In test of 2012 emancipation law, COA affirms denial of college expenses

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A statutory change in the age of emancipation for child support, except for educational support, does not preclude courts from modifying educational support obligations when parents demonstrate changes in their financial circumstances, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.

An appellate panel affirmed a Hamilton Superior ruling denying a mother’s petition for allocation of college expenses in  Lisa Svenstrup v. Thomas Svenstrup, 29A02-1206-DR-452.

Thomas Svenstrup was granted a modification in weekly child support obligations after the couple’s son began attending Indiana University in 2011. Lisa Sventstrup later filed a petition for allocation of college expenses that the court denied.

While the son’s grants, college aid and student loans more than covered the cost of education, the mother’s brief claimed that there is no caselaw allowing her to modify a denial of post-secondary education expenses and allowing her to modify a denial after the child would be emancipated, leaving her no recourse if a change in circumstances occurred.

“In this regard we note that Ind. Code § 31-16-6-6(a) was amended effective July 1, 2012” to set the emancipation at 19 except for educational support.

“Under these circumstances, where Mother petitioned for an educational support order PRIOR to (the son’s) emancipation at age nineteen but which petition was denied by the trial court’s order, we hold that the order is subject to modification,” Judge Elaine Brown wrote for the court.

“We affirm the trial court’s order denying Mother’s petition for allocation of college expenses, which order may be modified upon the requisite showing of changed circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make the terms of the existing order unreasonable.”



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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.