Child support is a component of the financial well-being of children whose parents are separated or divorced. In Indiana, like many other states, child support calculations follow a structured process designed to fairly distribute financial responsibilities between parents while prioritizing the needs of the child.

If you find yourself in a situation where child support needs to be determined, you may be wondering how the Indiana child support calculator works. In this article, we will find out how child support is calculated in Indiana, which is necessary for both parents involved. By learning these guidelines, determining income, and considering various factors, you’ll gain insight into the process.

Indiana Child Support Guidelines

Child support guidelines in Indiana, like those in many other states, establish a framework for determining the financial responsibilities of parents toward their children. These guidelines are used to determine the amount of financial support that a noncustodial parent is required to provide for their child.

Under the Indiana Child Support Guidelines, the income of each parent is considered when determining child support. This includes wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, and other sources of income. The guidelines also take into account any child care expenses, health insurance premiums, and extraordinary medical expenses.

The Indiana Child Support Guidelines provide a standard formula for calculating child support. This formula is based on the income shares model, which considers the income of both parents and the number of children. The guidelines also consider the amount of time each parent spends with the child.

If there are any special circumstances or additional expenses related to the child’s needs, the court may deviate from the standard guidelines. The Indiana Child Support Guidelines provide a consistent and fair approach to calculating child support, ensuring that the needs of the child are met.

Determining Income for Child Support

An Orange County child custody attorney stated that child support is a legal obligation. Failure to pay court-ordered child support can result in serious consequences, including wage garnishment, property liens, and even imprisonment in extreme cases.

In terms of determining the income of child support, the court considers both the actual income and the potential income of the parents. Actual income refers to the money that the parent actually earns, while potential income refers to what the parent could earn based on their education, training, and work history.

If a parent is unemployed or underemployed, the court may impute income to them. Imputed income is an estimate of what the parent could be earning. The court looks at the parent’s past earnings, job opportunities in the area, and their ability to work. This is done to make sure that both parents are contributing to the financial needs of the child.

In some cases, a parent may try to hide or reduce their income in order to avoid paying higher child support, yet Indiana law has measures in place to prevent this. The court has the authority to look at a parent’s income history, financial records, tax returns, and other relevant information to determine their true income. This helps ensure that child support calculations are fair and accurate.

Factors Considered in Child Support Calculations

These factors determine the amount of support that needs to be provided. The first factor is the income of both parents. This includes their wages, salaries, commissions, bonuses, and any other form of income.

The court considers the cost of health insurance coverage for the child, including dental and vision insurance. The cost of childcare, such as daycare or babysitting expenses, is another factor that’s taken into consideration.

If the child has any special needs or extraordinary expenses, such as medical or educational costs, these will also be factored into the calculation, and the court may consider any other relevant factors that it deems necessary to ensure the child’s best interests are met.

Calculating Basic Child Support Obligation

The calculation of the basic child support obligation in Indiana takes into account various factors, including the income of both parents and the number of overnights spent with the child.

The Indiana Child Support Guidelines provide a formula for determining the amount of child support that the noncustodial parent should pay. The formula considers both parents’ gross income, which includes wages, salaries, tips, bonuses, and other sources of income. It also takes into account certain deductions, such as taxes, mandatory retirement contributions, and health insurance premiums.

The number of overnights spent with the child is another factor in the calculation. The more overnights the noncustodial parent has, the lower their child support obligation will be. This is because the custodial parent incurs more expenses when the child is in their care. The calculation of the basic child support obligation aims to ensure that both parents contribute to the financial needs of their child in a fair and equitable manner.

Modifications and Enforcement of Child Support Orders

If you wish to modify an existing child support order, you must file a petition with the court. Your modification can be granted if there’s been a substantial and continuing change in circumstances since the original order was issued. This could include changes in income, medical expenses, or the needs of the child. Provide evidence to support your request for modification.

Enforcing a child support order in Indiana involves following specific steps as well. If the non-custodial parent fails to make their child support payments, the custodial parent can take legal action to enforce the order. One option is to file a petition for contempt with the court.

If the court finds the non-custodial parent in contempt, they may face penalties such as wage garnishment, driver’s license suspension, or even jail time. Child support orders can also be enforced across state lines through the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.


In Indiana, child support is calculated based on the Indiana Child Support Guidelines. The guidelines take into account factors such as the income of both parents, the number of children, and the parenting time arrangement.

The calculation is generally based on a formula that determines the basic child support obligation. Remember that child support orders can be modified or enforced if circumstances change or if there are issues with compliance.