Indiana News

Cutoff Age for Child Support to Drop From 21 to 19

Change reflects widespread mistaken belief it's already lower than that

4/11/2012

Indiana's cutoff age for child support is about to change.

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Legislators lowered the cutoff age from 21 to 19 after a study committee pointed out most parents mistakenly believe it's 18 now. Marion Superior Court Magistrate Kim Mattingly, who served on the study panel, says that’s landed many parents in court for nonpayment of support they didn’t realize they owed.

Mattingly says reducing court caseloads by narrowing that gap will free up time for other family-court issues.

New York and Mississippi are the only other states where child support continues through age 21. Most states do cut off payments at 18 -- Mattingly says the committee didn’t recommend going that far because many Indiana 18-year-olds are still in high school.

At least one judge has expressed fears of a surge in requests to modify support orders before the change takes effect July 1. Mattingly says there will probably be more requests for college tuition payments, which can extend beyond the age cutoff, but says she doesn’t expect a last-minute race to beat the clock.

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