Indiana Child Support Lawyers
Dedicated Family Law Attorneys
Caring for your family is a top priority. When you and your partner divorce in Indiana, the way you provide for your children changes, requiring the need for a child support order. Where do you turn to make sure your child support order honors your children’s needs and your obligation but is not overreaching? You need Indiana family law attorneys experienced in litigating child support matters and in helping families navigate divorce law in Indiana.
The Indianapolis child support lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP can help. We are a well-versed legal team of family lawyers, and we understand how stressful divorce, custody, and child support proceedings can be.
If you are filing for divorce and will need child support to take care of your children, or if changed circumstances after your divorce make the current child support order unreasonable, we can help. As seasoned, reputable litigators, we have the resources and insight to capably handle your child support matter and a wide range of other divorce-related matters, from the straightforward to the most complex.
How Our Indianapolis Child Support Lawyers Can Help
Child support is not a DIY venture. When life changes like divorce affect you and your children, you need an experienced Indiana child support lawyer to help protect your children and your future. Navigating the child support guidelines requires an experienced Indiana family law attorney who understands the many nuances of Indiana child support law.
Parents paying child support need a law firm with deep experience in Indiana child support law and exceptional litigation skills. The Indiana child support attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP know those laws and understand the dynamics and politics of litigating family law cases to protect you and your children.
What Is Child Support?
Child support is a court-ordered financial obligation paid by one parent to the other during or after a divorce for the care of the parties’ child or children. Child support is intended to keep the child in the same financial condition as if the parties resided together.
Child support is intended to cover the basic costs of supporting the child. Examples include:
- Basic clothing expenses
- Regular educational expenses such as school supplies
- Work-related childcare costs
- Insurance premiums for the child’s healthcare coverage
Additional costs, such as extraordinary medical expenses or costs for extracurricular activities, may be factored into the child support obligation, too, or they may be divided between the parents, often in proportion to each parent’s weekly income. Which parent pays child support is determined by considering each parent’s gross income and which pays for relevant costs such as health insurance premiums and work-related childcare.
When Is Child Support Ordered?
Parties in a marriage are assumed to be providing for their children financially. When a divorce proceeding is initiated, the court often issues a child support order for the period the divorce case is pending. The final divorce decree and judgment will also include a child support order, which may be different than the prior child support order depending on the parties’ circumstances. The court uses the Indiana Child Support Rules and Guidelines to determine which parent must pay child support and in what amount.
Our experienced Indianapolis child support lawyers will help you understand how Indiana child support law applies to your family’s circumstances. We understand and track changes in Indiana child support law so that our clients benefit from the most up-to-date information.
Calculating Indiana Child Support
Indiana child support law requires both parents to provide financial support for their child. The Indiana Child Support Rules and Guidelines set out a formula for calculating the amount of child support the court should order. The child support calculation requires consideration of the following:
- The number of the parties’ children
- Each parent’s gross income
- Each parent’s child support obligations to other children
- Spousal maintenance obligations
- Work-related childcare costs
- Health insurance premiums for the children
- Post-secondary educational expenses, if any
- The number of parenting time overnights allocated to each parent
Based on the costs for each of the items above, the exact amount of child support is determined by reference to the Guideline Schedules for Weekly Support Payments in the Indiana Child Support Rules and Guidelines.
Child support is calculated using the Indiana Child Support Worksheet. The calculation computes the total amount required to support the parties’ child or children and allocates each parent’s child support obligation based on his or her proportionate gross income and child-related expenses paid.
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When Parents Disagree about Indiana Child Support
Divorces can be contentious, and child support can be a leading cause of disagreement between the parties. The use of the Child Support Obligation Guidelines provides some stability, but parties often disagree about variables such as what constitutes income includable in child support calculations or who will pay health insurance premiums.
At Keffer Hirschauer LLP, we understand that your ability to provide for your children depends on your ability to provide for yourself as well. With that in mind, we help our clients accurately identify income that should be included as part of their weekly income for purposes of determining child support—for both parents. When part of your income is irregular, such as from bonuses, we will argue against including those amounts in your income for purposes of calculating child support and that child support on those amounts should be calculated separately.
Even after child support is calculated, the parents may disagree about whether child support has been paid as ordered. How can parties resolve these differences? Our family law attorneys use carefully crafted child support orders tailored to your family’s particular circumstances with a goal of planning ahead to avoid such future disputes. We will also explain options for documenting your child support payments to avoid future payment disputes and how to make sure your former spouse is using child support appropriately.
In some cases, the spouse receiving support does not use it for its intended purpose, the care of the children. In those cases, we can apply our skills to hold your former partner accountable through the use of contempt proceedings.
Our Indiana child support attorneys are all accomplished litigators, ready to stand up for your right to ensure that the court’s child support order is right and to avoid disputes about whether you paid support as required. From arguing the appropriate calculation or modification of child support to the appropriateness of contempt proceedings to enforce how child support must be used, our clients benefit from counsel with stellar litigation skills, consistently high attorney ratings, and a dedication to meet the client’s needs.
How to Modify Child Support in Indiana
The court enters a child support order in every divorce case in which the parties have children who are under age 19 or incapacitated. While the child support obligation may comply with the law and the Indiana Child Support Guidelines Schedule for weekly payments at the time the order is entered, income and expenses are likely to change over time.
Changes like these can make the existing child support order no longer appropriate:
- Loss of employment
- Serious illness of a parent or child
- Remarriage of the custodial parent
- A significant change in the child’s needs
- A significant change in the cost of living
- A change in the custody arrangement
- The emancipation of a child
Modification of the child support order may be warranted in your case if you or your former spouse experience a substantial change in circumstances in areas such as these.
Your recent raise or promotion is not necessarily enough to warrant a change in child support just because one parent thinks it is. Your former partner may argue that your promotion or his or her loss of employment warrants an immediate increase in child support. You need experienced Indianapolis child support lawyers to help the court look at all of the circumstances and make changes to a child support only when circumstances are substantial and ongoing.
The Indianapolis child support lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP are experienced litigators who stand ready to help you fight for the child support obligation that’s right for you and your children. Whether your former partner is seeking increased child support because of your raise or promotion or a change in your former spouse’s circumstances warrant decreasing your child support obligation, our team of shrewd Indiana family law attorneys stands ready to help you and your family.
When Does Indiana Child Support Stop?
In a divorce, both parents have an obligation to provide child support until the child is 19 years old or graduates high school, whichever is later. Whether the termination of support requires a court order in your case depends on the particular circumstances, such as whether there are other children included in the existing child support order and the basis for terminating child support.
The obligation to provide child support ends earlier than age 19 or high school graduation in cases in which a child is emancipated under Indiana Code § 31-16-6-6. Emancipation occurs in the following instances:
- The child is on active duty in the United States armed forces
- The child is married
- The child is not under the care or control of either parent or a court-approved government agency
A child support obligation may terminate “by operation of law” in some cases, but termination often requires court approval and a new court order. If you’re unsure or you and the other parent disagree about when a child support obligation terminates, the Indianapolis child support lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP can help. By planning ahead and working with our experienced Indiana child support attorneys, you can be sure that the child support obligation in your case ends exactly when it should.
Keffer Hirschauer LLP: Your Indianapolis Child Support Lawyers
Every divorce with dependent children must consider child support, but you need help making sure your support obligation accurately reflects your financial circumstances. Don’t let questions about calculating, using, modifying, or terminating child support put you at risk of violating a court order. When it comes to child support, you need an Indiana child support lawyer who is compassionate about your situation and passionate about fighting for your rights. That’s what you’ll find in the Indianapolis child support lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP.
What separates our Indianapolis family law firm from our competition?
- Driven attorneys who seek cost-effective legal solutions
- Confidential and complimentary consultations for clients
- Comprehensive knowledge of all relevant laws
- Creative solutions from highly rated lawyers (9.9 Superb by Avvo)
As former deputy prosecutors, our attorneys have hard-hitting litigation skills, which we use to protect your rights and interests. We are driven to deliver top-notch legal representation from start to finish. Our relentless efforts to go above and beyond have led to various honors and distinctions, such as high ratings from Avvo and more!
When it comes to your future, you cannot afford to cut corners. At Keffer Hirschauer LLP, we provide our clients with comprehensive, experienced, and insightful legal counsel. Not only do we pay attention to the details, but we strive to create effective legal solutions that protect every member of your family for the long-term. Whether you live in Indianapolis or elsewhere in Indiana, contact the Indianapolis child support lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP for a free consultation by calling (317) 751-7186 or complete our online contact form today.