Child Support Lawyers in Anderson, Indiana Keeping Children’s Best Interests in Mind
One of the most difficult questions that must be answered in a divorce that involves minor children is who will pay child support and how much it will be. While it is best if both parents can put the needs of the children ahead of their own feelings of disappointment or anger at the other parent, this is not always the case. When a fair child support amount cannot be agreed upon, a child support attorney can help to facilitate an agreement, set up mediation, or go to court, if necessary.
The experienced child support attorneys at Beeman Heifner Benge are standing by to provide the knowledge and professional assistance you need in determining child support for your minor children. Speak with one of our skilled child support attorneys today by calling (765) 635-0065 for a free consultation.
How is Child Support Determined in Indiana?
In Indiana, child support is determined starting with the average weekly income of each parent. What counts as income includes wages (including commissions, bonuses, and overtime), rent or royalty income, and any other irregular income the parent might receive. Means-tested public assistance is not included in the calculation. The next consideration is how physical custody is divided between the parents. Typically, the parent who spends less time with the children pays child support to the parent who has physical custody and takes care of most of the child’s day-to-day needs. In cases of joint custody, in which children spend an equal amount of time with each parent, child support may not be granted If the parents have similar levels of income. If, however, one parent earns considerably more than the other, child support may be ordered to somewhat equalize the child’s lifestyle in each household. Who pays for the child’s healthcare and daycare, if necessary, is also part of the child support calculation.
Can a Child Support Order Be Modified?
Indiana allows either parent to file for a modification of a previous child support order if a substantial and continuing change in circumstances has occurred. This could include a job loss or change for one parent, a change in the health status of a parent or the child, a change in physical custody, or violations of the parenting agreement, among other things. The only other instance in which a parent can apply for a child support modification is if the original order is more than 12 months old, and the current guidelines would result in an increase of at least 20% if applied.
What if My Ex Refuses to Pay Child Support in Indiana?
Both parents have an obligation to contribute to the support of their child or children, and the state of Indiana will enforce child support that has been court-ordered through a variety of means. If the parent refusing to pay child support (the obligor) works, the recipient of the child support (the oblige) can request a court order to withhold child support from the obligor’s wages. The amount withheld will eventually cover not only current child support obligations but those in arrears, as well. The court may, at the obligee’s request, add a 1.5% interest penalty and/or order the obligor’s tax refunds to go to the obligee until the debt is satisfied.
Indiana can also punish obligors for not paying child support in non-monetary ways, such as holding them in contempt of court (a charge that could result in jail time), requiring them to get a job or do community service, or suspending their driver’s license or professional licenses until they show the ability and willingness to pay.
How Can a Child Support Attorney Help?
Navigating the court system can be complicated. The experienced family law attorneys at Beeman Heifner Benge can assist you in negotiating an original order for child support, modifying an existing order, or enforcing an order when the obligor won’t pay. Call us today at (765) 635-0065 for a free consultation.