How Long Do Indiana Child Support Obligations Last?

How do I stop child support when my children are grown or emancipated?

Child SupportThese are common questions asked by those in Indiana that have support obligations.

Indiana law provides the following with respect to the termination of child support:

31-16-6-6 Termination of child support; emancipation; petition for educational needs

Sec. 6. (a) The duty to support a child under this chapter, which does not include support for educational needs, ceases when the child becomes nineteen (19) years of age unless any of the following conditions occurs:

(1) The child is emancipated before becoming nineteen (19) years of age. In this case the child support, except for the educational needs outlined in section 2(a)(1) of this chapter, terminates at the time of emancipation, although an order for educational needs may continue in effect until further order of the court.

(2) The child is incapacitated. In this case the child support continues during the incapacity or until further order of the court.

(3) The child:

(A) is at least eighteen (18) years of age;

(B) has not attended a secondary school or postsecondary educational institution for the prior four (4) months and is not enrolled in a secondary school or postsecondary educational institution; and

(C) is or is capable of supporting himself or herself through employment.

How long do child support obligations lastIn this case the child support terminates upon the court’s finding that the conditions prescribed in this subdivision exist. However, if the court finds that the conditions set forth in clauses (A) through (C) are met but that the child is only partially supporting or is capable of only partially supporting himself or herself, the court may order that support be modified instead of terminated.

(b) For purposes of determining if a child is emancipated under subsection (a)(1), if the court finds that the child:

(1) is on active duty in the United States armed services;

(2) has married; or

(3) is not under the care or control of:

(A) either parent; or

(B) an individual or agency approved by the court;

the court shall find the child emancipated and terminate the child support.

(c) If a court has established a duty to support a child in a court order issued before July 1, 2012, the:

(1) parent or guardian of the child; or

(2) child;

may file a petition for educational needs until the child becomes twenty-one (21) years of age.

(d) If a court has established a duty to support a child in a court order issued after June 30, 2012, the:

(1) parent or guardian of the child; or

(2) child;may file a petition for educational needs until the child becomes nineteen (19) years of age.

(e) If:

  • an order was issued after June 30, 2012, that denied support for educational needs to a child who was less than twenty-one (21) years of age at the time the petition for educational needs was filed; and
  • support for educational needs was denied based on the fact that the child was older than eighteen (18) years of age;

notwithstanding any other law, a parent or guardian of the child or the child may file with the court a subsequent petition for educational needs. The court shall consider the petition on the merits in accordance with this section and may not consider the absence of subsection (c) from law at the time of the initial filing.

If You Have Support Termination Questions or Need Legal Assistance, We Can Help

Call us to learn more about how Indiana support obligation law may apply in your case.

Blackstone Professional Center
3045 South Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46217
Phone: 317.786.2225
Fax: 317.786.5263

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