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How are Child Support Payments Calculated in Indiana?

Following a divorce or separation in Indiana, the non-custodial parent may be required to pay child support to their former spouse. You may be wondering: How are child support payments determined in Indiana? The short answer is that the state has guidelines in place to help courts calculate the award—but these guidelines can be deviated from when deemed appropriate. In this article, our Indianapolis child support lawyer provides a more comprehensive overview and explanation of how child support payments are calculated in Indiana. 

Indiana Has Official Child Support Guidelines in Place

In Indiana, there is a presumption that child support payments should be consistent with the state’s pre-established child support guidelines. As explained in the Indiana Child Support Rules and Guidelines, the purposes of the guidelines are to: 

  • Establish a baseline state standard for child support payments; 
  • Make child support awards more equitable for all parties; and 
  • Improve the efficiency of the court process. 

Indiana Child Support Calculations: The Income Share Model

Similar to some other states, Indiana uses the income share model to determine child support. This system is meant to ensure that both custodial and non-custodial parents provide adequate financial support to their children. In effect, the model holds that the child should receive that same level of financial support that he or she would have received had their parents been or stayed married. 

Understanding Income Shares Through a Basic Example

The easier way to understand the income shares model of child support in Indiana is through a hypothetical example. Imagine that the non-custodial parent makes $6,000 per month. The custodial parent makes $4,000 per month. The court determines that the reasonable cost of raising the child is $2,000 per month.

Under Indiana’s income shares model, the non-custodial parent in this example earns 60 percent of the total income and the custodial parent earns 40%. As such, the non-custodial parent would be responsible for 60% of the child-rearing costs—or $1,200 of the $2,000 per month. Therefore, child support would be $1,200 per month. 

Every Child Support Case is Different: Deviations are Possible

Indiana’s child support guidelines are just that—they are meant to guide the courts. It is possible that an Indiana case could deviate from the child support guidelines if good cause can be shown. The parent seeking a deviation—either to pay less or to receive more—must show good cause to justify the deviation. 

Get Help From a Child Support Attorney in Indianapolis

At López Law Office, our Indianapolis child support lawyer has the skills and legal expertise that you can trust. Contact us now to set up your strictly confidential initial family law consultation. From our law office in Indianapolis, we handle child support cases throughout the region, including in Johnson County, Marion County, Boone County, and Hamilton County. 

Vanessa López Aguilera

Attorney Vanessa López Aguilera represents clients in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Area