Saturday, September 19, 2009

Indiana Child Support Payment Guidelines Amended - Part II

This is my second posting in a series that I am doing on the Amendments to the Indiana Child Support Guidelines that will take effect 01 January 2010. Part I briefly described some of the main points of the amendments and the process used to achieve those.

After more studying of the 20+ pages of new material I have decided to separate this into seven additional categories which I will post on individually. Some of these will take considerable study but I do want to be thorough. I anticipate that I will do about one posting per week which will still provide plenty of time for review before the 01 January changes.

I - Introduction

II - Dissent

III - Changes in computing support
Definition of weekly gross income
Adjustment to weekly gross income
Minimum support

IV - Changes applicable to Parenting Time
Parenting Time Credit
Equal parenting time
Retroactive modification

V - Application of Social Security payments

VI - Parents health care obligation to children

VII - Taxes and Accounting
Tax exemptions
Accounting orders

VIII - Expected litigation

Dissent -

Justices Sullivan and Rucker dissent in part with the amendments to the Guidelines as approved by the majority of the court. Their dissent is as follows:

"We dissent from those amendments to the Guidelines that have the effect of overruling Grant v Hager, 868 N.E.2d 801 (Ind. 2007). Grant held that there is a rebuttable presumption that neither parent owes the other support in a circumstance where the Child Support Obligation Worksheet calculation produced a negative amount for the non-custodial parent's child support payment because of the application of the Parenting Time Credit. Under the amendments to the Guidelines approved in this Order, however, there will be a rebuttable presumption in such circumstances that the custodial parent must make child support payments to the non-custodial parent equal to the negative amount.

We believe that the Guidelines' presumption in such circumstances should continue to be that neither parent owes the other support. We also note that, notwithstanding this amendment, the trial court has authority to deviate from the new Guidelines amount and order that neither parent owes the other support based on their respective incomes and parenting time arrangements if the court had [sic] concludes that it would be unjust not to do so and the court makes the written findings mandated by Child Supp. R. 3."

What Sullivan and Rucker are saying here is that they don't want a system that is manifestly unjust to be changed. The longtime presumption has been that if the child support calculator produces a result that says the custodial parent must pay the NCP then there will be no support payment. This was established in the Guidelines and clearly articulated in law by application of Grant.

I emphatically suggest that you read the Supreme Court's opinion in Grant. Mother earned almost 2/3's of the family income while the father provided support to the children well over 1/3 of the time. If mother earned 2/3's and provided support for 2/3's of the time then the support would be about zero as each parent would be providing support relative to their earnings. But in this case the father provided additional care and also paid $55 per week for insurance premiums.

Application of the guidelines showed that he was to pay ($92) to mother. Meaning she owed him $92. She argued on appeal that the Guidelines do not allow for a negative child support award so she should not have to reimburse him for the medical insurance or pay $37 to him per week for the additional support he provides. The Appeals Court agreed but the Supreme Court didn't. The Supreme Court ruled that the Guidelines provide for a rebuttable presumption and that he had rebutted that presumption.

Sullivan and Rucker are not convinced that the citizens of Indiana are entitled to equality when in a courtroom. Quite to the contrary they know that the vast majority of custodial parents are women and that they want to perpetuate a gender battle between parents and keep parents from uniting against the invasion of the courts into micromanaging the lives of our children.

Sullivan and Rucker are nothing short of indirect child abusers who seek to harm children for their own benefit.

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Indiana Custodial Rights Advocates

©2009 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

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