Most of my readers know that new laws in Indiana become effective on July 1 of each year (with certain exceptions). This year 134 new laws will take effect. In the weeks leading up to July 1, I will be outlining specific law changes and new laws that may be relevant to my readers.
One of the most hotly reported (and anticipated) new laws involves child support. While not directly tied to criminal defense law, non-support of a dependent (Failure to Pay Child Support) can be charged as a Felony. The new law substantially modifies current child support law in Indiana. Effective July 1, 2012, the duty to pay child support STOPS when the child turns 19. Current law terminates support at age 21. This is a HUGE issue. Not only can a citizen be charged with a crime for not paying child support, the prosecuting attorney's office through the Title IV-D program, can request suspension of drivers licenses. This causes problems in getting to work and can lead to an arrest for Driving While Suspended.
Courts and attorneys throughout the State of Indiana are anticipating increased requests for support modification and, potentially, requests for retroactive application of the support termination. This could lead to calculations of substantial overpayments in child support. Although the law is currently not in effect, the Indiana Court of Appeals has recently decided a case involving the new law. This article from the Northwest Indiana Times has a brief synopsis of the facts and outcome.