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When is the end date for paying child support?

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2023 | Family Law |

Indiana parents want the best for their children. That includes providing them with a stable home, a safe environment, proper food, clothing and a place to live. This is even more important if the parents are getting divorced.

Child support is one of the most key aspects of a family law case. Despite parents wanting to ensure their kids get the right start in life and have everything they need, it is natural to want to know when the support payments will end.

While there are basic rules for the duration of child support, the circumstances will dictate how long it might last. Both the supporting parent and the parent who is receiving child support payments should have a basic understanding of the law for when child support will stop.

Parents should know when child support will end

Although a child will technically become an adult at 18, the child support will continue until they turn 19. There are exceptions to this rule. If the child is emancipated prior to turning 19, then the supporting parent will no longer need to pay.

It is relatively simple to determine when a child is emancipated. If the child has joined the military and is on active duty; they have gotten married; or are not under the care and control of either parent or a court-appointed agency, then they are for all intents and purposes an adult and no longer need to be supported.

The payments can continue beyond age 19 if the child is incapacitated. The payments continue during the period of incapacity or until the court orders that they can stop.

If the child has turned 18 and has not attended a secondary or school or a postsecondary school in the previous four months and can support themselves by getting a job, the payments can cease. For those 18 and older who are only able to partially support themselves, the payments can continue in a modified fashion. If the supported child is a full-time student at a secondary school, the support can continue until they have graduated.

Parents should be fully aware of all the rules regarding child support

These issues can be complex and people might not be completely aware of when the child support payments will stop and how various circumstances impact the payments. Child support can be expensive and lead to dispute.

If the child is reaching an age when the parents are expecting them to support themselves or to go to college or a trade school—it is imperative to know the law and to have professional help with these cases not just with the amount but also with the duration.