Jesse G. Pace answers:
In terms of amount, Indiana uses what is called the “income shares model” where the gross incomes of both parents are used to calculate a child support amount. These guidelines tell us what will be included in gross income. For a self-employed individual, the court will more carefully review the income and watch out for any unnecessary deductions. Typically, actual expenses are permitted as deductions, but things like reimbursed meals or a company car would not be deducted from your gross income. In order for the Judge to review your income for child support you would present your W-2, K-1, tax return, or pay stub, whichever may be appropriate.
Child support in total lasts until the child reaches the age of 19, unless that child has an incapacity – in which case a support order could be extended.
Child support in Indiana is modifiable as a matter of law. What that means is that if you can show a continuing change of circumstances, the court can modify a prior support order if certain standards are met. For example, if your spouse receives a promotion and his or her income has increased, that sort of continuing change may warrant a modification of support. Similarly, if you lose your job, it may also warrant a modification of support. Indiana law does have some protections to prevent a party from seeking modifications regularly, so one party can’t keep taking the other party to court. Modifications cannot occur any sooner than one year since the last modification. Also, the Court may deny modifying the support order if the change from the old support order to the new order would be less than 20%.
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