Indiana child custody arrangements that divide parents into custodial and noncustodial parents typically require the noncustodial parent to pay child support. Joint custody arrangements, however, might alter this pattern. Indiana divorce courts might reduce or eliminate child support payments in Indiana when both parents care for children 50 percent of the time and earn roughly equivalent incomes.
Equal Parenting Time
Indiana law deems parenting time to be equal when both parents each care for their children 182 overnights per year. Daytime parenting time does not count towards overnights. A parent must typically care for children overnight to get an overnight credit in calculating child support in Indiana. If a parent exercises parenting during the day multiple times throughout the week, such as picking the children up from school and returning them in the evening to the custodial parent, an experienced Indiana divorce attorney can argue that the Court should provide some overnight credit to reflect the care the non-custodial parent provides during the day throughout the week.
Parents with similar earnings who evenly split their parenting time might not need to make child support payments. However, they will still to determine how to equally divide ongoing costs for school tuition, medical care, and other child-related expenses.
If one parent does earn more than the other parent, then courts might order the higher earner to make child support payments even when parenting time is equal.
Close-to-Equal Parenting Time
For various reasons, some joint custody schedules may not achieve an exact 50/50 division of parenting time. In those circumstances, Indiana child support is calculated, in part, by entering the amount of overnights a parent exercises. Indiana Family courts will adjust child support orders in accordance with the amount of parenting time that a person provides. In addition, if a parent is providing other “in kind” benefits such as paying for cell phones, car payments, etc.., said parent may be entitled to a reduction in their Indiana child support obligation based on the amount of money being spent on the children above and beyond their day to day needs.
How Much Child Support Do I Pay in Indiana
In Indiana, child support is calculated based on the Indiana Child Support Guidelines. In general, Indiana child support is calculated based on the gross income of the parents, the amount of overnights a parent exercises and other applicable credits such as payments made by a parent for health insurance and work related child care expenses. A parent can also receive a credit in determining an Indiana child support obligation for prior and subsequent born children. To determine income Indiana family courts typically examine paystubs, tax returns and bank statements from each party.
Our Carmel divorce attorneys at Webster & Garino provide personalized advice to parents. We can evaluate your income and parenting time schedule to explain how the court might determine your child support in Indiana. Contact our office to schedule an appointment.