How to Modify Child Support Payments in Indiana

By Heather Frances J.D.

Indiana couples with children typically obtain a child support order as part of their divorce decree, but often the order must be modified after the divorce to meet the family's changing circumstances. In Indiana, a court can modify a support order only in certain situations, including when a parent has experienced a substantial and continuing change in circumstances.

Following an Order

Until a court modifies your child support order, your old order remains in place and legally enforceable. Thus, you are responsible for following your most recent child support order. You cannot reduce the amount of payments until the court issues a new order that modifies them. Even if you think you have a good reason for failing to pay -- perhaps a job loss or illness -- you might be penalized if you don’t pay.

Agreement

You and your ex-spouse can agree to change your child support order, but you must still obtain court approval to officially replace the old one. If you cannot agree with your ex-spouse, you can ask the court to decide on a modified amount. Indiana courts use Indiana’s child support guidelines to determine a reasonable child support amount, though they can deviate from the amount in the guidelines if the guideline amount would be unjust.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Requesting Modification

You can begin your modification case by filing a petition with the appropriate court, usually the court that issued your most recent support order. The Indiana Judiciary website offers several petition forms. The form required will depend on the circumstances of your case. For example, if you and your former spouse have reached an agreement on modification, you will use a certain form and a different form if you have not. If you wish to modify or terminate support because your child has become a legal adult or for another reason, you will also use a particular form. Once you file the appropriate petition, you must provide a copy to your ex-spouse.

Change of Circumstances

In your petition, you must establish that the court has authority to modify your support order. In Indiana, the court can change your child support order only in two situations. One is if your circumstances have changed so significantly, and continuously, that your child support order is no longer reasonable. Or the court can make a change if a new order, created under Indiana’s guidelines, would change your existing order by more than 20 percent and your previous order is at least one year old. You must be prepared to provide evidence of the claims you make in your petition. For example, you might provide tax returns or pay stubs showing your reduced income or a letter of termination from your employer.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How Often Can a Person File for an Increase in Child Support After the Divorce Is Final?
 

References

Related articles

Can I Go After My Ex-Husband's New Wife's Income for More Child Support in California?

As part of a California divorce decree, the court generally issues a child support order, which is based on your living situation and incomes at the time of the divorce. If your ex-husband remarries, you probably won’t be able to successfully pursue a portion of his new wife’s income except in limited circumstances.

Can I Amend a Divorce Decree After Five Months in Wisconsin?

Your divorce decree may address issues like child support, child custody and spousal support, but the decree may become outdated as your circumstances change. In Wisconsin, it is often possible to modify your divorce decree, but it is difficult to do so after just five months since you’ll have to show the court there has been a significant change in circumstances since the decree was issued. Further, if you are attempting to change child custody, you must show the current conditions are physically or emotionally harmful to your child.

How to File for Modification of Child Support in Alabama

You may file for modification of child support anytime a change in circumstances, as defined by Alabama law, has occurred. In most cases, a change in either parent's income of more than 10 percent qualifies. Paying extraordinary expenses, such as special medical care for the child, may also merit a change in support. You can file a petition for modification in the circuit court of the Alabama county where the custodial parent lives or in the county that issued the original support order.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to Request a Child Support Order Be Decreased in Texas

If you lose your job, you become ill or your child's healthcare expenses go down, courts in Texas may decrease the ...

How to Change Child Support When a Child Comes of Age in Texas

Whether your child support order was part of a divorce decree or entered separately, child support doesn’t go on ...

Can Child Support Go Up When a Spouse Makes More Money in California?

Child support orders are not permanent, but instead adaptable to particular changes of circumstance. In California, the ...

How to Revise a Colorado Divorce

It's possible to modify your divorce decree to reflect your current circumstances -- for example, if you or your ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED