Age of Majority: The End of Childhood
Supporting our children is our moral and legal duty. However, the law only requires us to support our children monetarily until they reach the age of majority. Okla. Stat. tit. 43 § 112. After that, a child is legally considered to be an adult, and support payments may end if there are no arrearages.
The Age of Majority in Oklahoma
With some exceptions, the age of majority for child support in Oklahoma is 18. Children under that age are considered to be minors. However, if a child is attending high school, another alternative high school educational program on a full-time basis, or another higher educational program, the child is entitled to support from his or her parents until the child graduates or turns 20. At that time, the child is said to “age out” of child support. Okla. Stat. tit. 43 § 112.
Until one of these events occurs, if ordered to pay child support, a parent must continue to pay it. Child support payments are enforceable and Oklahoma, along with federal agencies, have many mechanisms in place to enforce its payment.
Beyond this age, or triggering event, a parent is no longer required to support a child unless there is a binding agreement to continue to do so. Some marital settlement agreements entered into by parents at divorce may contain other provisions. A valid marital settlement agreement is approved by the court and its terms are enforceable. Examples of other provisions that parents may agree to include: continued support for a special needs child, continued support for a child through 4 years of college, and tuition and other costs associated with college.
It is important to know that in Oklahoma, a parent may not waive the right to child support as a matter of public policy. The state has an interest in ensuring that a child is properly supported by his or her parents. Thus, if the court has ordered child support payments to be paid by the non-custodial parent, for example, the custodial parent cannot refuse them or waive the child’s right to receiving support.
Once a child reaches the age of majority, the support obligation ends. However, if there is a past-due amount of child support owed, payments must continue until the arrearage is paid.
Child support questions require expert care. Bring your questions and concerns to a Tulsa family lawyer. Get the help you need today and put your mind at ease.
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