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Indiana Child Support Guidelines

Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors.

Children have the right to be supported by both of their parents. Child support is the money that the non-custodial parent must pay the custodial parent to help raise the child until the child becomes an adult or is emancipated in another way. The amount of child support that must be paid is determined by each state's child support guidelines.

Factors Used to Determine Child Support in Indiana

When determining the amount of child support a parent must pay, judges in Indiana will consider many relevant factors, including:

  • The financial resources of both parents;
  • The child's standard of living if the divorce or separation hadn't occurred; and
  • The child's physical, mental, and educational needs.

Child support is ordered to cover the child's basic living expenses as well as health insurance. When in the best interests of the child, the non-custodial parent can also be ordered to pay for the child's educational needs; medical, hospital, or dental expenses; and funeral expenses if the child dies.

Indiana Child Support Guidelines at a Glance

While it's important to read the actual text of a statute, it can be incredibly beneficial to also review a plain language overview of the law. The following table provides an overview of child support guidelines in Indiana and links to relevant statutes.

Statute(s)

Indiana Code, Title 31, Article 16, Section 31-16-1-1, et seq. (Support of Children and Other Dependents)

How is Support Calculated?

Child support is determined by the child support guidelines that use gross weekly income and arrive at an adjusted weekly income using factors such as prior or subsequent children and alimony. Gross income includes many sources, such as pay from employment, rent, Social Security, etc. and can include additional types of income such as:

  • Imputed income, such as free housing, a company car, reimbursed meals, and other forms of income that reduce living expenses for one party, which can be substituted for or added to weekly gross income; and
  • Potential income when a parent has no income, but is capable of earning income.

Once income for both parents is determined, the Child Support Obligation Worksheet determines the support amount.

Child Support Calculator

Parents can use the Indiana online child support calculator to preview how much child support may be ordered. Although helpful, this isn't a substitute for legal advice and can vary from what is actually ordered.

How Long Must a Parent Pay Child Support?

Generally, parents have a duty to support their child(ren) until they:

  • Turn 19;
  • Are no longer under the care of either parent or an agency approved by the court (such as foster care);
  • Go into active duty with the military;
  • Get married; or
  • Die.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Indiana Child Support Payments

The court can order the person who receives child support to open a bank account, unless a written objection is filed and there's a good reason to exempt the person. However, the clerk can't require the person who pays child support to do so through electronic funds transfer (EFT). Parents can check their child support payment history online.

Child Support Enforcement in Indiana

When a parent fails to pay child support that has been ordered, the payments become delinquent. The local child support prosecutor can go after the delinquent parent to enforce the order in several ways, including:

  • Taking the debtor's federal or state income tax refunds, employer bonuses, insurance settlements, lottery winnings, etc.;
  • Reporting the debt to a credit agency;
  • Suspending the debtor's driver's, professional, hunting, or fishing licenses;
  • Putting a lien on the debtor's vehicle; or
  • Denying or revoking the debtor's passport.

It's also important to also note that if a court finds that a party intentionally violated a child support order, it can find them in contempt of court.

Indiana Child Support: Related Resources

Learn More About Indiana Child Support Guidelines from an Attorney

While the information above can provide a helpful guide to understanding Indiana child support laws, it's always a good idea to talk to a professional who can give you personalized legal advice. So, if you're a parent who needs help enforcing child support orders or has concerns regarding the child support guidelines, you should consult with an experienced child support lawyer in Indiana.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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