Child Support Attorney
Child support in Indiana is determined by following a mathematical formula outlined in the Indiana Child Support Rules and Guidelines. The formula requires each partys weekly gross income, the number of children, any subsequent children for either party, any existing child support orders, the cost of any health insurance and daycare expenses, and the number of overnights of the noncustodial parent. The result of using the formula, a weekly child support amount, is presumed to be the correct amount. Most of the time, the noncustodial parent pays child support to the custodial parent, however there are a variety of circumstances where child support is either not ordered or the custodial parent is ordered to pay child support to the noncustodial parent. For example, if the noncustodial parent has the children 50% of the time and the parties have comparable incomes, child support may not be appropriate. If the custodial parent has significantly more income than the noncustodial parent, the formula could provide for negative child support- where the custodial parent pays. Once child support is established, it can only be modified once every 12 months, provided that the new amount is at least 20% greater or lower than the old amount. There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if the noncustodial parent obtains custody of the children, the support can be modified, even if 12 months have not passed.
Child Support Myths
Child Support Myth 1: If a party fails to pay child support, parenting time can be denied
Child support and child visitation are separate issues in the eyes of the law and one cannot be used as leverage against the other. If the non-custodial parent fails to pay child support, the custodial parent is still obligated to allow visitation if it has been ordered by the court. If the custodial parent is not paying court-ordered child support, the custodial parent has other legal remedies at his or her disposal
Child Support Myth 2: If the parties share custody, no child support will be ordered
Child support is a mathematical formula based on numerous factors, such as each partys income, any subsequent children, and preexisting child support orders, the cost of daycare and health insurance, and the number of overnights of each party. Even in joint physical custody situations, child support may be ordered if one party has significantly more income than the other.
Child Support Myth 3: Child support is to be spent directly on the children
The purpose of child support is to help the receiving party maintain a home and meet the basic needs of the children. It is appropriate for child support to be spent on household bills.