Effective January 1, 2024, several changes were made to the Indiana Child Support Guidelines. These changes are designed to align more closely with the current economic climate and to ensure a fairer distribution of costs associated with raising a child.
One notable change is the revision of the weekly schedule for calculating child support payments. The updated schedule now reflects more recent economic data, potentially altering the amount of support that a non-custodial parent is required to pay.
Another important modification is the removal of the “6% Rule.” Previously, this rule was employed to determine how uninsured healthcare expenses for a child would be split between the parents. The old method dictated that such costs be divided using a fixed percentage. However, under the new guidelines, these expenses are to be shared proportionately, based on each parent’s income. This income-shares approach is aimed at distributing the financial responsibilities more equitably between the parents, taking into consideration the actual financial contribution each parent makes to the child’s well-being.
Another helpful update to the Child Support Guidelines is the addition of a specific method for calculating the parenting time credit when a parent has a different number of overnights with each of their children.
The updated Indiana Child Support Guidelines also reiterate that the child support calculation creates a “rebuttable presumption”. This means that if the parties agree to a deviation from the child support worksheet, their agreement must clearly state the reason for the deviation. A child support worksheet must still be included with an agreement, even in cases where the obligation is $0.
Understanding the Indiana Child Support Guidelines is crucial for parents who are navigating the process of divorce or separation. These guidelines are the framework used by courts to determine the amount of money a non-custodial parent should contribute to the financial support of their child(ren). The goal is to ensure that children continue to receive adequate support from both parents, even when they are no longer in a single household.
The guidelines consider various factors, including the income of both parents, the needs of the child, and the standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the family had remained intact. With the latest revisions, Indiana aims to better meet the needs of children and families by using up-to-date economic data and a more equitable method for sharing out-of-pocket health care costs.
It’s important for parents to stay informed about these changes, as they could have a direct impact on their financial responsibilities. Seeking the advice of a legal professional who is well-versed in family law can provide clarity and ensure that the interests of both the child and the parents are properly represented and protected. Applying current economic factors, the new child support guidelines may result in an increase in child support. If your child support order was issued or modified over twelve months ago, the updates to the child support guidelines may impact your family. If you have questions about establishing or modifying a child support obligation, contact our office to schedule a consultation.