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There are very narrow circumstances under which a person may terminate child support in Indiana. However, it’s not impossible. For most people, their child support obligations end when the child turns 19 years old; while others may seek to modify or terminate their child support earlier in the child’s life when emancipation or repudiation are at play. Regardless of the circumstances, anyone navigating the complexities of Indiana child support would be best served by seeking sound legal advice from an experienced Indiana family law attorney. This will better ensure that they understand their rights and obligations fully, prior to making any major legal decisions regarding the termination of child support in Indiana.

If you’re in need of legal assistance, do not hesitate to contact the experienced and skilled child support attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP. We employ a well-versed legal team of family lawyers, who truly understand just how stressful and complicated divorce, custody, and child support proceedings can be. Our seasoned litigators have the resources and insight to capably assist you with the termination of child support in Indiana, as well as a wide range of other family law-related matters, from divorce to legal separation, child custody and beyond.  

Overview of Child Support in Indiana 

Child support in Indiana is a crucial aspect of ensuring the well-being of children after their parents separate. The state uses the Indiana Child Support Rules and Guidelines to calculate the amount of support, taking into account the income of both parents, the needs of the child, and other relevant factors. Based on those factors, the weekly support cost is determined by referencing the Guideline Schedules and making a final determination using the Indiana Child Support Worksheet. This process aims to maintain the child’s standard of living and cover expenses such as education, healthcare, and daily living costs.  

For the most part, once a child support order in Indiana has been made, it shall be in effect until the child turns 19 years old. However, if circumstances change significantly, a child support order may be modified. Generally, this may only happen if the current order is at least 12 months old and the modification that is being requested is at least 1/5th of the current order.  

In addition, a party can petition the court to change an Indiana child support order earlier than 12 months following the original order if they are able to demonstrate significant and ongoing change to circumstances that render the original order unreasonable. Changes that may apply in these situations include loss of employment, health complications, remarriage of other parent, or an alteration of custody arrangements. 

When it comes to making child support payments in Indiana, this can be done in a variety of ways. Most people simply pay online using credit or debit card at Child support payments in Indiana can also be made by check, money order, cashier’s check, or cash; or be given directly to the custodial parent. However, this is almost never recommended. These types of payments often have no receipt and if a dispute arises in the future, that could become a major problem.  

When Can You Terminate Child Support in Indiana? 

Per Indiana Code 31-16-6-6, a person who is subject to a child support order is generally obliged to comply with the order until the child reaches the age of 19. However, there are some circumstances that may allow the person to stop paying child support prior to the child’s 19th birthday. These circumstances include emancipation or repudiation.  


When a child is emancipated before turning 19 years old, child support may be terminated at the time of emancipation. That said, some child support orders may include educational support or the court may have issued an additional educational support order on top of the original child support order. In situations like these, the support ordered for education needs may continue to be in effect until further order by the court. Furthermore, if child support is terminated for an emancipated child but the existing child support order is for two or more children, the total amount of child support may not automatically reduced. Instead, the parties will need to seek a modification of the court order to determine the new amount of support required for the remaining children.  

When determining whether to terminate child support in Indiana, courts will consider any the following factors when deciding if a child is to be considered emancipated:  

  • The child is on active duty in the United States Armed Services 
  • The child has married  
  • The child is not under the care or control of either parent or an individual or agency approved by the court  


When a child is (a) at least 18 years old; (b) has not attended secondary or post-secondary education for four months prior; (c) is not enrolled in a secondary or post-secondary institution; and (d) is or is capable of supporting themselves through employment; a child support order may be terminated upon a court finding that the conditions listed above exist. However, the court may also elect to modify the support order if the conditions exist, but the child is only partially supporting or is capable of only partially supporting themselves.  

Secondary Education and Incapacitation 

It’s important to understand that there are some circumstances where financial support may need to continue past the age of 19. First, the court may require the parent to continue paying child support if the child is a full-time student in a secondary school. If this is the case, the child support shall continue throughout their education and may be terminated upon their graduation from secondary school. Second, if the child is incapacitated (i.e. disabled) and unable to support themselves, child support shall continue.  

How to Terminate Child Support in Indiana 

Under some circumstances, when a child turns 19 years old, the existing child support order will be terminated by the operation of the law. In other words, they’ll stop automatically taking money out of your paycheck after the child’s 19th birthday. However, in many cases, to terminate child support Indiana, the non-custodial parent will need to file a motion with the court to terminate child support; and in situations involving emancipation or repudiation, they’ll need to file a petition to modify the support order, under Indiana Code 31-16-8-1, in order to terminate the original order. 

While filing these petitions may seem like a straightforward process, it’s always best to consult with an Indiana child support attorney with past experience handling the termination of child support in Indiana. Planning ahead and working with an attorney will ensure that the petition is compliant, filed correctly, and that the existing child support ends exactly when it should end.  

Need Assistance Filing a Petition to Terminate Child Support in Indiana? 

If you need help filing a petition for the termination of child support in Indiana, do not hesitate to contact the skilled Indianapolis child support attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP. Our well-versed legal team of family lawyers understand just how stressful child support proceedings can be and capably guide you throughout the process, always working towards your best interests. To begin addressing this matter, contact our firm today at 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.


The Termination of Child Support in Indiana
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The Termination of Child Support in Indiana
This article details the termination of child support in Indiana
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Keffer Hirschauer LLP

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