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How long does child support usually last in Indiana?

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2023 | Family Law

When married parents divorce or unmarried parents start living separately, child support is almost always legally required.

Child support obligations can put a lot of pressure on someone’s budget, but they can also help ensure a basic standard of living for someone’s children. How long do people typically have to pay child support in Indiana?

Support lasts until specific milestones

For most families, child support ends with adulthood or high school graduation. There are a few scenarios in which child support can potentially end immediately. These include when a child dies or in rare cases involving children who pursue emancipation. Otherwise, child support payments in Indiana will typically last either until a child graduates from high school or until they turn 19. If a young adult drops out of school, the parent paying support can sometimes seek to end their support when the child is 18.

Obviously, young adults who are only 19 years old are often still financially dependent on their parents. In some cases, adults can acknowledge that fact and reach their own agreement with one another about supporting their children as they transition to adulthood or start college. However, if they are unable to reach an agreement, the courts typically will not order child support that persists through the college years.

Support discussions should focus on the children

The parent paying support all too often focuses more on how the arrangement seems unfair to them instead of on how it likely benefits their children. Sometimes, the parent receiving support makes it a personal issue instead of a practical one about what is best for the children.

Adults may have an easier time avoiding conflict with one another and working cooperatively on behalf of their children if they can set their feelings about one another aside and focus on the next generation. Instead of making unreasonable demands or resenting their obligations, they can keep the focus on what their children need. Understanding the rules that govern Indiana child support orders can help parents avoid unnecessary conflict related to matters that they likely cannot change anyway.