Jesse G. Pace answers:
The Indiana Child Support Rules and Guidelines are drafted by a committee and approved by Indiana’s Supreme Court. The guidelines are instructive for a party to look at to see what sort of income may or may not be included for the purposes of calculating that parent’s child support. They are also helpful to review to understand how Indiana calculates child support.
Child support payments cover a wide range of expenses and it is presumed in our Guidelines that the parent receiving the payments is paying what we call “the controlled expenses.” Controlled expenses include expenses for the children like school supplies, school lunches, book fees, and seasonal clothing (like a winter coat).
Child support payments also prepay a portion of the children’s uninsured medical expenses up to a threshold amount as calculated on the support worksheet. This is called the 6% rule. Once the payee reaches that threshold, any remaining uninsured medical expenses are divided between the parties on a pro-rata basis, meaning, by your income earning percentages. The support calculation can also factor in who is paying for the children’s health insurance coverage, as well as work-related child-care costs. These expenses are included on the support worksheet and are also apportioned on a pro-rata basis.
Child support does not include payment for extracurricular activities but can be ordered by the Court. These are activities like soccer, summer camp, and scouting. The Court will look to see each parent’s ability to pay, which parent is encouraging the activity, whether the children have historically participated in the activity, and the reasons why a parent may encourage or discourage participation in an activity.