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The interaction of emancipation and child support in Indiana

On Behalf of | May 3, 2024 | Firm News

There are many parents in Indiana who feel a great deal of trepidation about child support orders. Whether they are the payor or the receiving parent, oftentimes parents worry about child support being ordered in an amount that is too much or too little, depending on the situation.

However, our readers should know that child support is governed by the Indiana Child Support Rules and Guidelines. In theory, any child support that is ordered should be fairly close to the proper amount for the parties involved, in accordance with those guidelines.

Emancipation and child support

The end of a child support order is also an important factor when parents in Indiana think about this financial support system. In general, under Indiana law, once a child turns 19 years old that child is officially seen as “emancipated” for purposes of child support, as a result, child support ends.  Typically, in order to terminate the child support order, you would file a Petition to Emancipate and Terminate Child Support.  In the event, you have younger children you will still be receiving or paying child support for, you would consider filing a Petition to Emancipate and Modify Child Support.

“Emancipated” means that, under the eyes of the law, the child at 19-year-old has reached the age of majority and is presumably no longer under the full custody and control of the parents.

There are a few exceptions to the presumed automatic legal operation of emancipation at age 19. For example, if the child is incapacitated in some way, the child support order may go beyond age 19. Or, if the child is still enrolled full-time in high school, the order might go beyond age 19.

Also, there are ways for a child to be emancipated prior to the age of 19 in Indiana – but a court order must be entered for the emancipation to take place. In general, if the child gets married or becomes an active duty member in the military, a court will enter an order that the child is emancipated.

Furthermore, based on the facts of any given case and family situation, a court can also make a determination that the child is no longer under the control or care of the parents and, as a result, the child can be emancipated and any child support obligation would end.


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