When does child support stop in Indiana ? I have been paying child support for a long time. Does child support stop automatically?
Several times per week, I often get the question, “When does child support stop in Indiana ?” Generally, the duty to pay child support in Indiana ends when the child reaches nineteen (19) years of age. This is assuming the child is capable of supporting him or herself, and that the child has no special needs. If it can be determined that the child has special needs, the court could conceivably order child support to continue indefinitely. Assuming this is not the case, child support should end at nineteen (19). However, the question, “When does child support stop in Indiana ?” does not have ‘automatically’ in the answer. The reason that child support does not stop automatically is that the court needs to determine whether the child is capable of supporting him or herself and whether the child has any special needs. Once the court is able to make this finding (it can be either contested or agreed), child support officially terminates. If there is an income withholding order in effect, sometimes it can take additional time (1 to 4 weeks) to get this terminated, and for the employer to stop withholding child support from the noncustodial parent’s payroll. The noncustodial parent should be entitled to reimbursement for any over payment. (See below to determine reimbursement.)
When Does Child Support Stop in Indiana ? Once the Court Determines that Child Support Has Ended, What Happens Then?
Right after the question, “When does child support stop in Indiana ?” I usually get, “Okay, so what happens next?” Once the court has made a finding that the child support has terminated, it must determine whether the child support termination is retroactive. This decision is guided by previous Indiana Court of Appeals decisions. First, the court must determine whether there is one (1) child or more than (1) child. If there is more than one (1) child involved, is there support for the other child(ren)?
If there is only one (1) child involved, the termination should be retroactive back to the date of the child’s nineteenth (19th) birthday, even if the petition was filed after the child’s nineteenth (19th) birthday. However, on the other hand, if there is support for more than just the emancipated child, the court will view the petition as a petition for modification of child support, and not a petition to terminate child support. This has the effect of being retroactive back to the effective date that the petition was filed. So, in other words, if only the oldest of several children is emancipated, the child support will terminate effective upon the date you file with the court to have the child support terminated. If you have only one (1) child (or if the child happens to be the last/youngest to emancipate), then the termination will be effective as of the child’s nineteenth (19th) birthday. Any support paid after either of these dates (depending on which applies) will be due and owing back to the payor, i.e. noncustodial parent. This can be paid informally or reduced to judgment, and can be paid in lump sum or in payments. (This depends on the financial condition of the custodial parent.)
When Does the Child Support Stop in Indiana ? Does the Child’s Enrollment in College Affect This?
After the question “When does child support end in Indiana ?”, and after the question, “What happens next?” the next question is usually, “Does it matter if the child is enrolled in college?” In short, no. The child’s enrollment in post-secondary education (“college”) does not affect the test for whether to terminate child support. However, the court can order the reimbursement of post-secondary education expenses as part of a support order. If the child was receiving support before July 1, 2012, the noncustodial parent has until age twenty one (21) to file a petition for post-secondary expenses. If the child was not receiving support prior to July 1, 2012, the noncustodial parent has until nineteen (19) to file a petition for post-secondary expenses. In other words, if the child was not receiving child support prior to July 1, 2012, and the petition for emancipation is filed after the child turns nineteen (19), the parties cannot file a petition for post-secondary expenses. If the child was receiving child support prior to July 1, 2012, the petition for emancipation will likely trigger the custodial parent to file the petition for post-secondary expenses. The general formula in Indiana that most judges follow in Indiana is that the child pays the first third (1/3) of all eligible expenses, and the parents divide the other two thirds (2/3). Usually, the latter division is based upon income. For instance, if the parents’ incomes are equal, then each parent will pay one third (1/3) of the overall expenses.
When Does Child Support Stop in Indiana ? Should I Hire an Attorney?
Yes. As you can see, the question, “When does child support stop in Indiana ?” is not a simple question, and these issues can be quite complicated. There are many factors to consider before you decide to file a petition for emancipation of a child, and there are certain necessary elements of each petition. SFT Lawyers has experienced child support attorneys who can assist you in filing and possibly arguing these petitions before local courts. Call today for a FREE CONSULTATION. (219) 841-5683.