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When can a child support order be changed?

On Behalf of | Aug 31, 2023 | Family Law

The primary goal of an Indiana child support order is to serve the child’s best interests. That includes ensuring they have a safe place to live, are adequately clothed, receive proper nutrition, have everything they need for school, have medical care, are able to take part in extracurricular activities and more.

The dollar amount of child support payments is based on state-mandated guidelines, which consider the parents’ income, the child’s needs and the cost of living, among other factors. Just because an amount is ordered does not mean it will stay the same indefinitely. Parents need to know how to request modifications.

Know the facts about child support modifications

Indiana law has specific rules in place for when people would like a child support modification.

There are two situations in which the support order can be changed. One is when the circumstances have changed significantly from the previous order, making it unreasonable. The second is when the order was made at least 12 months before the request and it differs from the current state guideline by more than 20%.

The changing of circumstances can stem from myriad reasons. Examples are when a parent does not follow the parenting plan or there is an increase in how much it costs to care for the child. Job loss or the custodial parent experiencing a windfall are other reasons for a potential change.

A child support order can also be modified if a child is emancipated and there is a support order for at least two children.

The age at which a child is automatically emancipated is 19. Parents must ask for a modification to change the order at that time.

Parents want the best for their children and part of that is providing financial support. Still, that does not mean the will remain static for its duration.

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