What You Need to Know About Indiana’s New Child Support Guidelines

Emily J. Schmale

Author: Emily J. Schmale

POST DATE: 12.7.23
Ccha  Family Law

In October 2023, the Indiana Supreme Court approved new Indiana child support guidelines to go live on January 1, 2024. These new Indiana child support guidelines make several updates, including changing rules for:

  • Calculating your weekly support figure,

  • Deviating from the guidelines,

  • Splitting uninsured medical expenses, and

  • Modifying parenting time credit calculations.

These updates are intended to streamline child support, while more accurately representing actual expenses allocation.

Understanding the new rules can help you get the most effective child support arrangement for your situation. If you need assistance evaluating, setting up, or modifying a child support order, contact Church Church Hittle and Antrim. Our family- and community-oriented firm has been around since 1880, serving the people of Indiana. We are passionate about our holistic approach to law and our approachable, friendly culture, allowing us to break down barriers to better serve our clients.

Calculating child support on calculator

Payment Obligations

The new Indiana child support guidelines update the method used to calculate weekly support obligations. The new method better approximates actual family spending on children across different income levels. Depending on the number of children and weekly income, you may see higher or lower payments. However, the Indiana Supreme Court expects the new guidelines to result in an overall increase in payments.

You can consult the table provided by the Court to roughly determine the amount you will owe based on your weekly income, though it is important to note such tables do not take all relevant legal factors for support calculation into consideration. Or you can bypass the chart and use an updated Indiana child support calculator after the first of the year.

Differing Overnight Calculations

Calculating child support requires addressing “overnight credits”, which has been difficult under the current model when multiple children within one family use different parenting time schedules. To simplify, the Indiana child support changes incorporate a mechanism for a more precise calculation when children have different schedules. The new guidelines provide clear instructions on calculating, then averaging, overnight credits for use in the updated 2024 calculator.

Mom hugging daughter

Guideline Deviations

In the past, Courts may have accepted parties deviating from the child support guidelines, by agreement, with little or no explanation. The updated guidelines reiterate that the calculation creates a “rebuttable presumption,” meaning the Courts assume that the support calculation is the correct amount of support. So, as of January 2024, parties will need to include a material explanation for a deviation away from the support number calculated by the guidelines. Based on that explanation, a Court must conclude if deviating from the guidelines is just and appropriate. Parties must complete and submit a Child Support Obligation Worksheet (CSOW).

The guidelines remove a few previous examples justifying deviation, like:

  • The noncustodial parent buying school clothes;

  • A parent still paying a former spouse for a prior divorce; and

  • One parent traveling an unusually long distance to work.

However, the Court provided new examples in exchange, like:

  • Parents sharing the child’s controlled expenses;

  • A parent being on work release or a similar correctional program; and

  • Children spending variable amounts of overnight time with the noncustodial parent.

Controlled expenses are costs usually covered by the custodial parent, like clothing, educational expenses, and personal care.

Medical Expenses

Another update is the elimination of the “6% Rule” governing uninsured medical expenses. Currently, the custodial parent first spends 6% of the child support payments received toward uninsured healthcare before the non-custodial parent begins to contribute directly to medical expenses.

Given that the 6% model is out-of-date, burdensome, and inefficient, the Court has created a new system. Generally, parents should split expenses by percentage of income. The court recommends the child support order clearly lay out which expenses qualify for the split.

To facilitate ease of treatment, both parents must have the child’s insurance cards and coverage information. This way, one parent can pay for expenses that arise during their time with the child and request appropriate reimbursement from the other parent.

Emily Schmale Discusses the New Indiana Child Support Guidelines

CCHA Law’s Emily Schmale, Partner in the Family Law practice group, was interviewed by WTHR’s Allison Gormly as an expert in family law and the new Child Support Guidelines. Watch the interview to learn more about the changes and how they could impact your family.


Emily Schmale being interviewed

CCHA Law Can Help

The new Indiana Child Support Guidelines will not result in automatic changes to existing court orders or agreements. If you are wondering how the new Indiana child support guidelines will impact you, reach out to CCHA Law today. We can help you explore your options, help you understand the specific implications of the law to your unique situation, and, if necessary, help you set up or modify a child support order. Our community-driven family lawyers can put you at ease as we work through these new rules together.