Thursday, September 17, 2009

Indiana Child Support Payment Guidelines Amended

On 15 September 2009 the Indiana Supreme Court published the amendments to the Indiana Child Support Guidelines. These Amendments will take effect 01 January 2010.

The Court through the Domestic Relations Committee has undertaken a multi-year assessment of the Guidelines which included input from CPS, the Child Support Bureau and public input and hearings. Many of us either wrote to the Committee or testified at the public hearings providing anecdotes about the difficulty in paying support and still maintaining the minimum necessities for themselves.

These amendments provide an extensive overhaul of the Guidelines. Today I will provide just an overview of the changes and will address them on a point-by-point basis in future blawg postings. The first thing the Supreme Court did was to strike the term "rules" from the text and replace it with "guidelines".

One interesting note is that there was not agreement in adopting these amendments. Justices Sullivan and Rucker specifically did not want all parents to be given equal consideration in setting child support amounts. The adopted amendments includes an addition that we have battled for many years. "The calculated amount establishes the level of child support for both the custodial and non-custodial parent. Absent grounds for a deviation, the custodial parent should be required to make monetary payments of child support if application of the parenting time credit would so require."

The current guidelines provide that when support is calculated that produces a negative amount for the NCP to pay to the custodial parent then the courts simply ignores it. The new rules are now saying the NCP should receive that amount. For instance if a NCP parent has the child one third of the time but only earns one forth of the income then the custodial parent should help eliminate that financial imbalance.

The amendments also reduce the minimum support amount from $25 to $12. Additionally, the Guidelines will now require that a "numeric" support order be established in all cases. There is a saving provision that recommends at $0.00 amount in cases where the NCP is incarcerated, has a disabled parent to care for or some other limited situations.

I imagine that it is going to take a few weeks for me to analyze the amendment thoroughly and write about them so please subscribe and keep checking back.


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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