Reduce child support because my child is emancipated without an agreement on all issues
Step 1: Who should use this packet
What does "emancipation of minor child(ren)" mean?For child support purposes, Indiana law considers a child emancipated if a court finds that the child has joined the United States armed services, has married, or is not under the care of either parent or an individual or agency approved by the court. See IC 31-16-6-6
You should use this form packet if:
- You do not have custody of your child(ren) and are ordered to pay support for the child(ren);
- You have reason(s) to believe that at least one child for whom you are paying support to the same parent is emancipated;
- You want the court to reduce your child support payment; and
- You and the other parent do not agree on the amount of child support you should pay.
For purposes of child support, Indiana law (IC 31-16-6-6) considers a child emancipated if the child:
- is age 19;
- has joined the United States armed services;
- is married;
- is not under the care or control of either parent or someone else approved by the court; or
- is at least 18 years old, has not gone to school for the last 4 months, is not enrolled in school, and is or is capable of supporting himself or herself through employment.
If all of the children you have with the same parent are emancipated, you must use the Verified Petition to Terminate Child Support due to Emancipation of Minor Child(ren).
Step 2: Choose a Form Packet
Forms are available in two formats: (1) electronic fillable, and (2) printable. If you prefer to type your answers on the computer in an easy-to-use questionnaire and then print completed forms, choose the electronic fillable packet. When you answer the questions, the forms will be filled in automatically. If you prefer to complete the forms by hand following printed instructions, choose the printable packet.
Once the packet is completed, you must print the forms, sign the forms, make copies, and take them to the Clerk of the Court. Review your local court rules to find out how many copies you will need, and any additional forms or procedures required in your county.
Step 3: Printing your Completed Forms & Understanding Confidentiality
By law, court records are available to the public, and upon request anyone can look in almost any court file. Courts that have the ability to post court information on the Internet may post non-confidential court information on the Internet. The law also provides that certain information must remain confidential even if it is part of a court record. Such confidential information must be filed on light green paper so that everyone can easily identify it and not release it to the public. It is important that you know what information is confidential and that you submit it to the court on light green paper.
Confidential information that should be filed on green paper includes:
- Social Security numbers
- Bank account numbers
- Tax records
- PIN numbers
- Medical records
- Child abuse records
You must file one version of the document on white paper WITHOUT the confidential information included, and you must file another copy of the same document, but this time you have to print it on light green paper WITH the confidential information included. Before you file your court papers, review the list of information and documents that are confidential as outlined in Administrative Rule 9.
To file a copy of this packet that excludes the confidential information, you may:
- Skip the questions that require you to enter confidential information as outlined in Administrative Rule 9, print the packet, and then complete those questions you skipped and print the packet again. Then have any sheets containing confidential information photocopied onto light green paper; or
- Complete the forms packet, print it, then have any sheets containing confidential information photocopied onto light green paper. Then, on the forms printed on white paper, black out any confidential information with a magic marker.
Step 4: File your Completed Forms
- Take the originals and copies of your forms to the Clerk of the Court that issued the current child support order.
- The Clerk will stamp the forms with a filing date and give you back a copy.
- Mail one stamped copy of each form that you filed to the other parent's attorney, or the other parent if he or she is not represented by an attorney.
- Leave two stamped envelopes, one with your address and one with the other parent's address, with the Clerk for mailing the Notice of Hearing. This will tell you when your court date is scheduled.
Step 5: The Hearing
Watch the chapter(s) on preparing for your hearing in the video Family Matters: Choosing to Represent Yourself in Court.
Before you go to Court, you should review the Child Support statute (IC 31-16) so that you know what evidence you need to present to the Judge.
- Dress nicely and be on time
- You will get to talk first, because you are the one who filed for the motion. Then, the other parent will get a chance to talk. Do not interrupt the Judge or the other parent.
Sometimes, the Judge will make his or decision right away. Sometimes you will have to wait for the decision to come in the mail. The Judge might sign the order you provided or issue one of his or her own. If it has been several weeks since the hearing and you have still not received an order in the mail, call the Court and ask for a copy.
Be sure you complete a Child Support Obligation Worksheet. If you do not file a completed Child Support Obligation Worksheet, the Court may not hear your case that day, and you will have to go back to court another day. Go to http://www.in.gov/judiciary/rules/child_support/docs/csow.pdf to use the online calculator or to print blank forms.