As I am writing this, a bill is on the Governor’s desk amending Indiana Code 31-14-11-18 to terminate child support when a child turns 19 years of age. Under the current statute, child support terminates in Indiana at age 21. This revision will bring Indiana into line with the majority of states where support ends earlier than age 21.
Educational Orders are not modified by this change in the law; however, a child receiving support under an order issued after June 30, 2012, must have a petition for educational needs on file before the child turns 19 years of age. Children who receive support under an order dated prior to July 1, 201,2 can file a petition for college order until the child turns 21 years of age.
What does this mean for the average family with a support order in place? Starting in July of this year (assuming the bill is signed into law as anticipated), a support order can be modified when each child turns 19, removing the child from the support calculation and thereby reducing support. When the youngest child turns 19, the support will terminate (absent a finding of disability). A college order can still be obtained, but in the future they must be petitioned for before the child turns 19 (which, in some cases, is while the child is still in high school). If you have an existing support order, you have until the child turns 21 to request a college order.