Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Do I really need to hire a lawyer?
  2. Can I withhold visitation [parenting time] if the other parent is not paying child support?
  3. When can you emancipate a child?
  4. My child(ren) do not want to visit the other parent. Do I have to send them?
  5. Can a couple become legally married by living together under the state’s laws (common law marriage)?
  6. How can I terminate the other parent's rights?
  7. How long will my divorce take?
  8. I want a divorce but I do not know where my spouse lives. Can I still file for divorce?
  9. What is an uncontested divorce?
  10. What rights do I have as a grandparent (including "visitation")?
  11. How do I make a child support payment?
  12. Can I get a credit on my child support when I have been giving the custodial parent money directly?
  13. How do I get a copy of my child support payment history?
  14. What is my child support arrearage balance?
  15. What is the “Support Service Fee”?


Do I really need to hire a lawyer?

It is highly recommended that you hire a lawyer. It is important that you have someone who understands the legal process and can represent your interests vigorously in order to protect your wellbeing.

top

Can I withhold visitation [parenting time] if the other parent is not paying child support?

No. There is no legal correlation between the payment of child support and exercising parenting time rights with the child(ren).

top

When can you emancipate a child?

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 U.S. 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 four 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 years old, a petition must be filed with the court. If a non-custodial parent owes any arrearage at the point when the court order for current child support terminates, he or she is still required to pay arrearages.

If two or more children are covered by a child support order and one child is emancipated, the amount of the child support order 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).

top

My child(ren) do not want to visit the other parent. Do I have to send them?

If a child is reluctant to participate in parenting time, each parent shall be responsible to ensure the child complies with the scheduled parenting time. In no event shall a child be allowed to make the decision on whether scheduled parenting time takes place.

top

Can a couple become legally married by living together under the state’s laws (common law marriage)?

There is no common law marriage in Indiana

top

How can I terminate the other parent's rights?

A parent does not have the authority to file for termination of the other parent's rights, because a parent has the duty to support and care for the child until the child is emancipated. Please contact a lawyer to help answer this question in its entirety.

top

How long will my divorce take?

In the State of Indiana, there is a mandatory 60-day wait between the dates that you file for your divorce until the date the divorce can be granted. Some cases may have unique factors that require additional time.

top

I want a divorce but I do not know where my spouse lives. Can I still file for divorce?

If you cannot locate your spouse, you can still file for divorce. In Indiana, if you cannot locate your spouse, a notice that you are filing a petition for dissolution must be published in a newspaper.

top

What is an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce is a divorce where you and your spouse agree to the terms of your divorce. With an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse are in agreement on ALL issues regarding property division, debt division, custody and support.

top

What rights do I have as a grandparent (including "visitation")?

In Indiana, according to IC 31-17-5, “a child’s grandparents may seek visitation rights if the marriage of the child’s parents has been dissolved in Indiana”. Upon the filing of a petition, the court may grant visitation rights if the court determines that visitation rights are in the best interest of the child. In determining the best interest of the child, the court may consider whether a grandparent has had or has attempted to have meaningful contact with the child. It is recommended that a grandparent consult with a lawyer in this regard.

top

How do I make a child support payment?

You can pay by cash only at the Clerk’s Office located at 715 S. Calhoun Street, Room 200 and at 2929 N. Wells Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Personal checks, money orders, or certified checks may be mailed to INSCCU, PO Box 7130, Indianapolis, Indiana 46207.

top

Can I get a credit on my child support when I have been giving the custodial parent money directly?

Indiana law requires that all payments for child support be made through the child support enforcement agency to be credited as child support and any other payments made directly to the custodial parent are considered gifts. In some instances, the court may allow for a credit or adjustment to a child support arrearage when it can be shown that the non-custodial parent made support payments directly to the custodial parent, but that is an exception to the rule. If you would like the court to consider whether a credit should be given, you should gather all the proof you can that payments were made, and even an agreement by the custodial parent if possible. It is possible that the court could reject the evidence and order that the order of support including payments on the arrearage be satisfied and paid through the court, and payments made directly will not be acknowledged.

top

How do I get a copy of my child support payment history?

You may obtain a copy of your payment history by visiting the Clerk’s Office or by ordering it over the phone. Under Indiana law, a fee of $1.00 per page will be charged. If you visit the Clerk’s Office, you must provide a valid photo I.D. The Clerk’s Office is located in the Allen County Courthouse at 715 South Calhoun Street, Room 200, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802.

top

What is my child support arrearage balance?

The Clerk’s Office and court staff cannot calculate arrearage balances. You can obtain a copy of your payments or get legal assistance to assist with calculating this balance. If you have a Title IV-D child support case, please contact your case manager at (260) 449-7136.

top

What is the “Support Service Fee”?

Under Indiana law, an annual $55.00 fee is assessed to the support payor for each case in order to assist with costs associated with maintaining the state’s support system. This fee can be mailed to INSCCU-ASFE, PO Box 6271, Indianapolis, IN 46206-6271 or paid at the Clerk’s Office (address listed above).