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Divorce 101: Child Support FAQ

On Behalf of | Dec 30, 2014 | Firm News

If your divorce involves unemancipated children, child support will likely be an issue that needs to be addressed. This blog entry will focus on common questions regarding child support.

How is child support calculated in Indiana?

Child support in Indiana is calculated with the use of a worksheet. The figures needed to calculate child support are as follows:

· the number of children

· each parent’s gross income

· any child support either parent pays for prior born children

· the amount of maintenance paid for prior marriages

· the number of subsequent children either parent has

· the amount each parent pays for work-related child care expenses

· the amount each parent pays for health insurance premiums for the children

· the number of overnights the non-custodial parent exercises with the children

Once those numbers are put into the calculator, the calculator produces a worksheet that states what the weekly child support obligation is.

What is a child support worksheet?

Below is an example of a child support worksheet. The circle in red is the amount of child support this hypothetical person would pay based on the other numbers contained on the worksheet.

What is gross income?

The calculation of gross income can be complicated for some people, particularly business owners or people that are paid on commission. The basic definition of gross income in the child support guidelines is as follows: actual weekly gross income of the parent if employed to full capacity, potential income if unemployed or underemployed, and imputed income based upon “in‑kind” benefits. Weekly gross income of each parent includes income from any source, except as excluded below, and includes, but is not limited to, income from salaries, wages, commissions, bonuses, overtime, partnership distributions, dividends, severance pay, pensions, interest, trust income, annuities, capital gains, social security benefits, workmen’s compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, disability insurance benefits, gifts, inheritance, prizes, and alimony or maintenance received from other marriages. Social Security disability benefits paid for the benefit of the child must be included in the disabled parent’s gross income. The disabled parent is entitled to a credit for the amount of Social Security disability benefits paid for the benefit of the child. Specifically excluded are benefits from means‑tested public assistance programs, including, but not limited to, Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income, and Food Stamps. Also excluded are survivor benefits received by or for other children residing in either parent’s home.

If your gross income is complicated, it is best to discuss your income with an attorney to determine the appropriate weekly gross income to put on the child support worksheet.

How do I calculate the children’s portion of health insurance premiums?

The credit either parent may receive on the worksheet for health insurance premiums is only for the portion of the premiums that is paid for the children. This amount can be calculated by reviewing the matrix the health insurance provider provides you each year when you are choosing your health insurance. Generally, the matrix will look like this:

Bi-weekly cost*




*The matrix will indicate whether the cost is monthly, bi-monthly, bi-weekly, etc. Generally, the cost is by pay period. Remember that the impute for the worksheet is the weekly cost of the insurance for the children.

In this example, the employee’s cost for the child is $50 every two weeks for one child. This is calculated by subtracting the amount the employee pays for him/herself with the childless the amount the employee pays for him/herself. Therefore, if this employee had one child they would get a $25 per week credit on the worksheet for health insurance premiums. If they have two children they would get a credit for $40 per week ($180 – $100 divided by 2).

Now if the above employee is covering their subsequent spouse (meaning the spouse not involved in the child support calculation), the credit for the children regardless of the number of children would be $15 because the cost for the children is only $30 per pay period.

Is there a calculator online that I can use?

Yes, the state provides a calculator here .

Do we have to use the amount that the child support worksheet calculates?

The child support guidelines state that “In any proceeding for the award of child support, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the amount of the award which would result from the application of the Indiana Child Support Guidelines is the correct amount of child support to be awarded.” With that said, if the parties can state an adequate reason for a deviation then the court may approve an agreement that deviates from the calculation on the worksheet.

Does a child support worksheet have to be submitted with my divorce decree?

If your divorce involves children, most Indiana courts require that a child support worksheet be submitted with your divorce decree, even if the child support calculation results in neither party paying child support.

If you would like to speak with an attorney, call us today at 317-953-2182 or complete our contact form and we’ll call you within one business day.