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Special factors that can impact the allocation of child support

On Behalf of | Sep 12, 2023 | Family Law

Child support is an important way to help provide for children’s basic needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter. However, changes in the parents’ circumstances can affect the amount of child support payments. These may include changes in income or employment. In such cases, they may be able to ask the court for child support modifications, even if there is already a pre-existing arrangement in place.

Change in potential income

Child support is determined by several factors, such as earnings, the number of children they have and if any child has special needs. Oftentimes, a parent’s ability to make money may affect the amount of child support. Under Indiana laws, an attribution of child support can be affected due to these circumstances:
  • If a custodial parent with younger kids at home has no prior skills or education and is unemployed, it may be unfair to attribute potential income to that parent.
  • Even if a parent has never worked, the court may consider potential income if they are voluntarily unemployed without justification.
  • If a parent is unemployed due to involuntary layoff or job termination and is capable of earning income or more, the court may include their potential earnings in the calculation of child support.
However, the court exercises discretion when figuring out potential income. It considers factors such as the parent’s work history, education, job capabilities and the availability of other employment. And they do not attribute potential income in a way that results in an unrealistic child support obligation.

Exceptions to payments

There are certain circumstances where exceptions to child support payments may be appropriate. In Indiana, if a parent is unable to work due to severe illness or due to caring for a disabled child, it may not be fair to attribute potential income to that parent. Similarly, potential income should not be attributed if a parent is incarcerated and has no assets or income.
Ultimately, many particular factors and exceptions can impact the allocation of child support. Judges have the difficult task of deciding how much child support to rule to ensure a fair and realistic calculation. As people and circumstances evolve, it’s essential to gauge whether the original child support payment is still appropriate.
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