Saturday, January 7, 2012

2012 Indiana Senate Bill 18 - Emancipation Age of 19 for Child Support Payments

Indiana Senate Bill 18 will come on for hearing before the Indiana Senate Committee on Corrections, Criminal, and Civil Matters on Tuesday 10 January 2012 at 9:00am in Room 130. The bill seeks to change the presumptive emancipation age in Indiana for the purposes of child support payments from 21 to 19 years. Currently Indiana is only one of three jurisdictions with the emancipation age as high as 21 years.

This matter was brought before the Indiana Child Custody and Support Advisory Committee last Fall. I wrote about that here.

Senator Brent Steele is the sponsor of the bill and has been very proactive in efforts to ensure that child support payment compliance is made easier for parents ordered to pay. Additionally, he has been consistent in trying to ensure that children have the necessary access to both parents.

This bill adds some language to ensure that children who are emancipated de facto are legally declared emancipated for the purposes of child support payments. Currently it is up to a court to determine whether a child is emancipated. However there are cases where a child who should clearly be emancipated has not been by the court. These include children who are on active duty in the United States armed services, have married, or are not under the care or control of either parent or an individual or agency approved by the court. This bill provides that if a child meets any of those criteria then the court must find the child to be emancipated.

This bill has the support of prosecutors, advocates and both custodial and non-custodial parents. The current emancipation age has been a strain on the state as it competes for federal incentive payments. Parents often quit paying child support once the child is emancipated. Arrears often accrue for two to three years without the custodial parent complaining. Most of these arrears go uncollected and have substantially dragged down the compliance rate of Indiana.

I will be attending the hearing to testify in support of the bill. I welcome you to attend and testify if you wish. Please feel free to call me at 317.474.3143 if you would like to testify.

If you need assistance with child support payment or custody issues please visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me.

If you would like to follow my activities more closely then send a friend request to my Political FaceBook page.

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More information about child custody rights and procedures may be found on the Indiana Custodial Rights Advocates website.

©2012 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

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