In Indiana, both parents are required to support their children financially until the child is emancipated, which by statute is presumed to be the age of nineteen (19). The child support that is owed by the non-custodial parent, or between the parents in certain shared custody arrangements is based upon a formula established by the legislature, which is described in the Indiana Child Support Guidelines.
The factors taken into account in this formula include both parties’ gross income, whether there are any subsequent or prior born children, the cost of weekly health insurance premiums for the children, costs associated with work-related childcare and the number of overnights the non-custodial parent spends with the children. This information is put into a Child Support Obligation Worksheet and is calculated and applied to a guideline table to determine a basic child support obligation. The Indiana Supreme Court website provides a child support calculator for use by the public.
One common area of contention in child support disputes is determining a parties’ gross income. I have experience determining all the different sources of income that the statute requires to be considered. In some circumstances, the court may impute income to a parent who minimizes their income to reduce the obligation to pay child support, or to a parent that is underemployed. The court may also deviate from the amount calculated based on the guidelines if the application of the same would produce an unjust result. A change in either parents’ income, as well as other substantial changes, can lead to a modification of an original child support order.
The court may issue an order on how expenses for a child’s private or higher education are to be paid by the parents, upon request of either parent. The court may include the college expenses in the child support order or issue a separate education order. For orders regarding educational expenses, the court will consider both the ability of the parents and the child to contribute, as well as the child’s aptitude and ability. Generally, an educational order must be requested prior to the child turning nineteen years of age, although you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible to determine the applicable deadlines for your child.
There have been new changes in the law which impact the age of emancipation and the deadlines parents must follow to seek post-secondary education expenses for their children. I can provide you with sound legal advice regarding these changes in the law and how they impact your individual situation.