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January 2, 2019

How is Child Support Calculated in Indiana?

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In Indiana, child support is calculated based on two main factors: how much money each parent makes, and how much money each parent must spend on other obligations. The court will also factor in how much time each parent spends with the child, and what the child needs.

Your county’s Title IV-D child support office will look at a variety of factors before establishing a support order, and having a legal professional on your side will help you present a strong case. At GDS Law Group, our focus is on your child’s best interests. To schedule a consultation with our experienced Indiana child support lawyers, call (765) 313-7092, or reach out via our online form to schedule a free case consultation.

How is Indiana Child Support Calculated?

When you request child support in Madison County, Title IV-D office will consider the assets, debts, and “gross weekly income” of both parents. Gross weekly income includes any:

  • Wages
  • Salaries
  • Rental income
  • Royalties
  • Veteran’s benefits
  • Social Security/disability benefits
  • Commissions
  • Dividends
  • “Imputed income,” such as the use of a company car, housing, or stipends.

After calculating gross weekly income, Indiana creates an “adjusted weekly income,” based on the parent’s weekly expenses, such as spousal support or other children to support. Straightforward guidelines are then used to calculate the final amount of child support.

The more a person makes, the more they have to pay. For example, a person who makes $1,000 per week after other obligations will owe:

  • $152 for one child
  • $228 for two children
  • $285 for three children
  • $321 for four children

The maximum payment a parent owes will not exceed 50 percent of their adjusted weekly income. In this example, the parent would not be told to pay more than $500 a week in child support, no matter how many children are involved.

The Indiana Supreme Court has an online child support calculator for parents, but they caution you not to use it as a substitute for sitting down with an attorney, who will know your local Title IV-D office and family court judges.

Reasons to Modify a Child Support Order

At the time a child support order is calculated, the petitioner can ask for additional support for the child’s education, or special medical, hospital, and dental expenses. Remember, the judge has final discretion in any case. If they believe the requested amount is unjust, child support will be calculated differently. That’s why an experienced family law attorney is so important to your case.

Parents also have the ability to request modification of a child support order any time there is a noteworthy change in their circumstances. You should request the modification as soon as possible after one of the following events, because the court will not change the order on its own and you may be stuck with mounting bills:

  • Loss of job
  • Illness
  • Injury
  • Relocation
  • A new child born to you

How Long Will a Child Support Order Last?

A child support order will usually last until the child turns 19, although the court can terminate support before that if the child is at least 18-years-old, hasn’t attended school in four months, and is capable of employment. The court will never automatically terminate an order. You must file a petition to request the termination. However, Indiana law allows the court can also extend child support past the child’s 19th birthday until they turn 21, if an educational support request is filed before the child comes of age.

Contact an Indiana Child Support Lawyer

No parent should have to shoulder the entire cost of a child’s upbringing. If you are a custodial parent who desires more support, or a noncustodial parent who needs your support order modified, call GDS Law Group right away. Since Indiana family courts look at a variety of factors before ruling on a child support calculation, it’s helpful to have an attorney on your case. To schedule a free consultation with a team of dedicated Indiana child support lawyers, call (765) 313-7092, or reach out via the online form.

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