During your marriage, you and your spouse may have had little issue providing for your child and covering your family’s expenses. As you two divorce, though, you may fear that your kid will lose out. Your split will be especially challenging if you will be their custodial parent, yet your spouse was your household’s breadwinner. In this case, you will want to do everything in your power to ensure your child support order is fair.
Child support basics
In Indiana, both you and your spouse must use a percentage of your income toward your child’s expenses. Your individual contributions, though, will depend on the difference between your earnings. Following this model, you will both fulfill your obligation to your child until they turn 19. Your child support order will terminate before then, though, if they are no longer in your care. And it may end early, too, if your child joins the military or marries before their 19th birthday.
Your support order will account for the standard of living you and your spouse established for your family. State law presumes that it is in your child’s best interests to maintain this standard. Furthermore, your order will factor in additional expenses, like health insurance and childcare costs. These will divide between you and your spouse based on your respective incomes.
Your spouse’s obligation
If your spouse works full-time, their child support obligation will derive from their weekly gross income. Any bonuses, commissions or overtime pay they earn may also count toward this figure as appropriate. Yet, your spouse may try to avoid paying their share of support by quitting their job or reducing their work responsibilities. If they do, a judge may make them provide support based on their potential income. This figure accounts for the income your spouse is capable of earning. If they are involuntarily unemployed, they may still have to pay support based on it, depending on their circumstances.
While your divorce will be hard on your child, prioritizing their needs can make the process easier. A fair support order will ensure you have the resources to help them thrive afterward.