How long will you pay child support in Indiana?

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2024 | Child And Spousal Support

When a marriage that involves a child comes to an end through divorce or separation, the court will often determine how the child’s needs will be taken care of. This is where the child support order comes in.

Child support is meant to take care of the child’s day-to-day needs like food, clothing, education, shelter and healthcare. If you are the paying parent, you probably want to know when this obligation will end.

Understanding when child support comes to an end

Typically, under the Indiana child support law, your child support obligation will come to an end when the child turns 19. However, there are instances when you may continue paying child support even after the child’s 19th birthday. Here are some of those instances:

  • If the child is incapacitated or has a disabling medical condition that renders them dependent
  • If the child is still in high school at the time of turning 19

Under either scenario, the court will be open to the idea of extending the child support obligation.

Child support can also stop before the child turns 19

There are instances when you can stop paying child support before the child’s 19th birthday. However, this is subject to the court agreeing to emancipate the child. Per the state’s law, this can happen when:

  • The child marries
  • The child signs up for military service
  • The child is no longer under the control of either parent, a court-nominated agency or a guardian

It’s important to understand that you cannot make the call to stop paying child support on your own. Rather, you must petition the court to emancipate the child and terminate the order. Subject to the circumstances of your case, the court may emancipate the child if they are at least 18, not attending high school or post-secondary education or is able to work and support him or herself.

Child support can be a contentious subject during and after the divorce. Find out how legal advice can help you protect your rights when exploring the possibility of ending a child support obligation.

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