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Can You Be Charged Criminally for Not Paying Child Support After the Child’s 18th Birthday?

Not following a court order for child support payments can lead to criminal charges. But can people still be charged for non-payment after the juvenile’s 18th birthday?

There is a disagreement among the various Courts of Appeals in Ohio, but the current law is that if a violation of the child support order occurred before the juvenile turned 18, then charges can still be filed as long as the charges were filed within the statute of limitations (six years for child support cases).



Currently, the rule in Ohio is that if a defendant fails to make child support payments before the juvenile turns 18, then the state can bring criminal charges after the juvenile’s 18th birthday.

  • In State v. Hobbs, 2020-Ohio-680, The Court of Appeals upheld a conviction for non-payment of child support where the state filed criminal charges after the juvenile 18. The defendant failed to make child support payments before the 18th birthday, and the charges were filed within the statute of limitations.
  • In State v. Pittman, 2016-Ohio-8314, the Court of Appeals overturned a conviction for non-payment when it held the defendant was ordered to make back payment after the juvenile turned 18. The order was put into effect after the juvenile turned 18, and the defendant could not be charged criminally.

This area of the criminal law is being argued before the Ohio Supreme Court, and will likely be refined or altered in the coming months. If you have questions about whether you may face criminal charges relating to child support, it may be necessary to contact an Ohio attorney who specializes in criminal and administrative procedures.

We have years of experience in criminal and administrative cases and can assist in guiding you through your child support obligations, or challenge a possible violation. If you have questions about your criminal or administrative case, talk to our defense attorneys at 614-361-2804.