Indiana Code 31-16-6-6, which sets out when the duty to support a child ceases and under what circumstances child support may cease at an earlier date, has been amended to provide an extension for the age of emancipation. The obligation to pay child support normally ceases when a child turns nineteen. This would cause an issue when a child was still attending high school at the age of nineteen; the non-custodial parent would no loner have an obligation to pay child support even though the child was still attending high school.
To ensure that both parents financially provide for a child through their graduation from high school, Indiana code now provides for continued payment of child support after a child turns nineteen if the child is a full-time student in a secondary school, i.e. high school. A parent must file a notice with the Court to inform the Court that child support should not be terminated at age nineteen because the child is still attending a secondary school full time. A parent has a two-year window to file the proper notice with the Court- not earlier than the child turning seventeen and not later than the child turning nineteen. The parent should also provide the Court with proof of enrollment and the expected graduation date for the child. If proper notice is filed, and the other parent does not file an objection, the Court may, without holding a hearing, issue an order continuing child support through the date on which the child is expected to graduate. Child support continues until and terminates upon the child’s graduation from secondary school.
It’s important to note that this notice must be filed by the time the child turns nineteen, or child support will terminate upon the child’s nineteenth birthday. A request for a court order for payment of post-secondary education expenses must also be filed by the time of the child’s nineteenth birthday, or it is waived. It’s important to be knowledgeable of these deadlines to ensure that the other parent’s obligation for financial contribution is not waived.
Please contact the experienced attorneys at Slotegraaf Niehoff, P.C., to assist you with your child support needs.