Indiana Child Support Calculator
Court will determine support amount if combined weekly income is less than $100.
Indiana Child Support: What Parents Need to Know
Child support ensures that both parents meet their obligation to financially care for their children.
Married parents receive a child support order in their divorce or separation case. Unmarried parents can receive an order in a custody or paternity case, or in a standalone child support case.
Child support basics
Indiana uses a formula to determine which parent should pay support and how much. A judge uses the result as a guideline when issuing a child support order.
In a settlement, parents can agree to deviate from the guideline amount if the children's financial needs are still met, which a judge decides when reviewing the agreement.
When parents aren't in agreement, a judge usually orders the guideline amount but can deviate based on evidence presented by either parent.
The child support order requires one parent to make weekly payments to the other until each child turns 19. If a child has extraordinary or special needs, a judge may extend the payments. Indiana also allows ongoing support for older children's college expenses.
Typically, the noncustodial parent pays because the custodial parent spends more on caring for the children. Parents' genders aren't a factor.
Keep in mind that child support is a right of children — not of either parent. Parents aren't allowed to forfeit child support, nor can a parent give up their parental rights to avoid paying. Parents who don't have legal custody or parenting time must still pay, and support doesn't end if a parent marries.
Calculating child support
To determine the weekly payment amount and which parent pays, use Indiana's online child support calculator, which generates printable forms that you must file with your court when you open a case. Alternatively, you can download and fill out the forms to calculate support manually, or use the calculator above to instantly get a support estimate.
Indiana's child support formula considers:
- Each parent's income
- How much each pays toward children's health insurance, child care and education
- The number of children in the case
- Whether either parent pays or receives child support in other cases
- The number of annual overnights each parent has according to the parenting time schedule
County child support offices
Every county has a child support office (a division of the county prosecutor's office) that assists the court in establishing and enforcing child support orders. Unmarried parents can opt to use their county child support office to get court orders for paternity testing and child support.
The statewide Child Support Bureau (part of the Department of Child Services) automatically opens a child support case when a parent who receives public assistance (e.g., food stamps) files for divorce or when an unmarried parent without a child support order files for public assistance.
These offices don't handle custody or parenting time, so parents who need orders for these issues should go through the family court process.
Enforcing child support
When a parent fails to pay ordered support, the receiving parent can request enforcement from their county's child support office. The office may garnish wages, charge interest on past due payments, intercept tax refunds and stimulus payments, place liens on property, suspend licenses and confiscate passports.
If these enforcement methods don't work, the prosecutor's office can pursue felony charges that include jail time and fees up to $10,000.
Modifying child support
Parents can ask the court to modify their child support order when a substantial and ongoing change of circumstances makes the payments unreasonable. Alternatively, the court can modify a child support order that was issued at least 12 months ago if recalculating the payments with updated information results in at least a 20 percent change.
If parents agree to the modification, they can submit a notarized joint petition for modification to the court. The court will approve the change as long as one of the above requirements is met.
When parents don't agree on modification, either can file a petition for modification, and the court will hold a hearing to decide if the order should be changed.
When parents have multiple children together, payments can change after each child turns 19 — but not automatically. Parents must request a modified order when it's time.
Parenting time and child support
Estimating your parenting time can impact your support order by thousands of dollars. Still, attorneys and the court usually estimate because calculating manually is tedious.
You can tweak your schedule in the app to see how even little changes affect your timeshare. And you can see how your overnights fluctuate each year due to holidays and other events.
Whether you're paying or receiving child support, make sure your parenting time calculation is exact. The number could affect you, your child and the other parent for years to come.