ILNews

Amendment to law allows father to terminate child support

February 28, 2013
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An amendment to Indiana Code last year lowering the age child support may be terminated to 19 trumped a previous dissolution decree that said a father must pay support for his son until he turns 21, the Indiana Court of Appeals has decided.

In David A. Turner v. Debbie L. Turner, 85A02-1208-DR-704, David Turner argued that based on the July 2012 amendment to Indiana Code 31-16-6-6, the trial court should have granted his petition to terminate child support for his 19-year-old son Cody. The amendment says the duty to support a child, which does not include support for educational needs, ceases when the child becomes 19, with some exceptions not applicable to the Turners.

When David Turner and his wife Debbie divorced in 2000, the final dissolution decree said that David Turner would pay child support for Cody until he reached the age of 21, or is married, leaves home or is emancipated. After the amendment that decreased the age for termination of child support took effect, David Turner sought to stop paying support for Cody.

Debbie Turner believed the dissolution decree entered in 2000 should remain in place. The trial court noted that the language in the decree was “boilerplate” and reflected Indiana law at the time, but denied David Turner’s petition.

“Indeed, the language used by the trial court in the decree, which tracks most of the situations that would trigger the termination of child support, makes clear that the trial court took its lead from the legislature and followed the existing law at the time of the decree regarding the duration that Father would be required to pay child support for Son,” Judge Rudy Pyle III wrote. “However, the trial court ignored the changes in the law regarding the termination of child support. The trial court’s failure to follow the law as set forth by our legislature was an abuse of discretion.

“The trial court had no discretion to go outside the law set out in the termination of child support statute and to extend Father’s duty to pay child support beyond what is required by the law.”

The judges remanded to the trial court to enter an order granting David Turner’s petition and to terminate child support effective July 1, 2012.

 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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