Child support orders are legal obligations to provide financial support for a child(ren), and are established by a court of law. All child support obligations in Indiana are governed by the Indiana Child Support Rules and Guidelines issued by the Indiana Supreme Court. The guidelines employ a methodology designed to calculate child support as the share of each parent's income estimated to have been spent on the child if the parents and child were living in an intact household. For the non-custodial parent, the calculated amount establishes the amount of child support to be paid to the Custodial Party for the benefit of the child(ren). The amount calculated for the custodial party is presumed to be spent directly on the child(ren). The Guidelines also address special considerations for extraordinary education expenses and parenting time(visitation).
When a child turns 19 years old, the child is emancipated by operation of law, and the non-custodial parent's obligation to pay current child support terminates. An exception is if the child is incapacitated. In this case, the child support continues during the incapacity or until further order of the court. A court order for the child support to extend beyond 19 years old is required.
The court shall emancipate a child prior to the age of 19 if the court finds that the child:
- Marries; or
- Goes on active duty status with the US Military; or
- The child is not under the care or control of either parent or an individual or agency approved by the court.
The court may terminate a non-custodial parent's support obligation, with or without emancipating the child if the court finds that all of the following circumstances exist:
- The child is at least 18 years old; and
- The child has not attended a secondary school or post-secondary educational institution for the prior 4 months; and
- Is not enrolled in a secondary school or post-secondary educational institution; and
- The child is, or is capable of, supporting himself or herself through employment.
In order for a court to terminate a child support order prior to 19, a petition must be filed with the court. If a non-custodial parent owes any arrearage at the point when the order for child support terminates, he or she is still required to pay the arrearages.
If two or more children are covered by a child support order and one child is emancipated, the amount of the child support is not automatically reduced. The parties must seek a modification of the court order to determine the new amount of support for the remaining child(ren).
If you are ordered to pay support, you are also responsible for payment of the annual support fee (ASFE) for each of your court orders. This fee is sometimes referred to as a "docket fee" or a "clerk fee". The current annual support fee is $55.00. For more information about annual support fees, please click Annual Support Fees.
How are child support obligations enforced?
Some of the enforcement tools that may be used include:
- Withholding support payments from wages, unemployment compensation and other benefits
- Intercepting federal and state income tax refunds, lottery winnings, and insurance settlements
- Reporting of unpaid support to a credit bureau
- Suspending driver's and professional licenses as well as hunting and fishing licenses
- Applying vehicle liens
- Locating and withholding bank assets
- Cross matching parents who owe support with employer new hire reports
- Denying/revoking passports
- Interfacing data with numerous other federal and state agency systems
How to Pay Court-Ordered Support
If an Income Withholding Order (IWO) was sent to your employer or income payor, they will forward the support withheld from your earnings to the Indiana State Central Collection Unit (INSCCU). However, you are responsible for paying child support until the IWO becomes effective.
How do I pay child support before the IWO is in effect?
Only cash payments can be accepted by the office of the County Clerk in the county where your court order originated. Payments by personal check, money order, cashier's check or certified check are to be made payable to INSCCU and mailed to:
PO Box 7130
Indianapolis, IN 46207-7130
When sending a payment to INSCCU, please include the following information:
- Your name
- Your address
- Your phone number
- Your child support case number
- Last 4 digits of your social security number
- Your court cause number
- Payment amount
If you have more than one child support case, you may either:
- Send one check, money order, cashier's or certified check per case, or
- Send one check, money order, cashier's or certified check that covers the amount due on all of your cases. If you send one check to be applied to more than one case, please be sure to identify the amount of payment to be applied to each case and list each child support case number individually.
A Child Support Remittance Form to include with your payment is available for download here. It is important that all information is completed. If you do not know your child support case number or court cause number, you may contact the Kidsline at (800) 840-8757 or (317) 233-5437. Customer Service representatives are available Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. excluding state holidays.
Child support payments can be made online or by phone. Annual Support Fees (ASFE) cannot be made online or by phone. To make a child support payment online, please click Make a Child Support Payment.
To make a child support payment by credit/debit card over the phone, call 1-855-972-9427. When prompted, enter the information requested from the automated phone system which includes:
- Social Security number
- 10 digit child support case number
- payment amount
- credit/debit card information
- phone number
At this time, we cannot accept payment by electronic check; however you can use credit and debit cards. You will not need a PIN number. You will need your child support case number and your social security number to make a payment. Enter the 10 digit case number by using leading zeros (e.g. 0000221133). If you do not know your child support case number, please call the Kidsline at (800) 840-8757 or (317) 233-5437.
On your credit card statement, the transaction will be listed as "IN Child Support Payment". There is a convenience fee associated with making a phone or online payment. This fee is 2.25% of the total payment paid. The convenience fee will be listed as "Child Support Conv.Fee". This fee is non-refundable and is not applied to your case. If you have any questions regarding the transaction, please call the phone number listed on the credit card statement.
If you make a mistake with the payment, you can contact the Kidsline at (800) 840-8757 or (317) 233-5437 regarding any questions. Please review each payment carefully before you submit it. Once transactions are submitted, they cannot be canceled or changed.