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Indiana: Explanation of Child Support and the Income Shares Model Used in Indiana

The Basics of Child Support in Indiana

Child support is a legal obligation that ensures both parents contribute financially to the upbringing and well-being of their children. In Indiana, child support is determined based on the income shares model, which takes into account the income of both parents and the needs of the child.

Lambert v. Lambert, 861 N.E.2d 1176, 1179 (Ind. 2007), is a landmark case that established the income shares model as the basis for determining child support in Indiana. This model recognizes that both parents have a financial responsibility to support their child and aims to ensure that the child's standard of living is maintained even after the parents' separation or divorce. R.B. v. K.S., 25 N.E.3d 232, 235 (Ind. Ct. App. 2015), reaffirmed the use of the income shares model and emphasized the importance of considering both parents' incomes when calculating child support. This case highlighted the principle that child support should be based on the actual financial resources of both parents, rather than solely on the custodial parent's income.

What is the Importance of Indiana Child Support Guideline 1 and the Indiana Child Support Rule 3 In Determining the Calculation of Child Support?

Indiana Child Support Guideline 1 provides detailed instructions on how to calculate child support using the income shares model. This guideline includes a schedule of basic child support obligations based on the combined income of both parents and the number of children. It also takes into account additional expenses, such as healthcare and childcare costs, which are divided between the parents based on their respective incomes.

And, lastly, Indiana Child Support Rule 3 outlines the factors to be considered, such as the income of both parents, the number of children, and any special circumstances that may affect the child's financial needs. It also establishes a formula for determining the amount of child support based on the income shares model.

Can Income be Imputed in Child Support Calculations in Indiana?

Nikolayev v. Nikolayev, 985 N.E.2d 29 (Ind. Ct. App. 2013), is a case that addressed the issue of imputed income in child support calculations. Imputed income refers to the potential income that a parent could earn, even if they are currently unemployed or underemployed. This case clarified that imputed income should only be considered if there is evidence that the parent is intentionally avoiding their financial responsibilities.

Can You Request a Modification of Child Support in Indiana?

Modifying child support requires a legal process that involves demonstrating a substantial and continuing change in circumstances that justifies a modification. In the case of Copple v. Swindle, the Indiana Court of Appeals clarified the standard for modifying child support. The court held that a substantial and continuing change in circumstances can include changes in income, employment status, health, or the needs of the child.

To initiate the process of modifying child support, you will need to file a petition with the appropriate court. The petition should clearly state the reasons for seeking a modification and provide supporting evidence. In accordance with IC 31-15-2-17, the court will consider factors such as the income of both parents, the needs of the child, and any other relevant circumstances.

In your case, it is important to gather evidence that demonstrates the substantial and continuing change in circumstances that warrant a modification of child support. This evidence may include recent pay stubs, tax returns, medical records, or any other relevant documentation that supports your claim.

It is important to note that modifying child support is not guaranteed, and the court will make a decision based on the evidence presented and the applicable laws. Therefore, it is crucial to present a strong case supported by relevant evidence and legal arguments.

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