By: Nicole Makris, Attorney
Child support is intended to provide children with the standard of living that they would have enjoyed if their household had remained intact. Once the court issues a child support order, the order may only be modified if statutory criteria are met. The same rules apply to an order for college or post-secondary education expenses, which is in the nature of a child support order. Indiana Code § 31-16-8-1 includes the standards that must be met before a parent may request a modification of a child support order.
Substantial and Continuing Change of Circumstances
The first way that a child support order may be modified is if the parent requesting the modification is able to show that substantial and continuing changed circumstances have occurred that have made the current child support order unreasonable. Examples of these changes of circumstances are the emancipation of one of the children who are subject to a child support order, changes in employment and income of a parent, incarceration of a parent, or if an agreed change in the custodial arrangement between the parents has occurred.
Changes to Factors in Child Support Calculation
The second way that a child support order may be modifiable is if an updated child support calculation would result in more than a 20% change from the child support order in effect, and if the child support order has been in place for at least twelve months before the petition for modification is filed. A more than 20% change in the child support amounts can come about through an increase or decrease in the income of a parent, or changes to the other factors considered in a child support calculation such as the number of children subject to the order, the cost of the children’s healthcare and/or work-related childcare expenses, or the number of overnights exercised by the non-custodial parent.
If a modification of child support is granted, the earliest date that the modification may be retroactive to is the date that the petition to modify was filed. The two exceptions to this rule are if the parents have agreed to and complied with a different method of payment which is in substantial compliance with the intention of the child support order, or if the parent who is paying child support assumes custody of the child so that a permanent change of custody occurs.
Child support modifications are very fact-sensitive. Consult with an experienced family law attorney regarding the details of your case.
By: Casandra L. Ringlespaugh, Attorney
The Indiana Civil Protection Order Act, or ICPOA, is a set of laws passed Indiana in 2002 in regards to domestic and family violence. Under the ICPOA, Courts can issue Orders to protect people from domestic or family violence, stalking, or a sex offense. These Court Orders are called “Protection Orders” or “Orders for Protection,” and the terms are used interchangeably. A protective order may be issued when a Judge finds, by a majority of the evidence, that the respondent (other person) represents a credible threat to the safety of petitioner…
Catholic Pope Amends Religious Annulment Process — What is the difference between a religious and civil annulment?
By: Elizabeth A. Eichholtz, Attorney
Pope Francis announced on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 that the Catholic Church is changing the religious annulment process . The amendments make the process easier and cheaper for individuals seeking an annulment. What does this mean for Indiana couples who were married in the Catholic Church and are now seeking a divorce? While this change is intended to make the religious annulment process easier, it has no actual bearing on the divorce process. To better understand the implications of the new process, it’s important to note the difference between a civil divorce and a religious annulment and how those are treated within the context of civil and canon law.
By: Julie Andrews, Attorney
A few years ago, the legislature passed a law that changed the age of emancipation in Indiana. Children are emancipated at age 19. The legal effect of this is that parents no longer have a legal obligation to financially support children once they attain 19 years of age. But what happens if a parent has a child with a disability? The controlling statute regarding emancipation Indiana Code § 31-16-6-6 which states in relevant part:
(a) The duty to support a child under this chapter, which does not include support for educational needs, ceases when the child becomes nineteen (19) years of age unless any of the following conditions occurs:
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If you take inventory of your friends’ relationships you will most likely find a few couples that are living together. Cohabitation can often mean joint bank accounts, joint purchases, joint contracting, joint debts, and of course, joint puppy or kitten purchasing. All of these joint transactions can have legal implications in the event of a split.
It seems like everyone is talking about Generation Y, or Millennials, and how they will be impacting the workforce and society in general in the next few years. Demographers estimate this generation to be the largest population cohort the U.S. has ever seen. Generation Y is defined as people born between 1983-2000, although opinions do differ by a few years.
by: Brian K. Zoeller, Attorney
Do-it-yourself projects can be found all over cable television. Celebrity chefs show us how to create the most amazing meals to wow our family and friends. Contractors design and create the perfect backyard landscaping project within short timeframes and assure us that with a little knowledge and several extra pairs of hands, we too can have a showcase home. In our neighborhoods, local stores put on demonstrations to show us how easily we can frame our own pictures or reupholster our furniture.
by: Sarah T. Starkey, Attorney
Most often the stories that the media report on when it comes to children being removed from their parent’s care by the State involve abuse or neglect of those children while in foster care. This leaves the public with a bad taste in their mouth when it comes to thinking of those charged with protecting our state’s youth. While the stories of children being abused and neglected in foster care are most definitely newsworthy, so too are the stories of the successes in these cases, so seldom reported on by the media.
by: Brian K. Zoeller, Attorney
Custody disputes often play a part in divorce proceedings. Even though the marriage is ending, a couple may have children to raise and want to remain active parents and do what is in the best interest of the child. Joint custody is a popular choice for many parents and allows them equal opportunity to spend time with their children. The alternative is an arrangement where one parent has primary custody while the other retains rights of parenting time and is able to maintain a presence in the child’s life.