The Indiana child support calculator uses each parent’s weekly gross income to determine the amount of support owed.
This article on Indiana child support addresses topics, such as what counts as income, child support deductions and credits, and the effect of childcare and health insurance costs on an Indiana child support calculation.
What Counts as Income?
Income does not include payments the parent receives for benefits from means‑tested public assistance programs, including, but not limited to, Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income, and Food Stamps. Also excluded are survivor benefits received by or for other children residing in either parent’s home.
If a parent is self-employed or receives rents or royalty payments, then the income is calculated by determining gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses. In-kind benefits may also be considered as income if they are significant and reduce living expenses.
Does Overtime or a Bonus Count as Income?
While overtime, commission, or bonuses are not included typically in the base child support calculation, the court will often order the parent to pay a percentage of these if they are received.
If a parent is not salaried, then the court may take the parent’s income from the last year and average it out per pay period to determine a parent’s average weekly income.
Typically, the court will use a parent’s actual income, however there are a few instances in which the court may impute income to a parent or use an amount different than the parent’s actual income.
An example of when a court may impute income to a parent would be if the court finds that the parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed. This would be the case if the parent quit her job or is capable of earning a higher income and chooses not to. This can be shown from prior income.
If a parent does not have a work history, then the court may use minimum wage and impute minimum wage to the parent.
Child Support Deductions
Indiana Child Support Guidelines also consider the amount paid for child support for a prior born child, maintenance or alimony paid, and whether there are any subsequent born children living in the house.
Since these expenses reduce the amount of income available for the support of the child, these amounts are included in a child support obligation worksheet. After these items are deducted, an adjusted gross income is calculated.
Percentage Share of Income Determination
The next line on the Indiana child support calculator worksheet is a percentage share of income determination. This is calculated by adding each parent’s adjusted gross income together and dividing it by their respective income.
For example, if the father’s adjusted gross income is $1,000 per week and the mother’s adjusted gross income is $750 per week, then the father earns 57% of the income and the mother earns 43% of the income available for the support of the child.
If expenses are split “pro rata,” then it means that the parent is responsible for the percentage of the expense equivalent to the percentage of the income they earn. For example, if the parties are to split the remainder of the uninsured health care expenses pro rata after a certain amount is paid, then the mother from the example above would be responsible for 43% and the father would be responsible for 57%.
Childcare and Health Insurance in Child Support
In determining a parent’s child support obligation, the Indiana Child Support Guidelines include the cost of work-related childcare expenses and the child’s portion of the health insurance premium. The party who pays each expense has the expense deducted from their share of the child support obligation.
For example, if the mother provides health insurance for the child and the cost for the child’s portion of the premium is $25 per week, then her basic support obligation would be reduced by the amount she contributes toward this expense.
If Father pays the work-related child care costs for the children, then his basic support obligation is reduced by the amount he pays for this expense.
For example, using the parents’ income from the examples above, the father’s basic child support obligation would be $236.57 per week. However, if he pays $150 per week in work-related childcare and the mother does not pay anything toward this, then the father’s recommended child support obligation has been reduced to $86.57 per week.
Number of Overnights
The non-custodial parent’s child support obligation would be further reduced by the number of overnights the parent has with the children. For example, if the father from above had 98 overnights, which is typically the amount credited for Indiana Parenting Time Guideline minimums, then his child support obligation would drop to $48.12.
However, if the father received 150 overnights, then his support obligation would drop to $4.80. This is because the father is providing food, clothing, and other necessities for the children during his time with them and this would reduce the amount the mother would need to provide those items for the children.
Indiana Child Support Attorneys
If you believe you may be overpaying in child support or if you have questions about child support in your case, then you should contact the Indiana child support attorneys at Cordell & Cordell.
Cordell & Cordell has several offices in Indiana serving clients in all Indiana counties.