OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A startling number of Oklahoma families rely on child support. Nationally, Oklahoma ranks in the top ten according to a new report.
The average annual personal income of parents who receive child support here at home is just under 37,500.
The average amount of child support received is just over 5,000.
Nationwide, that number is 11.6%.
As inflation makes life more expensive, parents in Oklahoma are relying on child support more than ever.
“What we found is that folks in Oklahoma who received child support are among the most reliant in the country on it. And really, I think that that’s a function of just the fact that the average income in Oklahoma is lower than the national average and lower than a lot of other states. So whatever money comes in through child support is going to make up a bigger portion of that income,” said Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at LendingTree.
Chief credit analyst with LendingTree, Matt Schulz said inflation in Oklahoma has played a big role in many parents relying on child support.
“It’s been a really, really difficult year for families who live paycheck to paycheck. On a tight budget. Inflation has just shrunk people’s financial margin for error down to zero. And if you are somebody who is receiving child support, chances are that money that you get in those child support payments isn’t going as far as it used to, and it just makes things all the more difficult,” said Schulz.
Schulz said if you’re one of those families, you should take a closer look at your budget.
“If you have a budget and you haven’t looked at it in the last three months, six months, nine months, there’s a good chance that a lot of the assumptions that you made about how things are going to cost are now completely outdated because of inflation,” said Schulz.
“A lot of things that you thought would cost a certain amount, probably cost a good bit more. So, it’s a good time around the holidays, around the first of the year to reassess that budget, to make sure that you know exactly where you stand financially, because it can make a really big difference,” said Schulz.
Schulz expects this trend to continue and believes it won’t end anytime soon.
“Folks who are really reliant on child support payments need to be really, really cautious with their money. They need to create a budget. They need to pay attention to that so they can know exactly how much money they have and how they’re going to manage rising inflation, rising interest rates and just the cost of everything seemingly getting more expensive by the day,” said Schulz.
Oklahoma is also a top 10 state where the biggest share of income goes toward child support payments. It’s around 13.6% of income for those who receive it.