Thursday, May 1, 2014

Public input sought for 2014 Indiana Child Support Guidelines amendments - May 16, 2014

The Domestic Relations Committee[DRC] of the Indiana Judicial Center will be holding hearings this year for public input on amending the Indiana Child Support Guidelines[ICSG]. The first of the two hearings will be held on 16 May 2014 from 10:00a.m. until noon in the chambers of the Indiana Supreme Court. This session will be for members of the public to express concerns and suggest changes to the current ICSG. Speakers will be limited to five minutes each for their presentation. Pre-registration is highly suggested although depending on time constraints they may be willing to allow speakers to sign up at the hearing. Currently written comment may also be submitted. The proceeding will be streamed live and may be viewed here.

Here are my previous postings about the 2014 amendments to the ICSG.

Federal Statute Considerations for 2014 Indiana Child Support Guidelines Amendments

2014 Indiana Child Support Guidelines Amendments - Parenting Time Credit

2014 Indiana Child Support Guidelines Amendments - Insurance and Health Costs coverage

Update on amending the 2014 Indiana Child Support Guidelines

Indiana Child Support Guidelines to be Amended in 2014

The second of the two hearings has not been scheduled and may be limited instead to written comment only. That session will be for members of the public to express comment on the changes to the current ICSG proposed by the DRC. Interested persons should check the Indiana Supreme Court[INSC] website periodically for details about providing input.

I am currently in the process of drafting a report to the DRC on my proposed changes to the ICSG. My suggestions are based upon the following five principles:

~ The guidelines should seek to promote rather than inhibit parental involvement;
~ They should ensure support is used on the child;
~ They should be based upon actual expenditures for the child;
~ They should seek to reduce parenting time conflict among parents; and
~ They should provide continuity in the child's standard of living.

Courts, parents, and practitioners have long grappled with the difficulty in extricating support from parenting time so as to reduce conflict over parenting time being used to effectuating support awards. This is my greatest concern because a parent seeking a support windfall will attempt to deprive the child of a necessary relationship with the other parent. Unfortunately, this strategy is often successful. Likewise, a parent seeking to avoid paying may procure additional time with the child that does not contribute to the child's growth and well-being. I believe I have a solution - assumed responsibility. I will not go into detail about that here.

If you wish to provide input but don't enthusiastically strive to find opportunities to speak in public or are unable to attend then you may submit written comments through the INSC website.

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