Divorce is an incredibly challenging time full of uncertainty. For many parents, a primary concern is how to provide financially for the children.
In particular, parents often ask how courts determine the amount of any child support order.
Child support guidelines
To determine the amount of child support in Indiana, courts use a formula called the child support guidelines. The guidelines consider each parent’s income and basic expenses of the children, including child care, education and health insurance. The guidelines also factor in how much time the children will spend with each parent.
The guidelines will give courts a presumed amount of child support. In most cases, the judge will order child support in the amount presumed under the guidelines.
Deviation from the guidelines
In some cases, the amount of child support presumed under the guidelines may be inappropriate or unjust. If this occurs, the court can order a deviation from the guidelines, meaning the court would order an amount higher or lower than the presumed amount.
For example, if the child or one of the parents has unusually high medical expenses, it may be appropriate to deviate from the guidelines.
The party asking the court to deviate from the guidelines must present evidence proving that the presumed amount of child support under the guidelines would be unjust.
Child support order
Whether you are possibly paying or receiving child support, it is important to consult with a qualified attorney to help determine each parent’s income and expenses. An attorney can also advise on any potential grounds to deviate from the guidelines.