to modify the amount of child support, because Stephen’s income increased significantly. Judith presented evidence that the child’s monthly expenses were $3,355.90. Stephen’s monthly income was $46,015, and Judith’s monthly income was $6,419. Combined, their income totaled $52,434. Oklahoma’s statutory child support guidelines did not provide a formula for monthly income higher than $15,000. The guidelines stated that if the combined monthly income was higher than $15,000, the court shall order child support in the amount that would be due for combined income of $15,000 plus “an additional amount determined by the court.” The guidelines provided that for a combined income of $15,000, child support should be 9.15 percent of that income. The trial court granted Judith’s petition to modify child support. The trial court determined the amount of support by taking 9.15 percent of $52,434, resulting in a combined support amount of almost $4,800. Stephen was ordered to pay 88 percent of that amount based on his share of the couple’s combined monthly income. Stephen appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Buettner, J.)

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