3.12.3 Child Support Judgments

Does the entering of a child support order create an automatic lien on the obligor's property?

Child support is treated as a judgment when: 1.) payment is required under a support order; and 2.) payment is delinquent. I.C. § 31-16-16-2. The lien for child support is perfected in the same manner as perfecting a civil judgment. I.C. § 31-16-16-3. A civil judgment becomes a lien that attaches to real property when the judgment has been entered and indexed in the judgment docket. I.C. § 34-55-9-2. See 10.08.3 Indiana Judgments: Time in Which a Judgment Lien Attaches.

Does the lien for child support have super priority?

I.C. § 31-16-16-3 indicates that the judgment holder of a child support order has a lien against the real and personal property of the obligor. The holder has the same priority as an unperfected secured creditor when proceedings to enforce are commenced.

Is it necessary to effectuate any additional filing or recording of the order in any other real estate records or registry?

Since the lien for child support is perfected in a similar fashion to a civil judgment, the child support order must be a final order for costs and be entered and indexed on the judgment docket. I.C. § § 31-16-16-3; 34-55-9-2.

Have the provisions of the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act been enacted in the state?


Has the support judgment been assigned to any state, county, or municipal agency?

Due to Title IV-D of the Federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. §§ 651-669), the county prosecutor's office may be involved in the assignment of child support for the purpose of monitoring and enforcing the child support order.

What is the effect of the following events on child support: obligor's death, emancipation, enlistment in the nation's armed services, marriage, and disability?

If the decedent was obligated to pay child support, the support order may be modified or revoked to a just and appropriate amount upon petition by the personal representative of decedent's estate. I.C. § 31-16-6-3. Emancipation generally occurs at age twenty-one (21) and results in termination of child support unless provided otherwise by a court order or written agreement. I.C. § § 31-16-6-6; 31-16-6-7. The child's enlistment in the U.S. Armed Services or the child's marriage terminates child support. I.C. § 31-16-6-6. Support is not terminated when the child is incapacitated or under care of an individual or agency pursuant to a court order. Id.