Can You Go to Jail if You Don’t Pay Child Support?

Divorced Couple Sitting on a Couch, Holding a Picture of a Broken Heart.

In Terms of Oklahoma Child Support, Divorce Separates Parents into the Obligor and Obligee.

In the state of Oklahoma, in addition to many other states around the country, you can absolutely go to jail for the failure to pay child support. Oklahoma child support represents a thorny, combative issue, however, and a sentence to jail time does not occur without due consideration. Typically, a single missed payment, or even several missed payments, will not immediately land a person in handcuffs. Instead, the threat of incarceration will serve as a deterrent against continued lapses, and encourage the child support obligor to catch up or at least resume regular payments. Child support laws also vary from state to state. Though federal statutes define the possibility of jail time for non-payment, state laws define the specific procedures for child support enforcement, along with the process to determine how much the obligor owes.

Federal agencies generally leave the prosecution of child support charges to state or local officials. Obligors delinquent in payment for over a year, or those who have fallen more than $5,000 behind, become susceptible to fines and a jail term of six months. If someone has fallen more than $10,000 behind, or has skipped payments for two years or more, they become liable for a felony and incarceration for up to two years. While the above information seems relatively cut and dry, child support and its enforcement represents a highly complex matter. To understand more accurately the consequences of non-payment of Oklahoma child support, you must familiarize yourself with the basics behind the overall process. For any questions about bail for delinquency with Oklahoma child support in , OK, call Lightning Bail Bonds at __PHONE__.

Child Support vs Custody, or the Obligor vs Obligee

The issue of child support begins when parents divorce. From this point forward, the parents can either decide who will act as the primary caregiver (the obligee for child support), and which will pay child support (the obligor). A highly contentious issue for many parents, this decision can fall to the court in the event of a dispute. Upon the definition of these roles, the state of Oklahoma employs a complicated formula to determine the amount of monthly child support payments. The formula first considers the combined incomes of both parents, and the percentage of this income that each parent supplies. In its simplest form, the formula considers these percentages as the base requirement for child support obligation.

For an example, let’s consider the situation of Bob and Nancy. Recently and somewhat amicably divorced, the former couple mutually agrees that Nancy should serve as the primary caregiver. The combined annual income of both parents is $100,000, of which Bob contributes 80 percent, or $80,000. A child support schedule will determine the total amount of money necessary for the care of children at this income level. Once that amount becomes defined, Bob will stand accountable for 80 percent of it each month. A great number of issues and factors can complicate this equation, however. For an unofficial estimate of child support amounts and obligations in Oklahoma, you can use an online calculator.

What to Do if You Fall Behind On Payments

Man Showing That He's Broke by Turning Out His Pocket.

Stay in Communication if You Cannot Afford Your Child Support.

There are many scenarios in which the obligor can fall behind on child support. An extended illness or injury can prevent them from working, for example, or they can outright lose their job. Some obligors willfully fall behind on payments, whether due to poor money management, disagreement with the arrangement, or simple spite. Once the obligee or local authorities invoke the threat of jail time, however, most obligors will readily begin to look for a solution.

Pay as Much as You Can: If an obligor falls behind on payments, or cannot afford the payments, they should nevertheless contribute as much as they can. Once the issue appears before a judge, complete and total non-payment will reflect poorly on just about anyone.

File a Motion to Modify Payments: If you lose your job, or if your income otherwise falls, do not simply stop your payments. Instead, file a motion with the court to modify your payments. This represents a straightforward and simple avenue for a struggling obligor to resume their obligation and stay on the right side of the law.

Open Communication: Every child support situation has a caseworker that oversees the payments and other particulars of shared parentage. An obligor who maintains open communication with the caseworker, and who presents a clear commitment to a resumption of solvency, can typically count on the caseworker’s positive recommendation to the judge.

What Justifies Imprisonment for Lapses in Child Support?

Now that we’ve established an outline of how child support works, and how a delinquent obligor can remain on the right side of the law, let’s consider the obverse. Enforcement of proper child support payment can occur in a few different ways, with assorted punishments that include jail time. Contempt of court represents the actual criminal charge used to enforce child support payment.

Civil Prosecution

Most of the time, the road to jail for a delinquent obligor begins with the obligee’s filing of civil charges. The obligee’s attorney will submit a request to a judge for a civil warrant to bring the obligor into custody. From there, the judge can order any number of punishments, ranging from an order to remit all back-due child support, to the addition of fines, or, unlike most civil debt collection cases, jail time. In this scenario, though jail time is possible, it typically represents a last resort. In advance of a jail sentence, judges will commonly use a variety of procedures to encourage compliance, including:

  • Garnishment of Income
  • Property Liens and Bank Account Withdrawals
  • Interception of Tax Refunds
  • Driver’s License Suspension
  • Suspension of Professional or Recreational Licenses
  • Passport Suspension

Criminal Prosecution

Once payments become seriously delinquent to the standards described in our opening paragraphs, state or federal officials will step in and begin their own criminal case against the obligor. The possibility for jail time becomes more acute in this scenario, thanks to the passage of the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act in 1996. This act outlines strict penalties for delinquent obligors who fall more than $5,000 behind. Once the number hits $10,000, the obligor risks felony charges and two years in jail.

Child Support FAQ

  • Man Signing a Document While a Woman Points.

    A Waiver Agreement Between the Former Couple Is the Only Way Out of Child Support Debt.

    What Is a Cash Bond for Child Support?

    • A cash bond for child support means that the detained obligor must themselves pay the full bail amount, in cash, to escape pre-trial detention for delinquent child support payments. In the event of a cash bond, you can always file an appeal.
  • How Long Do You Go to Jail for Not Paying Oklahoma Child Support?
    • If charged with a misdemeanor, the maximum sentence is six months. For a felony, it becomes two years.
  • Is Unpaid Child Support a Felony?
    • In certain cases, yes. Unpaid child support becomes a felony if the delinquent amount exceeds $10,000, or if the previous payment occurred more than two years prior.
  • Can Child Support Debt Be Forgiven?
    • In terms of bankruptcy, no.
  • Can Child Support Be Waived?
    • Yes, though it depends on the goodwill of the obligee. If child support payments have become severely delinquent, the parents can, with the approval of the court, waive some or all of the arrears. Alternately, the parents and court can agree on a settlement plan.

Bail for Oklahoma Child Support Arrest

If you or a loved one have found themselves on the receiving end of a child support warrant, you will naturally want jail release as quickly as possible. When it comes to bail bonds for Oklahoma child support in , OK, trust the experts at Lightning Bail Bonds. Once judges or bail schedules establish the amount for Oklahoma child support bail bonds, we will act quickly to restore the freedom of our clients. To learn more, ask questions, or request our help, call __PHONE__ anytime.

What to do When You Have a Warrant

The most important thing to do when you or a loved one is issued a warrant is to stay calm. While it can be a very stressful situation, being calm and collected can help you get the information you need and help the warrant processing procedure go as smoothly as possible. You need to know a few basic details in order to start the bonding process, and will be able to get them from the issuing facility before arrest or once the person has been booked in. Keep in mind that the booking process time length depends heavily on the workload of the facility. This process may also be hindered by a mandatory bail hearing. Once you or your loved one has been booked and processed, the following information will be needed to begin the bail procedure.

  • Case Number
  • Charge
  • Status
  • Special Requirements Set by the Judge
We Can Help Relieve the Stress of an Active Warrant.

Your Warrants Can be Taken Care of Without Jail Time in Most Cases.

Once you have this information, the Lightning Bail Bonds professionals can help you begin the steps to freedom.

What are the Types of Warrants?

Warrants vary greatly depending on the type and severity. Misdemeanor warrants are very common and can include charges like DUI first offenses, possession, assault. Many of these offenses can be bonded upon processing with no need to wait for a bond hearing. Felony and violent charges, on the other hand, typically require a hearing before they will allow release. These charges also come with additional stipulations such as house arrest or breathalyzer requirements. Bench warrants are issued when a defendant misses an original court date. Typically these charges are bondable and can even be settled with a walk-through bonding process. However, Capias bench warrants cannot be bonded at all. These warrants are issued when you have failed to comply with the arrangements made on a charge. A capias bench warrant will require you to remain in jail until seeing the judge.

Warrant Processing in Oklahoma

If you find out that you or a loved one has an outstanding warrant in Oklahoma, call the Lightning Bail Bonds team first at __PHONE__. We provide expert assistance and guidance so you get through the bonding process as quickly and painlessly as possible. Call us today to find out more about your warrant bond options.

The Arrest and Booking Process

Nobody wants to find themselves handcuffed in the back of a police car. When the unthinkable happens to you or a loved one, it’s crucial to know what to do in order to minimize the time spent behind bars. Once a person is arrested, they are taken to the station to be processed. This procedure includes fingerprinting, mugshots, and changing. Once the booking process is done, the arrested party is typically eligible for bonding. Most bondsmen or bail bonds service can already have the process started when given the correct information. When you find yourself in need of bail bond services in Norman, OK, our experts can help. Call us today at (405) 310-3020 to learn more.

Don't Trust Just Anyone With Your Freedom.

Our Bail Bonds Service Will Get You Released Quickly.

Bonding Out of Jail

When the booking process is complete, defendants that have misdemeanor charges can typically be bonded out right then. Sometimes, for more severe charges, your client may have to wait for an arraignment hearing where a judge will set the required bond. Once the bond is set, your client can be released. Many factors can affect your client’s bond amount, such as:

Past Criminal Record
Severity of the Crime
Community Involvement

If your bond is being set by an arraignment hearing, the judge will take each of these factors into consideration before setting your bond for release. Once you have bonded out of jail, you should consider hiring a good attorney. An attorney can help you plan your next steps.

Your Norman, OK Bond Experts

When you need bail bonds service in Norman, OK, there’s only one team to call. The Lightning Bail Bonds experts can provide the information and guidance you need to get your bond complete fast and get you back to freedom. Call us today at (405) 310-3020 to discuss your bonding options and to begin the process immediately.

How to Achieve Probation Success

Probation Success

To Achieve Probation Success and Make the Most of Your Jail Release, Follow a Few Key Tips.

If you’ve been granted probation, then congratulations! You’ve been afforded a chance to avoid jail and remain a productive member of society. Of course, probation comes with a host of rules and requirements. If you fail to live up to these terms, you can expect a quick trip back to incarceration. In order to achieve probation success, you’ll want to follow these strategies.

Pay All Your Fees

One of the most common reasons for probation revocation is the neglect of your fees and fines. In addition to whatever reparations you owe the court, probation usually will have its own monthly fee. Miss too many of these payments, and you’ll be in trouble. If you can afford it, try and pay down your probation fees ahead of time. Once you clear the balance, you’ll have one less thing to worry about.

Keep Your Appointments

Whether it’s for a meeting with your probation officer, a court hearing, or a date for drug testing, you absolutely must keep your appointments while on probation. If you are a disorganized person, make a habit of carrying a notebook or using your phone to record the times and places of your appointments.

Stay Away from Drugs

Most of the time, probation comes with a requirement for random drug testing. These tests can detect illegal chemicals in your system for days or even weeks after consumption. The staying power of different drugs is different, so it’s best to not play games with out-guessing the drug testers, and instead stay clean and sober. If you were arrested for an alcohol-related offense, you can count on regular testing for this substance, as well.

If you’ve failed to achieve probation success and need jail release in , OK, call __PHONE__ for the leading local bail bond provider at Lightning Bail Bonds

Understanding Bail: the Bail Process in 3 Simple Steps

Determining Bail

A Judge Determines the Price of Bail Based on the Alleged Crime and Risk Posed by a Suspect.

Not everyone knows how the bail process works in U.S. It’s actually fairly easy to learn, but very important if a friend or loved one is arrested. While exact procedure can vary slightly from state to state, here are the common three steps of the bail process.

Step #1: Post Arrest Processing

After the initial arrest, a suspect is taken a police station for “booking”, where the personal information questioning, criminal background checks, fingerprinting, and initial crime investigation takes place. This is the point in time that you can arrange to consult with an attorney. For serious offenses, a suspect will often be placed in a holding cell or taken to a local prison awaiting trial.

Step #2: Setting the Price of Bail

If a judge warrants a particular offender should be required to pay bail prior to their release, a price will be set. Bail is used as a tool to guarantee a suspect will appear at their scheduled court date, and the price will vary depending on the weight of the crime. At this point, a suspect may either arrange to pay the full price of the bail or contract a bail bondsman to pay it for them (for a percentage of the cost).

Step #3: Court Appearance

Assuming bail is paid, the suspect is then released to appear at a later court date. If the offender paid the full amount of the bail, the sum will be returned after they show up to their scheduled court appearance. If a bail bondsman was hired instead, they bail company will retain the percentage the suspect paid them.

Hopefully this guide has helped you better understand the bail process! For more information about bail, or to speak with a bondsman, you’re welcome to contact our office at __PHONE__!

Posting Bail for a Family Member


Stay Calm and Follow These Steps to Help Make the Process of Posting Bail Easier.

If you’ve recently had a loved one arrested, the process of figuring out bail can be scary. Thankfully, with a little careful planning, you can skip the extra stress and lower your personal risk. Here are three simple tips to help you when posting bail for a family member. 

Tip #1: Write Everything Down

What crime has your family member been accused of? Is it a misdemeanor or a felony crime? Where is the court case scheduled to be tried? All of this information is important, as it will help you estimate the potential cost of bail. Start by writing down all of your loved one’s required court appearances, including location, address, and specific time. Plan out your routes ahead of time, and (if possible) schedule time off to drive your loved one to each appearance. Not only will this help your family remain calm during the process, but you’ll also reduce your financial risk when you eventually post bail.

Tip #2: Prepare Your Finances

Depending on the weight of the crime, the full price of bail can range anywhere from $100 to $100,000. If you won’t be able to cover the entire cost of bail, your local bond agent can help you for just a percentage of the full price. Once you’ve learned the details of your family member’s criminal charges, you can contact a bondsman to start the necessary paperwork.

Tip #3: Talk with Your Family

Many people don’t understand the bail process, and this can create additional stress on friends and family. Once you’ve spoken with your bond agent, take a moment to talk about the bail system with your family member. This will help them relax and be better prepared for their upcoming court appearances.

For more information about posting bail or bail bonds, talk to one of our experts at Lightning Bail Bonds. You can give us a call at__PHONE__.

The Most Expensive Bail Bond Ever Used

Based on the crime that was committed, bail bonds can be pretty expensive. While this is true, typically people are only paying thousands of dollars for their bails bonds. There are some cases where bail bonds have been set at over a million dollars. Who has had to pay that much in bail? Below are people who have the most expensive bail bonds.

Michael Milken

The Most Expensive Bail Bond Ever Used

These Individuals Had The Most Expensive Bail Bonds Ever.

One of the most expensive bail bonds every is Michael Milken, a former businessman who was convicted of racketeering and securities fraud. When he was arrested, his bail was set at $250 million. He was sentenced to ten years in prison but ended up only serving two years.

Julius Meinl

A British billionaire, Julius Meinl was arrested with his bail bond set at $133 million. The reason for his arrest is that he was suspected of secret share buybacks.

Raj Rajaratnam

In 2009, the billionaire hedge fund manager, Raj Rajaratnam, was arrested for insider trading. When he was arrested his bail bond was set at $100 million.

Kening Ma

Kening Ma sold people all-terrain vehicles, which would be fine if he had a smog certificate. Because he didn’t have a smog certificate, he was arrested and his bail was set at $100 million. Kening Ma’s wife, Shirley Ji, was also arrested. Her bail was also set at a very high amount–$75 million.

If you are interested in bail bond services in Norman, OK, call Lightning Bail Bonds today at (405) 310-3020! We offer affordable and reliable services to get you released from jail lightning fast!

The Process of Walkthrough Bonding

Police Station Where a Walkthrough Bonding Will Occur

We Will Accompany You To the Police Station to Turn Yourself In During Our Walkthrough Bonding.

If you have a warrant out for your arrest, it is only a matter of time before the police pick you up. Once you are taken into custody, you will go through the booking process and have to wait to see a judge to determine bail. This can take several hours, not to mention the emotional strain of being a wanted man. Lightning Bail Bonds offers an alternative solution with our walkthrough bonding services. This can expedite the process and save you a lot of stress.

How Does Walkthrough Bonding Work

Walk through bonding is a really easy process that is generally permitted in most case, with felonies and violent crimes being the exception. Here are the three simple steps to completing the walkthrough process.

Get the Warrant Information
If you can find out the warrant number, charges, and bond amount, it can make the process of a walk through that much faster.

Meet with a Bond Agent
Bring the information you’ve gathered about the warrant to our office and we will determine if it is possible to do a walkthrough. If yes, we’ll fill out the paperwork.

Turn Yourself In
Once the paperwork has been completed, we’ll accompany you to the police station to turn yourself in. Once your paperwork is finished, we’ll post bail and you’ll be free to go in a few minutes.

If you’re interested in lowering the stress of the warrant hanging over your head, contact our office at (405) 310-3020 to set up a walkthrough bonding in Norman, OK.

You’re arrested, now what?


If you’ve ever been arrested before then you are familiar with the process. However, if this is the first time you have ever been arrested, then pay attention. There are a few things that will happen and depending on what you did to get yourself there, will determine the way each of these steps goes, but overall this is the process:


You will be read your rights – “You have the right to remain silent…’’ You may have heard this before in the movies but it feels a little different when you’re the one having them read to you after being arrested. These are there for your protection and should be listened to and fully understood. If you know your rights, you will be more inclined to get out of jail and be able to make the best decisions for yourself.

Taking your belongings – Once you are brought in, someone will take your belongings from you and have them checked until you are able to get freed. There is no need to fight this process because it will happen regardless. Your things will be kept safe and given back to you when you are let go.

Booked – The next process is the booking process. Here, you will be fingerprinted, taken a mugshot, and asked about personal information like your address and phone number. Depending on the severity of what you did or if you look like someone who the police may be looking for, you may be asked to stand for a lineup or have a handwriting sample taken.

Waiting – After that is all done, you wait. There are procedures to be taken care of at this point and paperwork that is filled out. If you are in need of a bond, we are here to help you with that as well. After you are arrested your friends or family are able to work with us while you are in jail to try to get you out as soon as possible, depending on the charges.

Getting arrested can be a scary process, that is why you should be prepared for what you have to look forward to. If you do find yourself in a situation where you are arrested, call Lightning Bail Bonds at (405) 310-3020 and we will fight to get you out.

Contacting a Bail Bondsman at a Bad Time

We cannot often predict when things will happen. There are events we never imagined would happen, and then we’re faced with them, suddenly. That call from a friend or family member in jail is one of those moments. When it happens, you need to know what to do. Contacting a bail bondsman is one of the first things you should do, no matter how inconvenient the hour.

Finding a Bail Bondsman

Searching for a bail bondsman at a bad time should not be terribly difficult. The criminal justice system never sleeps, which means that bail bondsmen need to be readily available searchable at all times. Google should be able to tell you locations of your local bondsmen.

Bail Bond Services Availability

Neon Bail Sign

Contacting a Bail Bondsman at a Bad Time

The availability of your bail bondsman is another major factor. Times like these are why there are bondsmen whose offices are open 24/7. No one should have to stay in jail long, and a good bondsman will be available to you, even at a very inconvenient time.

Because you never know when something like this may happen, it never hurts to be familiar with your local sources for bail. Know who has a better reputation and who is available at a bad time. That way, you won’t have to waste time searching when it matters most.

Contacting Your Bail Bondsman

Your bondsman should be a source of valuable information for you, as well as a source of bonds. This means that contacting and reaching someone at the office, and getting necessary information should be easy. A good bondsman’s office will give you no trouble when it comes to reaching someone and getting all questions answered.

When it comes to contacting a bail bondsman, even at inconvenient times, call Lightning Bail Bonds. We’re your source for bail bonds services in Norman, OK. Contact us at (405) 310-3020