- Locating parents.
- They establish the paternity of the child.
- Provide financial support as well as collecting current and overdue payments on behalf of the child.
- Establish and enforce medical support orders.
- They review and modify support orders by filing a petition in court if appropriate under federal and state law.
- Lastly, they establish and enforce child support orders when a parent resides outside of Indiana.
Calculating Child Support Obligation and Deductions
According to Indiana Child Support Rules and Guidelines, income that is looked at when determining child support obligation is the weekly gross income. This includes self‑employment, royalty income, rent, and other forms of Irregular Income. This total income is calculated for both parents. However, some forms of this income are irregular and nonguaranteed. These include overtime, voluntary work, or bonuses, which bring difficulty in accurately determining the gross income of a parent. Therefore, subject to the guidelines, care should always be taken to set child support based on dependable income. However, at the same time, it should not compromise the relief a child is entitled to. When calculating income to be considered for child support obligation payments, the parent receives benefits from means‑tested public assistance programs that are not included. Also excluded are survivor benefits received by or for other children residing in either parent’s home, return from individual retirement accounts, other retirement plans, and food stamps. Other government payments, such as social security payments or ‘veterans’ pensions, pay are included in the calculations. In addition, when calculating regular income, such as rent and royalty, benefits such as reimbursed meals and company cars that reduce living expenses are included, but actual expenses are deducted. Also note that in the obligation worksheet, spousal maintenance, child support paid for a prior born child, and any other support paid to cater to any subsequently born children living in the house are deducted from income calculations. These expenses generally reduce the amount of income available for child support. They thus are deducted before the gross income is adjusted and calculated.
Irregular Income and In-kind Benefits
Over time, bonuses and commissions are irregular income that is included in the total income. However, they are very fact-sensitive as they entirely depend on how the economy is doing; hence evidence for each case is required before child support is based on it. A court is bound to give appropriate reasons if it determines irregular income to be part of the child support obligation. Upon this determination, the court orders the obligor to pay a fixed percentage of overtime or bonuses in child support on a periodic but predetermined basis. (For example, weekly or monthly) On the other hand, in-kind benefits may also be considered income but require careful consideration of each case’s evidence. Regular and continuing payments that reduce the parent’s costs for rent and housing, utilities, or groceries, may be included as income if they are significant in reducing living expenses.
Health Insurance Support and Work-Related Child Care
In addition to the basic child support obligation, the Indiana Child Support Guidelines provide for work-related child care expenses as well as a child’s health insurance expense support. Adding work-related child care costs, and health insurance premiums to the basic child support obligation result in a figure called Total Child Support Obligation, which is the basic obligation of both parents for the support of the child or children of the marriage. After the total child support obligation is determined, it is necessary to apportion that obligation between the parents based on their respective weekly adjusted incomes. The parent who pays the health insurance premium or work-related child care expense receives a credit towards his or her child support obligation or has the cost deducted from their share of the child support obligation. If the mother provides weekly health insurance premiums for the child at $25 per week, then her basic support obligation would be reduced by that amount. In the same breath, if the father pays the work-related child care costs for the children, then his basic support obligation is reduced by the amount he pays for this expense.
Number of Overnights in Child Support Obligation
As provided for in guideline 6 of the Indiana Child Support Guidelines, credit is awarded to the non-custodial parent for the number of overnights each year that the children spend with the parent. The Guidelines consider that when a non-custodial parent exercises parenting time, out-of-pocket expenses such as food, clothing, transportation fees, and other necessities will be incurred for the child’s care. As a result, this provision provides a parenting credit based upon the number of overnights with non-custodial parents ranging from approximately 96-100 overnights, with the actual number of overnights varying based on differing schools calendars. If the non-custodial parent from above had 98 overnights, which is typically the amount credited for Indiana Parenting Time Guideline minimums, then his child support obligation would drop to $48.12. If the parent exercised 150 parenting overnights, then his support obligation would drop to $4.80. Thus, as parenting time increases, a proportionally more significant increase in the credit will occur.
How do you receive child support
In Indiana, child support is processed through the Child Support Bureau. You are most likely to receive your child support through electronic payments, which are more convenient and safer than traditional paper checks. The amount paid is deposited into your bank account or Way2Go Mastercard Debit Card.
What to do if the non-custodial parent isn’t paying
Report to the Child Support Bureau that can take several measures and steps to recover your money. They can cut wages, intercept state tax, and federal tax refund to offset the child support obligation or more.
Child Support in Other States
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia