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How Do Indiana Courts Calculate Child Support?

Feb 11 2019, by Sean Hessler in Family Law, Legal Blog

Indiana courts believe that divorce should not hinder a child’s quality of life. One of the ways they ensure a child is able to maintain their lifestyle after their parents get divorced is child support.

Child support is usually paid by the non-custodial parent and is based on a number of factors. If you are in the process of a divorce, you may be wondering how much child support you’ll pay or receive. Keep reading to find out.

For skilled legal representation with your Indiana divorce, reach out to an Indianapolis family lawyer at Hessler Law, PC. We can answer any questions you may have and ensure your rights are protected throughout the entire divorce process. Call us at (317) 886-8800 or use our online contact form today.

What is the Definition of Child Support?

Child support is intended to protect a child from the economic impact of a divorce. It can be used for the necessities of a child including shelter, food, clothing, and childcare and additional things the child may have enjoyed while their parents were still married. These additional things may be extra-curricular activities, birthday parties, summer camps, and vacations. In most cases, child support obligations end at age 19.

How Child Support is Calculated

In Indiana, the weekly gross incomes of both the child’s mother and father are considered when calculating child support. A parent’s weekly gross income often includes their salary, wages, commissions, bonuses, overtime, severance pay and/or pensions. It may also include their workers’ compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, social security benefits, and/or spousal maintenance.

In the event a parent is unemployed or underemployed, their weekly gross income may include potential income. Calculations for potential income have to do with their employment potential, which is based on their work history, education, experience, and prevailing job opportunities.

Once the court learns about each parent’s weekly gross income, they will calculate their weekly adjusted income. The weekly adjusted income considers the fact that parents may have other children to provide for or are currently paying spousal support. For example, if your weekly gross income is $1,500 but you have to pay $200 a week in spousal support, your weekly adjusted income would be $1,300.

The weekly adjusted income of both parents will be added together and the court will use a chart to figure out how much of the parents’ total weekly adjusted income should be used to care for their child. If one parent makes more money than the other, they will provide a greater financial contribution.

How Weekly Gross Income is Revealed

When going through a divorce, both parents are legally required to fill out a worksheet and submit their income statements. They must disclose all of their income and have documentation to prove it. Unfortunately, some parents fail to do so in order to pay less child support or receive more child support.

Fortunately, an experienced Indianapolis family lawyer can use forensic accounting methods if necessary and ensure that a parent is revealing all of their income. Parents who are caught “hiding” their income may face court penalties.

Contact an Indianapolis Family Lawyer at Hessler Law, PC

If you are going through a divorce and have children, child support is likely top of mind. We can help you calculate child support and assist you if you believe your soon-to-be ex is not disclosing all the information they should. Call a child support lawyer at (317) 886-8800 or use our online contact form to ensure your rights are protected and your divorce has a minimal impact on your child’s quality of life.