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Duration of Support Legal Authority

Oklahoma law provides that child support continues through the age of 20 if a child is regularly enrolled and attending high school. A child must be a full-time student. There are three categories of high school:

  1. High school, as set forth in Section 11-103.6 of Title 70 of the Oklahoma Statutes (these are the Department of Education requirements for public schools),
  2. An alternative high school education program, or,
  3. Other means of high school education.

Full-time attendance includes regularly scheduled breaks from the school year.

No hearing or further order is required to extend support after the child reaches the age of eighteen (18) years.

If the child is no longer in high school or the equivalent, at the time the child reaches age 18, then support ends at 18.

The Department of Education considers Charter schools as alternative high school. If the parties don’t agree, staff should contact the local school district or the State Department of Education for information to present to the court on this issue. A list of the Oklahoma State Department of Education approved Charter schools can be found at http://www.ok.gov/sde/oklahoma-charter-schools-program.

Home schooling may qualify as “other means of high school education.” If the parties don’t agree on “other means of high school”, the custodial person (CP) will have to present objective evidence to the court to show schooling is being provided.

GED programs don’t qualify as either an alternative or other means of high school as these are not “full time” high school education programs.

Managing Attorneys will need to determine on a case by case basis, based on the documentation that the CP submits to the local office, whether the CP’s documentation is sufficient for a judge to find that a program qualifies as alternative high school.

What If

  • If the child was 18 and no longer attending high school on August 25, 2006, but later returns to school, the question as to whether child support continues depends if this break qualifies as a “regularly scheduled break”. This would be an issue for the court to determine if the parties disagree.
  • Child drops out of school at age 17 and returns to high school before age 18, then child support continues.

Legal Authority(ies):

43 O.S. 112 (E)
70 O.S. 11-103.6