U.S. Census Bureau data shows that 47,500 Indiana residents divorced in the past year. The Hoosier State consistently ranks among the highest in the country for divorces, with three Indiana cities ranking in the top 25 with the highest divorce rates.
Because of this, the state is making significant changes to its child support laws that affect how courts determine support obligations and divide them among parents.
Starting January 1st, 2024, updates to child support guidelines in Indiana take effect. These are the first changes to the guidelines since 1989. These changes reflect Indiana’s commitment to:
- Evolving with the needs of families
- Providing a fair and comprehensive child support framework that considers various factors
- Promoting the well-being of the children involved
Costs of living
Support calculations are changing to more accurately reflect current costs of living. This is the first adjustment to the data underlying the Guidelines in many years, and practitioners are hopeful this will result in accurate, appropriate support orders that benefit Indiana’s children.
Parenting time credit
The modifications to the Guidelines also recognize that families may have different schedules for different children, and the revisions change the method of calculating parenting time credits when a parent spends a different number of overnights with their children.
Healthcare expense responsibility
The new Guidelines removes the 6% rule. Moving forward, routine non-prescription personal care expenses such as over-the-counter medications, bandages, and vitamins which do not travel with the child and are kept in the purchasing parent’s home are paid by the parent exercising parenting time when the expense is incurred.
When it comes to non-routine uninsured health care expenses, the Guidelines direct that they should be paid in proportion to the parties’ incomes. Uninsured health care expenses are defined as “any health care expenses remaining after a claim has been submitted to the child’s health insurance carrier.” These expenses may include, but are not limited to, claims applied to the policy’s deductible, claims exceeding policy limits, or the patient responsibility after payments or discounts from insurance have been applied.
If you pay or receive child support, seek legal help, so you can understand these changes and how they will affect you and your children.