A new law in Indiana shortens the number of years parents have to pay child support. State law used to require parents to support their children until they turned 21, but a law that went into effect July 1st lowers that age to 19.
Now that Indiana has lowered its age limit, only New York, Mississippi and Washington D.C. require parents to pay child support until their children turn 21.
Bill author Senator Brent Steele says Indiana’s cut off age of 19 is still above average.
“Prior to July 1st of this year, child support was payable to the age of 21. And who set that age? There’s nothing magic about it. It used to be the age of majority, but the age of majority now is 18 for a lot of things in Indiana,” he says.
Family Attorney Jason Hopper says many people have been contacting his firm looking for clarification on the law. And he says the interpretation is still being debated.
“I’m finding, quite often that a lot of folks are coming in just with the mindset that with this law change, their thinking that their obligations to support their children just stop automatically at age 19,” he says. “And what we’re finding is that in most cases that’s probably not the case.”
The law still requires parents to pay support after 19 if a child has additional educational expenses such as college tuition. Parents could also still be responsible for some of their child’s needs, if for example they have a medical condition.