The Indiana Child Support Guidelines are set to undergo significant revisions in 2024. The coming shift in the method of determining child support intends to adapt Indiana guidelines to the evolving landscape of families within the state. Updating the economic theory and using recent financial data, the guidelines for establishing child support in Indiana have been revised to address, clarify, or eliminate several issues and streamline the process for families.
Eliminating The 6% Rule:
The “6% Rule”, which required a child support recipient to pay a specific amount of uninsured health care expenses annually before allocating expenses proportionately by income, has been eliminated. This outdated model estimated uninsured healthcare expenses as 6% of the primary child support obligation. Instead, uninsured healthcare expenses will be treated as an add-on to the direct support obligation, similar to how health insurance premiums are currently handled under the guidelines. This method reasons parents should share the cost of uninsured healthcare expenses based on their respective incomes. The weekly support schedule has been adjusted to exclude these expenses from the primary support obligation. These changes simplify and clarify the handling of medical expenses while maintaining the pre-existing obligation of both parents.
Revised Definition of Uninsured Health Care Expenses:
The amendments suggest revised language for defining uninsured health care expenses, offering clarity and precision in determining what qualifies as an uninsured health care expense. Health Care Coverage Courts are now empowered to consider the reasonableness of using out-of-network providers and can exercise discretion to disallow claims for contribution in cases where preapproval for specific procedures or healthcare providers is not obtained. To streamline the process, contributions to or reimbursements for health care expenses are expected to occur within 30 days of documentation, whether from payment and insurance claims or from the date
of service. Parents providing children’s health insurance are now mandated to show proof of coverage and provide necessary materials for insurance claims to the other parent, fostering transparency and efficiency in managing health-related expenses.
Equal Responsibility for Postpartum Expenses:
Fathers must now contribute at least 50% of postpartum, postnatal, and other necessary and reasonable expenses related to a child’s birth, reflecting a more equitable distribution of responsibilities.
Child Support Obligation Worksheets:
Regardless of whether or not both parties agree, the revisions require each parent to file a child support obligation worksheet for the court’s record. Suppose the court decides to deviate from the recommended amount on the worksheet. In that case, the parties must justify or explain the deviation beyond simply letting the court know they agree.
Parenting Time Adjustment:
The revised guidelines place a stronger emphasis on the role of parenting time in determining child support obligations. Indiana recognizes the importance of both parents actively participating in the upbringing of their children. Accordingly, the new guidelines include adjustments based on the number of overnights each parent has with the child, aiming for a more equitable distribution of financial responsibilities.
If you have a child support issue, contact McNeelyLaw today. Call us at 317-825-5110 to talk to an experienced family law attorney who can help navigate you through your case.
This McNeelyLaw LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion of any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.