Indiana drops age when child support ends; law in line with other states in Midwest

Stateline Midwest ~ July.August 2012

Under a reworking of Indiana’s child support law, parents can stop paying child support once their child turns 19.

The state had been one of only three states in the nation that set the age at 21, the Evansville Courier & Press reports. According to the domestic litigation firm Cordell & Cordell, child support payments end at 18 in most Midwestern states: Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The age is extended by a year or more if the child is still in high school.

Indiana now joins Illinois, Nebraska and North Dakota in setting the age at 19. Under SB 18, parents could still be required to meet the educational needs of their children up to age 21. Children under an existing court order (one made prior to July 1) can petition the court to have child support extended to their postsecondary education expenses. A child who is receiving support under an order issued after July 1 may petition for educational needs until he or she reaches the age of 19.

Some states, either through their child support statutes or case law, require parents to provide postsecondary school support. According to the Divorce Research Center, most states have also adopted the rule that parents have a duty to support their adult disabled children.