How Can I Modify My Indiana Child Support

Ask A Lawyer Question:

Regarding Indiana Child Support, Code § 31-16-8-1 regulation states that a modification can be made to child support upon showing (among other things) “(2)(A) a party has been ordered to pay an amount in child support that differs by more than twenty percent (20%) from the amount that would be ordered by applying the child support guidelines.”

When computing this threshold, should one take 20% of the previously ordered amount or 20% of the newly computed amount based on the current circumstances. Believe it or not, in my case, it makes a difference.

Ask A Lawyer Answer:

I will preface my answer with the fact that while I am licensed to practice law in the State of Indiana, this response does not constitute an attorney client relationship and is being made only on the information you have supplied to me. For a better analysis of your legal issues, I would encourage you to schedule a consultation with a divorce attorney.

You have inquired about child support modification requirements stated under Indiana law. The 20% deviation you reference in the modification statute requires both, (1). at least twelve (12) months have passed since the date of the last child support modification, and (2). that when calculating a recommended child support obligation based on current figures, if a payor is either overpaying or underpaying by more than 20%, then he or she is entitled to a modification upon the appropriate presentation of evidence.

For example, if your current child support obligation is $100.00 per week, to be entitled to a modification (absent a substantial and continuing change in circumstances), you would have to show that at least 12 months has passed since the date of the last modification, and that your recommended support obligation is less than $80.00 per week. If the worksheets show that your recommended support obligation was, say $90.00 per week, you would not be entitled to a modification.

To schedule an appointment with a divorce attorney, including Jason Hopper, an Assistant Litigation Manager in the Noblesville, Indiana office, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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4 comments on “How Can I Modify My Indiana Child Support

    i have a crazy situation i been release from prison around 2yrs ago i have 2 orders one is for 75 with 50 back in one is 44 with 40 back thats around 900 a month in childs support i cant make it on that what can i do too get this lower down both partys make more money than me in i pay so much what do i do. in with one of the party’s im married too.

    child support and emancipation
    we currently pay support on my 2 sons. one is 19 and has been out of school for several months and is not attending any schooling at all. How can i go about emancipating him and changing amount of child support without a lawyer? I am lawyer poor after all of the years I have been through court by my ex.

    I am currently on the opposite end of this kind of case, where I am the one getting child support and my ex wants to change it. From what I was told by a lawyer, when you use the Indiana Child Support calculator, if the new calculation is 20% more or less than what you were ordered to pay from the last court order(granted it has been over 12 months), then it can be changed. Or at least that’s what I was led to believe. Any confirmations on that?

    Which is it?
    With the example you provide, you seem to be saying that the 20% threshold for change is with respect to the previously ordered amount. That is, if I currently pay $100 per week then the new amount must be either greater than $120 or less than $80 in order to meet the bright-line rule. Another way to say this is that the amount must CHANGE by more than 20% of the previously ordered amount.

    However, you also state “if the a payor is either overpaying or underpaying by more than 20%, then he or she is entitled to a modification”. That statement leads me to believe that the 20% threshold is computed with respect to the NEWLY computed child support obligation. This is a subtle but it can make a difference.

    For example, suppose I currently pay $100 weekly but the newly recommended support amount is $80. Then I would think that I would be entitled to change the modification if the amount I am currently paying is greater than $96 (80 + 20% x 80) or less than $64 (80 – 20% x 80).

    I realize that this is a subtle/technical detail, but it can make a difference. Have the courts ever published clarification on this?

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