A judge looks at a variety of factors when determining child support payments. In addition to each parent’s income, the court considers children’s ages and specific needs.
However, these factors are likely to change between the time of divorce and the time when children are no longer minors. In Indiana, parents may be able to seek a change in support amounts under certain circumstances.
When can parents request support modification?
There are two circumstances under which the court may agree to modify support amounts:
- At least 12 months have passed since the current order went into effect and if recalculated under state guidelines, new payment amounts would be over 20% higher or lower
- A parent can demonstrate that substantial, ongoing changes in financial need or ability to pay makes the current order unreasonable
Parents can use the Indiana Supreme Court’s Child Support Calculator to determine whether the court may be likely to approve modification.
What are examples of significant changes?
There are many reasons that a parent may either need greater support amounts or find themselves unable to meet support obligations. Examples of substantial, ongoing changes may include:
- A job loss or major pay cut
- An increase in a child’s medical, educational or daycare needs
- A change in health care costs or coverage
- The need to relocate and/or change custody arrangements
Either the paying parent or the receiving parent may ask the court to review child support amounts. Once the court has reviewed the case, the state’s child support guidelines will determine whether payments increase, decrease or remain the same.