When an Indiana couple has ended a relationship and a parent is required to pay child support, there are many questions. One is when the child support will end. Although parents are generally willing to pay to support their child, there is no doubt that it can lead to financial difficulty for some. On the flip side, the receiving parent and child could come to rely on those payments. Child and spousal support can be complex and it is important to understand the law for when child support is terminated.
Support for a child will conclude when the child reaches the age of 19. Not included in this law is if the child needs support for education. Exceptions include if the child has become emancipated prior to turning 19. If that occurs, the child support will end when the emancipation is done except when the child needs support for education. It will also continue if the child is incapacitated. In these cases, it will continue until there is a court order ending it.
The child will be emancipated and child support will no longer be paid if he or she turns 18, has not attended a secondary or postsecondary school for the previous four months and is not enrolled in one and can support him or herself by gaining employment. The support can continue of the court finds that the child can support him or herself in a partial way, only it will be modified. If the child is on active duty in the armed services of the United States, is married or is not under care or control of either parent or an agency that has been approved by the court, he or she will be emancipated and no longer receive child support.
If the support order was issued prior to July 1, 2012, the parent or guardian or the child can request that the payments for educational needs continue through age 21. After that date, the petition can request that payments be made until the child turns 19. If there was an order after that date and it denied support for a child younger than 21 and the denial was because the child was over 18, there can be a filing for support to pay for educational needs.
Child support can be a contentious issue and parents who are in dispute about it should have legal help. Understanding the law and how it impacts various circumstances such as when the child will be emancipated is critical to a case. A law firm that handles child and spousal support should be called with any concern over these and other family law issues.