Indiana Child Support Changes in 2024
Person holding a child’s hand, representing Indiana child support changes and how they may impact families.
Indiana Child Support Changes in 2024

In October of 2023, the Indiana Supreme Court issued an Order Amending Child Support Rules and Guidelines for the state of Indiana. Effective January 1, 2024, the new rules update the methodology for estimated household expenses attributable to the cost of raising children based on more recent consumer spending data, among other revisions. These Indiana child support changes affect new and existing child support orders, so individuals receiving or paying support, as well as those in the process of divorce with children, need to be aware of the potential impacts.

Indiana Child Support Changes: The Road to New Rules and Guidelines

Child support in Indiana is governed by Indiana Code Title 31. The Indiana Judicial Conference Domestic Relations Committee is responsible for maintaining the Indiana Child Support Rules and Guidelines in a manner that is consistent with the law. The committee submitted its recommendations to the Indiana Supreme Court, which issued the order making the new guidelines official.

New Data Incorporated in 2024 Indiana Child Support Changes

The former iteration of the Indiana Child Support Rules and Guidelines based its calculations of child support obligations on economic data and a methodology from the 1970s. The new guidelines use the Rothbarth methodology—based on consumer expenditure data from 2013 to 2019—to make the calculations and adjustments.

This new approach resulted in changes to the Guideline Schedules for Weekly Support Payments, with increases in the amount of support required for most income levels, except in the lower ranges. The worksheet was also updated to reflect new data showing that the costs of raising children are higher for the first child and decrease with additional children. As a result, families with multiple children may see a reduction in the total amount of child support due, though not in all cases.

The Parenting Time Table, which determines the amount of support that is offset by overnights spent with the noncustodial parent, was also updated. This will impact child support payments for parents with shared custody agreements.

The new Indiana child support rules also remove uninsured health care expenses from the basic support calculation. Courts will now order the division of responsibility for uninsured health care expenses for children separately from the basic support amount. The responsibility for uninsured health care costs that were incurred will now be shared by parents in proportion to their income.

Indiana Child Support Rules for Deviating from the Guidelines

The 2024 Indiana child support changes also include a rebuttable presumption that the amount of support recommended by the guidelines is appropriate. A court may deviate from the guidelines and allow adjustments for unforeseen factors. The rules require an explanation of the reasons for the deviation, noting that agreement by the parties alone is not sufficient cause for deviation.

The list of conditions that support a deviation from the Indiana child support guidelines now includes the following:

  • Payment of union dues required for employment;
  • Support of an elderly parent; 
  • An extraordinary burden of personal medical expenses for the noncustodial parent;
  • Living in housing provided by the military; 
  • Shared responsibility for the child’s controlled expenses (new in 2024); 
  • Participation in a work release or other correctional program with fees (new in 2024);
  • Differentiation in the number of overnights spent with the noncustodial parent by each child (new in 2024); and
  • Significant travel expenses required to exercise parenting time.

The additions to the list are noted above. The following conditions were removed from the list of reasons for deviation from the standard formula:

  • Purchases of school clothes by the noncustodial parent;
  • Payments to a former spouse related to a previous divorce; and
  • Extraordinary travel required for employment.

The rules explain that the conditions included in the guidelines are not the exclusive reasons that a court may choose to deviate from the calculations in the Indiana Child Support Rules and Guidelines. It is recommended that practitioners and judges use sound judgment in requesting and ordering deviations, and reasoning for the deviations must be documented in the court order.

Indiana Child Support Changes in Paternity Cases

The Indiana Child Support Rules and Guidelines include a provision for recovery of expenses related to childbirth in Indiana paternity actions. The new version of the guidelines includes postpartum and postnatal expenses, plus other “necessary and reasonable expenses” that occur related to childbirth, in this obligation. The rule now states that the father is responsible for 50 percent of these costs, and courts have the discretion to order a higher percentage if they deem it appropriate.

Contact Brooke Lindsey to Learn How the Changes Impact You

Parents paying or receiving child support payments, as well as those in the early stages of divorce with children, will be impacted by these Indiana child support changes. Brooke Lindsey is an experienced Indianapolis family lawyer who can answer your child support questions and help you evaluate how the new rules impact your situation. Contact Brooke Lindsey Family Law by calling 317-819-0532 or completing this online contact form