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Parents or Guardians with a Child who is 19 and there is a Child Support Order New Forms Added to File if You Cannot Afford an Attorney

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2019 | Firm News

A new law which affects people with child support orders for children who turn 19 before graduating from secondary school i.e. high school was passed by the last Indiana General Assembly.  The law amended the child support law as it applies to emancipation for child support for children who are 19 years old.
If you are a parent or guardian with an Indiana court order to be paid child support for a child who is still in secondary school (high school) and will turn 19 years of age while in secondary school (high school) you will need to file a specific notice in the court with jurisdiction over your case before your child turns 19 or the support will stop. The Governor signed the bill into law on May 5, 2019. If you fail to file the proper notice in the court and fail to serve the party responsible for paying the support, you could lose thousands of dollars in support. Although the law does not go into effect, until July 1, 2019, one should file the notice anyway if the child turns 19 before that date.  You should not wait until the child is 19 even if before July 1, 2019.
IC 31-16-6-6 (a) provides:
(4) The child is a full-time student in a secondary school (as defined in IC 20-18-2-18(a)) and a parent or guardian of the child files notice under subsection (c) advising the court that the child continues or will continue to be enrolled in secondary school. In this case, the child support:
(1) continues until; and
(2) terminates upon;
the child’s graduation from secondary school.

The notice must be filed in the court and served upon the parent who is ordered to pay support simultaneously.  The notice must contain the following:
IC 31-16-6-6 (c) Notice under subsection (a)(4) must:
(1) be filed with the court and provided to each party to the child support proceeding:
(A) not earlier than the date on which the child becomes seventeen (17) years of age; and
(B) not later than the date on which the child becomes nineteen (19) years of age; and
(2) include:
(A) proof of the child’s enrollment; and
(B) the child’s expected graduation date.

If you are the person ordered to pay support and want to contest the continuation of support past age 19, the new law provides at IC 31-16-6-6:

(d) If:
(1) a parent or guardian files a notice under subsection (a)(4); and
(2) an objection or request for a hearing is not filed by a party to the child support proceeding not later than thirty (30) days after the party receives the notice;
the court may, without holding a hearing, issue an order continuing child support through the date on which the child is expected to graduate.

While we would never recommend that someone represent themselves, we further recognize that economic circumstances leaves some without any choice and especially those who rely on the child support to assist is supporting their children.  The Coalition for Court Access has a website that provide self help forms in this and many other areas.  Richard Mann of Mann Law, P.C. is a regular contributor to many of the forms.  Click here to go to the forms for notifying the court of the child still in high school who will turns 19.  Remember to do so before the child turns 19.

If you do not object, then the support order may continue until graduation.
Prepared by Richard A. Mann of Mann Law, P.C. Attorneys at Law,
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This blog does not constitute legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney client relationship.  This is for general information purposes as in most legal situations the facts and terms of an agreement between the parties can affect the result.