Having a child can be a very wonderful experience as they will bring a lot of joy into your life. However, children today can also be quite expensive as the costs of housing, transportation, clothing, and education continue to increase. For those that are in the New Albany, IN area, ensuring that the children receive the financial resources that they need to thrive is very important. If the parents of a child are not married, determining an appropriate custody and child support plan is very important. The cost of child support for someone in this area of Indiana will vary and depend based on many factors.
How Is Child Support Calculated in New Albany, IN
The cost of child support for someone in the New Albany, NY area is based on an approach shared by the rest of the state. This is largely formula-driven and is based on a variety of different factors.
Determine Adjusted Gross Monthly Income
The first step in determining the amount of child support paid in Indiana is calculating a parent’s gross weekly income. The amount of gross weekly income takes into consideration all forms of income that a parent may receive. This can include standard salaries and wages, dividend income, investment income, social security, dividends, commissions, VA, or retirement benefits. If there are sources of income that vary throughout the year, they will typically be looked at on an annual basis and then divided by 52 to assess weekly averages.
After figuring out the gross monthly income, it can be adjusted for various factors. This level of income is typically adjusted downwards based on various costs that someone can incur. This can include existing child support payments, spousal support, or expenses approved to adjust their income. Once this is known, there is a chart used by the state to assess your total child support requirements.
Compare to State Chart
The State of Indiana maintains a child support calculation chart that will roughly outline the amount that someone will have to pay out of pocket. The amount paid out of pocket will vary based on their income, the number of children they have to support, and other factors. Generally, the more children that need to be supported, the less support per child someone will have to pay. There is also a child support cap that ensures the parent will not have to spend more than 50% of their adjusted weekly income on child support payments.
Level of Custody
The level of custody that someone has will also be factored into consideration. If one parent does not have any custody, they will likely be assessed the full allowable amount. If a parent holds a larger percentage of custody, they will likely incur costs while caring for the children. Due to this, the amount of custody paid could be lowered as well to reflect their actual out-of-pocket costs.
While there are general guidelines that are followed, there is always a chance that the child support payment needs can be altered by a judicial decision. The judge will typically follow the guidelines set but will have the flexibility to adjust the payments based on various factors.
Can Child Support Payments Be Modified?
When the initial child support payment is determined by the judge or agreed to by both parents, there is always a chance that it can change in the future. As the income of parents changes and expenses for the child increase over time, you can expect your child support payments to be modified. There are various situations in particular in which your support payments could be modified.
Additional Care Needed
One of the reasons why child support payments can be altered is that additional care is needed. There are always unexpected costs that pop up to ensure the child receives proper care. These costs can include medical bills, education costs, and other necessary expenses. If these occur, the child support payment can be modified and adjusted based on the judge’s discretion.
Change in Income
Child support payments are typically based on the income earned by the parent that does not retain the majority of child care. While this amount can be calculated at the time that the support payment is assessed, it is likely that income will change over time. If the parent experiences a promotion, increase in income, job loss, or decline in compensation, it can warrant reassessing the child support payment requirements.
How Long Are Child Support Payments Owed?
Child support is intended to provide a child with financial resources until they reach adulthood. In general, it is expected that a parent will continue to pay child support until the child is 19 years of age. By this time, a child has typically finished high school and could have even moved out of the home. While 19 is the general rule in Indiana, there are situations in which child support payments could be stopped by the time the child turns 18. In other situations, parents may be obligated to continue to pay child support until they turn 21 years of age. The extended child support maturity date will typically coincide with a request for support if the child pursues higher education after high school. Additional support may be required through alimony or other agreements.
Benefits of Hiring Legal Support
If you are going through a divorce or have recently had a child and are concerned about custody and child support financial arrangements, it is important that you speak with someone that is experienced and that you can trust. Those that are in the New Albany, IN area and need help with child support matters should speak with the family law professionals at CLLB Law. These legal professionals can offer you the guidance and support needed to ensure you receive the custody and support that you are entitled to. They can also walk you through the child support payment methodology to calculate what you should expect to pay or receive in support.