Carmel Child Support Lawyers
Serving Parents Across Indianapolis & Central Indiana
Child support is a fundamental legal obligation, serving as a financial contribution from one parent to the other to assist in covering the costs of raising a child.
This obligation is considered a child's right because it ensures the child's needs are adequately met despite parental separation or divorce. It is held that children deserve the financial support of both parents. This allows them to maintain the lifestyle they enjoyed before the breakup of the family or the benefit of both parental incomes when parents never married.
At Roberts Means Roncevic Kapela LLC, we are committed to helping you navigate the complexities of this financial obligation, whether as part of a pending divorce or legal separation, as an unmarried parent after a paternity action, or in seeking a modification of a current child support order.
We can assist in accurately determining income, identifying allowable deductions, and understanding how specific factors such as custody arrangements and parenting time impact child support calculation under Indiana state guidelines. We can work to ensure that your child's best interests are always the focal point of these proceedings while determining fair and just payments.
Request a confidential consultation with a Carmel child support attorney by submitting our online contact form or call (317) 569-2200.
Overview of Indiana Child Support
Child support is typically paid by the parent who spends the least time with the child (called the noncustodial parent) to the parent who spends more time with the child (the custodial parent). This obligation is based on an “income shares model,” an approach that reflects the belief that a child should receive the same proportion of parental income they would have received if the parents lived together.
The model considers both parents' income, the number of children, and healthcare and childcare expenses. The child support amount is proportionally divided based on each parent's share of the combined income.
Child support obligations generally last until the child reaches the age of 19. However, it can continue if the child is incapacitated.
The Indiana Child Support Bureau is key in implementing child support programs across the state. It develops policies and procedures, provides technical support to county prosecutors and caseworkers, enforces support orders, and manages the collection and distribution of child support payments.
Indiana Child Support Guidelines
The state offers an online tool, the Child Support Calculator, to help parents estimate potential support amounts. However, calculating child support is not always straightforward. Certain factors can complicate the process, adding layers of complexity.
For example, determining the actual income can be challenging, especially when a parent has unreported income, fluctuating income due to self-employment, or income from non-traditional sources. The allocation of healthcare and childcare expenses must also be carefully considered, as these can significantly affect the final support amount.
The custodial arrangement, whether it's joint custody or sole custody, and the amount of parenting time each parent has can also impact the calculation. Lastly, the needs of the child – including educational expenses, costs related to extracurricular activities, and any special needs – can influence the amount of support required.
These factors demand meticulous attention to detail and a deep understanding of Indiana's child support laws.