September 06, 2023
Your child’s eighteenth birthday is an exciting time. Your precious baby might be headed off to college, getting a new job, or moving out. Whatever the circumstance, you’re happy to celebrate. But then, your smile may start to weaken as you’re slapped with a sad reality—your ex still owes you child support. Is there still a legal requirement to pay, even though your child has reached the age of majority? If your child is eighteen, and your ex’s child support payments are in arrears, then read on to see what Oklahoma law says about it.
Yes. Your child is entitled to financial support. It is the law. So, if your ex became behind in payments or stopped paying entirely, the obligation to pay remains, and they have to become current on those payments, despite your child becoming an adult. After all, child support is court-ordered and is for the child, so a person is in contempt of court for failure to comply with the order.
Unfortunately, as you probably know all too well, you make up the difference when your ex falls behind on payments. Your child still needed books for school, personal upkeep like hair care and clothes, visits to the dentist, and so on. You’ve had to carry that load—and most likely pay for any extracurricular activities, as well—with your single income. You might have even gone into debt because of things your child needed.
Now that your child is gearing up to take the next steps in her or his life, though, you still have to consider what’s economically feasible for you both. Even if your child is financially independent, your ex can’t escape her or his obligation. There are several avenues that you can take to collect back child support.
Wage Garnishments—Oklahoma can garnish your ex’s wages so that you are reimbursed. Most jobs are not exempt from allowing wage garnishment. The monthly amount that your ex should’ve been paying is taken out of each paycheck and given to you.
Property Liens—Oklahoma can place liens on your ex’s property until the amount due is paid off.
Tax Refunds—Oklahoma can intercept your ex’s tax refunds and put that money towards any unpaid child support.
One thing you should know is that back child support is not the same as retroactive child support. Retroactive child support is the support a parent who has been absent must pay. For example, let’s suppose that you couldn’t locate your child’s father until your child was seventeen years old. During that time, because you couldn’t find the dad, a judge couldn’t put in an order for financial support. Yet, now that you’ve finally found him, you can request retroactive child support for all of those months that he was absent from his child’s life.
Another vital fact is that—unlike with many states—Oklahoma doesn’t carry a statute of limitations for when you can collect past-due child support. In other words, your child can be 38 years old, and you can still petition the court for back child support. Furthermore, Oklahoma Human Services Child Support Services can also add interest to any past due child support amount.
Moreover, your ex can be in some trouble for being in arrears. When a parent is delinquent on child support payments, the state can suspend a driver’s license, deny passport applications, and withhold any other license or vehicle registration until the debt is paid.
There’s a lot to consider when discussing child support. The matter can become much more complex once your child reaches adulthood. If your child is eighteen and your ex is delinquent in child support payments, contact a knowledgeable Oklahoma child support attorney now.
If you think your ex still owes child support, you should speak to a family law lawyer. They can explain your circumstances and place you on the best path towards getting the support to which you are entitled. Moreover, they can give you peace of mind knowing that a professional is on your side protecting your rights. Inner Vision Legal is devoted to handling all types of family law matters, including child support, spousal support, child custody, and divorce. Consult with us at Inner Vision Legal by calling (405) 724-2525 or contacting us online today.