The children we have are the future of a functioning society. As such, our society has recognized the need for and accorded several rights to children. The aim of all of these is to ensure an adequate standard of living for the upbringing and development of all children. The responsibility to provide this adequate standard of living for a child’s development primarily rests on the parents. Among the rights children have is to receive adequate child support.
Child support is generally paid by the non-custodial parent to the parent with parental authority for the purpose of raising the child until they reach adulthood or emancipation by some other means. Under Indiana law, a child becomes an adult and is emancipated when he or she reaches the age of 19. Other ways for child support to end include no longer being under the care of either parent or a court-appointed guardian, going into active military service, getting married, and dying. The need for child support arrangements usually arise after divorce, annulment, legal separation, and determination of parentage.
Indiana’s child support laws use the Income Shares Model, which dictates that the child should get the same amount of financial support as he or she would have had if the parents were living together.
The exact amount of child support is determined based on the state’s child support guidelines using gross weekly income. Under Indiana child support laws, gross income could come from several sources, including salaries, bonuses, dividends, severance pay, pensions, social security benefits, gifts, inheritance, income from business operations, and many others. Even potential income can be a basis for the determination of child support if a parent is found to be voluntarily unemployed or underemployed by the court.
The main purpose of child support is to cover for the child’s day-to-day living needs for food, clothing, shelter, hygiene, etc. The court could also order one of both parents to provide health insurance for the child, which may be public, like Medicaid, or private. If it is not possible to get health insurance, parents may be ordered to pay cash medical support, which would cover the medical expenses of the child not covered by any insurance.
The amount for child support also includes ordinary education expenses. However, there may be additional extraordinary education expenses allowed, provided that they are limited to reasonable or necessary expenses connected to the child’s education needs like attending a private, business, or technical school.
As soon as a child support amount has been established by the court of law, the non-custodial parent should responsibly make payments on the set schedules. If there is no payment made, the non-custodial parent becomes delinquent. In such a case, the local child support prosecutor can go after him or her through several means, which include:
Additionally, should the court find that the delinquency was on purpose or intentional, the delinquent parents can be cited in contempt.
In situations where a parent is no longer able to make payments due to unexpected life events, the court may decide to modify an existing child support order. Based on Indiana Child Support Guidelines, to qualify for a modification, the current order must be at least 12 months old and any change must differ by 20%.
Working around child support laws, much like other state laws, requires sufficient knowledge and expertise in the legal field. Further, should you need to institute proceedings to claim child support, choose a child support attorney who can efficiently and effectively represent you in all judicial and non-judicial proceedings.
Maxine E. King has the skill and expertise to handle your case. While her main objective is to resolve the case amicably, primarily for the benefit of the child, she will not falter in defending the right of the minor to receive the support needed for his or her proper development. Contact the law office of Maxine E. King today to know more about how she can help you with your child support needs!
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