In paternity cases and dissolution of marriage cases involving unemancipated children, your court will likely order that one of the parents will have to pay child support to the other parent. However, as with most child related issues, child support can be modified. And so, when can that be accomplished?
In Indiana, child support can only be modified in two circumstances. One is when there has been a substantial change of circumstances that is continuing and makes the child support terms unreasonable. The second is when there has been at least a twelve-month passage of time from the issuance of the order setting child support and the new child support amount would differ by more than twenty percent than the current order for support.
These two different circumstances have important ramifications for what will need to be shown to try to get a modification of child support. For example, if you have been laid off or fired from your job, this could qualify as a substantial change of circumstances to support a modification of child support, without the need to wait the twelve-month period. Additionally, a modification of custody or parenting time could also qualify as a substantial change of circumstances to support the modification.
The other option to request a modification of child support is to wait at least twelve months from the issuance of the most recent order on child support, but there has to be a change in the child support amount by at least twenty percent. So, for example, if Mom was ordered to pay Dad $100 per week in child support, and the Order was issued on January 1, 2023, then for Mom to get a modification of child support, if there has not been a substantial change of circumstances, she would have to show that her child support order would be modified by at least $20 per week, and she would have to wait until at least January 1, 2024 before she could request a modification.
These rules have been put in place to help alleviate the burden on the courts. Various factors that impact a child support award change frequently. People receive pay raises, incur different healthcare costs, and their daycare expenses change. By having limitations on when a modification of child support can be granted, the Indiana legislature has attempted to limit how often child support modification matters can be brought to Court.
If you are currently paying or receiving child support and believe that a modification may be warranted or necessary, consulting with a family law attorney about your options can be helpful. The family law attorneys at Banks & Brower, LLC can help guide you to determine whether you eligible for a modification and if not, when you might be eligible. Give us a call at (317) 526-4630. You can schedule a consultation to discuss how our attorneys can help you navigate your case.