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How does Indiana calculate child support?

When parents end their relationship, both remain responsible for financially supporting minor children. Indiana has established child support guidelines that calculate the fair share for each parent based on income and other factors. 

If you are a single parent or planning to divorce, learn more about child support calculations in Indiana. 

Factors used in calculating support

The state strives to keep children in the same financial situation as if the parents shared a household. Some of the factors that contribute to this calculation include: 

  • The gross income of both parents 
  • The number of children 
  • Child care expenses 
  • Health insurance premium costs for the child 
  • Educational and medical expenses beyond the standard 
  • The amount of time each parent spends with the child 

Guideline amounts

The court will add the gross income of both parents and compare this amount to the chart in the Indiana Child Support Guidelines.

This chart establishes the average monthly spending, depending on the number of children. Then, the judge will adjust for the factors above to arrive at an amount that makes sense for the family.

For example, a parent who does not have primary residential custody will receive a support credit depending on the number of monthly overnights with the child. When a parent does not work, the judge may estimate the amount he or she would make based on past earnings and use this amount to determine support. 

The child support process

Either parent can request Indiana child support services. You can also request a child support order during divorce proceedings. Each parent must provide detailed financial information so the court can make a support determination. The child support office can also order a paternity test and help locate a noncustodial parent. 

Child support payments continue until your child turns 19 and graduates from high school, or at 18 if he or she is no longer in school. Either parent can request a child support modification if financial or custodial circumstances change.