In divorce cases involving minor children and paternity cases, which involve children whose parents were never married, child support is always a hot topic. While both parents are required to financially support their children, in the majority of cases, one parent (the non-custodial parent) is obligated to pay child support to the other parent (the primary custodial parent). Therefore, one party always needs to know how much child support will I receive and the other party always wants to know how much child support will I be ordered to pay. This leads to the question of the day: How is child support calculated?
Each state has its own laws and child support guidelines, including an established formula to determine the amount of child support the payor will be obligated to pay. In Indiana, the child support formula takes into consideration the following factors:
1. The father’s weekly gross income;
2. The mother’s weekly gross income;
3. Subsequent children in the home;
4. Any child support order for prior born children;
5. Any child support duty for prior born children;
6. Maintenance paid to either party;
7. Weekly cost of Health Insurance (for the children only);
8. Weekly work-related child care expense;
9. Number of children at home;
10. Number of children at college; and
11. The number of overnights the payor exercises with the children.
Gross weekly income includes wages, self-employment, rental income, overtime income, commission, bonuses and any other form of irregular income. Both parties will be expected to verify the above information through documentation such as paycheck stubs and tax returns. Once the data is verified, the numbers are entered and a child support amount determined using a child support calculator. The child support calculator considers the aforementioned factors and determines the non-custodial parent’s support obligation.
To estimate the amount of child support you may be obligated to pay or can expect to receive, you can calculate child support online at //www.in.gov/judiciary/2625.htm.
If you think you are entitled to child support or should be paying child support on your minor children, call our office today to set up an initial consultation with one of our experienced family law/ divorce attorneys to discuss your case.
Further, if you are unable to meet your child support obligation due to an ongoing change in circumstances, you may be able to petition the court to modify child support. Or, if your child has turned 19 years old or is otherwise emancipated, you may be in a position to petition the court to terminate child support. If this applies to you, call our firm to discuss a modification or termination of child support today!
Finally, if child support becomes past due, there is generally a child support arrearage. If you find yourself in a situation where you have been unable to meet your child support order obligation, you could be facing possible contempt citations due to non-payment and most likely are in need of a child support modification order. On the other hand, if you are supposed to be receiving child support from an ex-spouse or your child’s father or mother and are not, the legal system provides several solutions. If you have found yourself in either of these unfortunate situations, we are here to help! Do not hesitate to contact Smith Carpenter Fondrisi & Cummins, LLC to discuss your options with our knowledgeable family law/ divorce attorneys.
By: Jenny T. Irwin