When Will Child Support Payments End?

Photo: Beige and Brown by Matthew Henry

With the percentage of children born out of wedlock on the rise, many non-custodial parents (those parents who don’t have physical custody of their children) may be ordered to pay child support for the care of their children. The court will decide how much support non-custodial parents must pay unless both parents can agree on an amount. While this information should come as no surprise, the question often becomes when child support payments end. Like many legal questions, the answer depends on a few factors. Let’s explore how Oklahoma determines when child support payments end, and how to make sure that you are not overpaying or underpaying your support obligations.

Oklahoma Child Support Law

If your child support order originated in Oklahoma, the law allows for the collection of child support up until your child graduates from high school. If your child is 19 and still in high school, the law allows for the collection of child support up until that child’s 20th birthday or until graduation, whichever comes first. For most parents, this means that child support payments end when the child graduates from high school. It is important to note that if the parties have a valid court-ordered agreement to continue support beyond high school graduation, then that support will continue based on what the parties have agreed to.

Child Support Orders from Other States

There might be a child support order from a different state that Oklahoma courts can still enforce. If you have a child support order from a state outside of Oklahoma, the laws of that state control the date that order ends.


If you are new to child support, you may be unfamiliar with arrears: unpaid child support. Some arrears may be retro-active, meaning that they originated from the time between the date of filing for support and the date that the support order was entered. However, most arrears are missed child support payments. If you have arrears and your child has graduated from high school, you must continue paying it until your balance reaches zero. Failure to pay arrears can result in negative reporting to the credit bureaus and result in the loss of your driver’s license.

Additional Considerations

Remaining current on your child support payments is crucial to avoiding enforcement actions from the court. If you cannot afford your current child support obligation, it is important for you to consult with an attorney to determine what options may be available to you. Finally, if you believe that you have overpaid your obligation, there may be ways for you to recoup what you excessively paid. Don’t hesitate to contact an attorney if you have any questions or concerns surrounding your child support case. Backed by more than 40 years of experience, Naidu Law is a top family law firm who has meaningfully assisted clients from all walks of life regarding divorce, child custody, child support and more. Naidu Law strives to obtain the best results for its clients and to provide quality services at a reasonable cost. Consult with the knowledgeable family law attorneys at Naidu Law by calling (405) 792-2400 or by contacting us online today.