Parents considering filing for child support in Indiana or requesting a child support modification can use the following list of frequently asked questions to help them learn more about the process. Families can also prepare to request Indiana child support by locating their local Indiana child support agency, filing for child support, and accessing additional resources.
Types of Payments Child Support Can Cover
The purpose of child support is to cover basic needs such as housing, food, and clothing.
Because the costs of raising a child are beyond basic needs, the parent that does not have custody of the child contributes financially through cash payments. Support can cover shelter-related costs like mortgage or rent, utilities, medical care, and more. Expenses may also cover reasonable items and necessities for school or other educational needs.
Other agreements must be handled mutually between parents for extracurricular activities like camp, sports, and more. This type of financial support is a legal obligation for noncustodial parents to provide to their children. If the noncustodial parent does not meet child support expectations, payments become past due and the law known as arrears or arrearage begins.
Indiana Rules and Regulations
Child support rules and guidelines vary by state, and so the Indiana Rules of Court adopted the weekly gross income, obligations, and additional principles for the state of Indiana.
These guidelines have been adopted effective since October 1989 and include Indiana child support amendments through January 2016. For example, Indiana's new child support law, introduced in 2012, lowered the child support emancipation age from 21 to 19.
Indiana child support resources can be found both online and at the local county prosecutor's office:
How to File for Indiana Child Support
In Indiana, parents can apply for child support right from the Indiana Department of Child Services Child Support Bureau website. The following steps will help families establish a child support order in Indiana:
- Become familiar with Indiana’s child support guidelines.
- Use the Indiana Child Support Calculator to estimate the amount of child support projected to receive. Income and expenses are determined based on several guidelines such as wages, overtime, commissions, and other forms of income. For the amount to increase or decrease, there must be a proven record of an extreme change in circumstances since the previous arrangement, or the arrangement must be at least one year old.
- Print an application for Indiana child support services.
- Follow up with the local county prosecutor's office, which provides child support enforcement services on behalf of the Indiana Child Support Bureau.
Access Additional Indiana Child Support Resources
There are several federal and state resources which may be helpful, including:
- The Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement
- The Federal Handbook on Child Support Enforcement
- The Child Support Lien Network (CSLN)
- Frequently Asked Questions About Indiana Child Support