IN.gov - Skip Navigation

Note: This message is displayed if (1) your browser is not standards-compliant or (2) you have you disabled CSS. Read our Policies for more information.

Indiana Department of Child Services

DCS  > Child Support > FAQs > Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions

Custodial  Party -  Frequently Asked Questions QUESTIONS

How do I establish paternity?
My child's father or mother is not paying.  How do I start receiving child Support? 
What are the different ways I can receive my support? 
What happens if my child support check is lost or stolen?
How long is child support paid?
How do I get my child support order modified (increased or decreased)?
Can the prosecutor's office help me with child custody or parenting time (visitation) issues? 
If the non-custodial parent has not been paying child support as ordered, are they still entitled to parenting time with the child?
How can I get verification of the support I receive?
How do I change my name/address?
Who can I call if I have other child support questions?


How do I establish paternity? 
Paternity can be established in several ways. 

  • If the child's father is married to the child's mother, or if the child is born less than 300 days after the marriage legally ends, the husband is presumed to be the child's father.
  • Paternity can also be established at the hospital within 72 hours of the child's birth by both parents signing a paternity affidavit.
  • Paternity can be established at the local county health department any time before the child is emancipated by completion of the paternity affidavit. Paternity can also be determined by the court when a paternity action is filed.
  • The county prosecutor's Title IV-D office may be able to help you with paternity establishment services.  You will need to call or visit their office to schedule an appointment.  Any genetic testing must be court ordered and is done when requested by any party in the legal proceeding.


My child's father or mother is not paying.  How do I start receiving child support? 
A custodial party may apply for services at the county prosecutor's Title IV-D office in his/her county of residence. Local County Child Support Offices
It is important that you bring all relevant court orders, payment records, and information on the other parent to your appointment.  There is a one-time nonrefundable $25.00 application fee that must be paid be money order before your case is opened with that office.  However, if you or the child(ren) are receiving Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF) or Medicaid, no fee will be charged for services.  You will be asked o provide photo identification when opening your case.  Once your case has become a Title IV-D case, the county prosecutor's Title IV-D office will evaluate your circumstances to determine what the next appropriate step is in enforcing your case.  This may include sending an income withholding order (IWO) to an employer or filing a petition with the court to enforce the case. 

What are the different ways I can receive my support?
All payments posted by the Indiana State Central Collection Unit (INSCCU) as well as by the Allen, Marion, or Vanderburgh County Clerks are sent to custodial parties electronically, either by direct deposit or by using the Indiana Visa Debit Card.  The debit card provides enhanced customer service, a free withdrawal for each deposit made to the account, convenient ATM locations, and free balance inquiries via the internet.  Custodial parties may choose which method of electronic payment they prefer.  The payment method selected will be in effect for all child support cases belonging to a custodial part as long as payments are posted at INSCCU as well as at Allen, Marion , and Vanderburgh County Clerks offices.  When cash or checks are directly received by the local county clerk's office, the clerk's office will issue a check to the custodial party.  For additional information, please click Payment Disbursements.

What happens if my child support check is lost or stolen?
Requests for a lost check search through the Indiana State Child Support Bureau are accepted 30 calendar days from the issue date of the check.  The process in completing a lost check search can take approximately 45 days.  If your child support check was issued by the Child Support Bureau (not a county clerk of court), you may call the Kidsline at (800) 840-8757 or (317) 233-5437 to initiate a lost check search.  If the office of the county clerk issued your check, you must contact the county clerk's office directly

How long is child support paid?
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 postsecondary 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).

How do I get my child support order modified (increased or decreased)?
Indiana law allows for a party to a child support order to petition the court to modify the amount of child support when:

  • A substantial and continuing change of circumstance exists; or
  • The previous order is at least 12 months old and the amount of support that would be calculated under the Child Support Guidelines differs from the current order by at least 20%.

Orders may be considered for modification at the request of either parent.  The county prosecutor's Title IV-D office is required to review child support orders of families receiving Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF) every 3 years.  Based on the review, the county prosecutor's Title IV-D office may file a petition to modify with the court.

Can the prosecutor's Title IV-D office help me with child custody or parenting time (visitation)?
No.  Civil matters such as divorce petition, custody, or parenting time (visitation) cannot be addresses through the Title IV-D child support program.  You should seek legal advice in these matters.

If the non-custodial parents has not been paying child support as ordered, are they still entitled to parenting time with the child?
Yes.  There is no legal correlation between the payment of child support and exercising parenting time (visitation) rights with the child(ren).

How can I get verification of the support I receive?
Payment information is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, via the Child Support Bureau's automated Kidsline at (800) 840-8757 or (317) 233-5437.  This information can also be obtained by choosing "Check Support Payments" in the menu on the right.  An official "certified" computer printout can be obtained from the office of the county clerk where the support order was entered.  A small fee may be required so please check with your county clerk's office.

How do I change my name/address?
You can change your name/address by contacting your local office of the county clerk or by calling the Kidsline at (800) 840-8757 or (317) 233-5437.  If you are a Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF) recipient, you must contact your TANF caseworker to change your address.

Who can I call if I have other child support questions?
A Customer Service Representative is available via the Kidsline at (800) 840-8757 or (317) 233-5437 from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. EST (Indianapolis time) Monday through Friday, excluding state holidays.  If you have an established child support case that is being enforced by a county prosecutor's IV-D office, you should contact that office.