Just as in other states across America, Indiana has specific rules when it comes to child support. The guidelines that have been created for the state determine the levels of child support and educational support that the Judicial Administration Committee of the Judicial Conference of Indiana created. Those guidelines were adopted by the Indiana Supreme Court as well.
Indiana’s guidelines conform with the rules of the Indiana Code Title 31, which states that the parents of the child are responsible for child support and educational support. The amount of support is based on the parents’ financial needs and resources, the child’s standard of living that the child had when the parents were still together, the child’s physical and mental state and the child’s educational requirements.
What are the objectives of the guidelines?
There are three main objectives when it comes to the guidelines:
- To create a policy in the state of Indiana that is a fair standard for supporting children, considering the parents’ capabilities of contributing to that financial support.
- To ensure that the child support is as equitable as possible by treating people in similar circumstances in a similar fashion.
- To hone the efficiency of the court’s process by doing its best to come up with settlements and providing guidelines for the courts and the divorcing couples to use when coming up with financial amounts of support.
The Indiana child support guidelines are modeled after the Income Shares Model, which was written by the National Center for the State Courts. The model is based on the concept that the child is entitled to receive the exact proportion of their parents’ income that the child would have received if the parents had lived together. However, that number is not always so easy to determine in such a situation.
To come up with as precise and fair a number as possible, the decision is based on recommendations from economic studies that came up with estimates of the average amount of household spending on children in intact households. The studies concluded that household spending is associated with the income level in the household in proportion to the number of children in the household. The estimated child support amount is based on a portion of each parent’s income and that number is derived from what each parent would spend on the child if the co-parents were living in different households.
Working with a family law attorney to come up with a child support arrangement
When coming up with a child support arrangement, many different considerations come into the mix before the final decision is made. If you are at the point where you are trying to establish the child support agreement with your ex-spouse, the seasoned advice of an Indiana family law attorney, who can guide you through the process and who can hopefully help you to come up with an arrangement that works for everyone involved.