Q+A: Indiana's child support system

Join Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney and local experts for a discussion about the state of the child support system in Indiana.

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  • Investigators find, arrest child support deadbeats in growing Indiana trend

    RTV6Some county prosecutors in Indiana have begun hiring their own child support investigators with law enforcement powers as a more aggressive way to find child support fugitives.
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  • They take 55% of our pay and expect us to be able to be able to pay our other bills. I realize my responsibility however it'd be nice to have money to pay my bills as well as be able to take her out and do something fun with her during our time. They take 55% of our money and don't give us 50% of shared time. So basically you're saying the money is more important than time with the non custodial parent. Yep seems about right!!!
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  • It seems that the primary reason Indiana and other states are so proactive in collecting is so they can get their hands on a portion of the proceeds. I have often wondered how quickly the states would drop their pursuit if they couldn't collect a "tax" on the weekly payments in the form of poundage. Why aren't they as aggressive in collecting for those owed hundreds and not thousands even though the obligations can go back for years?
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  • What about the custodial parent who has to take on all of the expenses because the non-custodial parent is not paying their court ordered support? The system is broken due to the limits of what can be done to enforce and collect payment. $47,000 in arrears and counting!
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  • I really dislike the term "dead beat dad". My son 28, currently lives at my home. He cannot find stable work. Tem services help, but they are not reliable. He is $9000 behind on his 6 year old son and is to pay $81 per week. His pay check is about $210 per week. He has no car, but needs one. ently went to court for being behind on support and was told by the judge to come back with a lawyer or go to jail... He makes too much for free legal aide or medcaid. A lawyer will cost him around $800. He starts a new "temp job" next week. How is he supposed to move on his own? I can't afford to help him...
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  • I am the mother of 3 children and share the custody 50/50. I get to divert "income" into my company's deferred share plan and deferred pension benefits each year so these don't count for income purposes. So my six figure income is minimized and I only have to pay the kids low income father about $200 per week. Please don't change a thing !
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  • 43% of babies in Indiana are born to unwed parents. Roughly half of marriages end in divorce. #Childsupport is a huge state issue.
  • I currently have $250 taken out of my pay check twice per month, for a total of $500 per month. Which is $80.00 above what I have been ordered to pay. I have tried to have it changed, as well as tried to file various things with the Marion County courts, only to have the clerks tell me that the documentation is not typed out correctly, or on the proper form.
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  • I pay child support for a child that the prosecutors office claims they cannot locate, however, I still pay child support for this child whom I have not seen sicnce 2012. I have been to court numerous times to attempt to locate the child and mother but continue to be told we cannot locate her and I myself have to find the child.

    Again, I pay child support! If it were me missing, the prosecutors office would have loated me almost immediately. so there's a pretty clear discrimination against non-custodial fathers. I have another child that i pay child support for but do not have visitation rights to.

    Only because the mother asked for no visitation. I'm no threat, not a criminal, don't have a record, I work, I provide for all of my children, but yet, I have to try and get a lawyer that I can't afford, all while my child support is being taken out incorrectly. I dont qualify for free services so I'm tackling this on my own, winning each case, one at a time. Some of us fathers out here are doing the right thing!
    by GoodFather edited by Kelly, Digital EP 2/5/2015 8:18:37 PM
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  • I would like to know why the child support calculator is figured on Gross income? It is not fair that the calculator does not take into consideration government taxes and mandatory work deductions. That alone cuts a normal persons income per check by 30% .

    Then to top it off in most situations the non-custodial parent, also gets to claim children at the end of the year. I would also like to know why every year the non-custodial parent gets a bill for $55 dollars so that he can pay his child support? Why is this not the responsibility of the parent collecting the check?

    I pay 1047 a month which calculates to $12,564 a year along with paying extracurricular activities and still cover extra's and am completely current. If I go back to court they will warrant the non custodial parent child care expense on the calculator but if the children lived with me there would be no child care. With that said if $12,564 is the non custodial parents "part" to raise the children that would equiv elate to over 25 thousand dollars to care for children which is more than a lot of complete families live off of.

    I would also like someone to answer why the system says that it has to be a complete over night for it to calculate as credit to a non custodial parent. There are many nights that grand parents etc keep them for them evening and feed them and bath them and help them with their school work but credit is not given to the non custodial parent for that.

    It shouldn't be about the money but the non custodial parent should have a fair shake at having enough money to pay their bills and be able to have a little extra for quality time with the children as well. There are excellent fathers out there who take good care of their children and make sure they are provided for. That calculator needs looked at bad.
    by ExcellentFather edited by Kelly, Digital EP 2/5/2015 8:40:15 PM
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  • My ex was in the Johnson County jail and I went to the prosecutor's office and told them where he was. They sent papers to Johnson Co. to be served. When I showed up for court, was told that Johnson Co. never sent anything back to show he was served. They also didn't transport prisoners to Marion Co. for court. When I asked was I was supposed to do, the prosecutor that day got crappy with me and told me "I guess go stand outside the jail and hand them to him" REALLY? Aren't you supposed to be working for my children/me? And lost a days pay at my job at that!
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  • Thanks for the early comments and questions, everyone! We're just about two hours away from getting this officially started.
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  • What bothers me the most about having to pay court-ordered child support is my daughter's mother has a college degree, yet still chooses to work part-time at Target because she doesn't have to get a real job to pay her bills because of the "CHILD" support she receives!

    I have a really good job and make decent money, but I end up having the equivalent of a mortgage payment come out of my paycheck every month because she will NOT get a REAL job. I wish the State would do something about the mothers who COULD do more, but decide that the "CHILD" support they receive is their money so they don't have to have a real job.

    One of the best, funniest things that I have seen on the internet said "It's called CHILD support, not lazy [bad-word here] support!" While rude & crude, it's dead-on in some cases!

    Fathers out there, keep your heads up, keep being involved in YOUR child's life, and be the best man that you can be for them. Show them how much you love them and how good of a man you are, so despite what they might hear at home, THEY can make their own opinion of you. GO DADS!!!
    by Provider,up-to-date,paying... edited by Kelly, Digital EP 2/5/2015 9:03:35 PM
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  • Some parents are concerned about #childsupport in Indiana. @KaraKenney6's special report airs tonight at 7. http://pbs.twimg.com/media/B9GHCJ2IEAId2M3.png

  • Why do they give the lower income parent a greater "credit" for visitation when regardless of how much you make food, clothing etc cost the same! Why do they pursue fathers way faster than mothers?

    I have a deadbeat non custodial mother who has gone months without paying a dime. She was only ordered to pay about $200 a month for THREE kids that she only seen about 30 days a year. She's a college grad, and is capable of making 60k a year or more, refuses to show how much she really makes, even when ordered by the court, and yet they set her income at minimum wage and NEVER enforce the child support or their orders to show proof of income, and yet I have to show proof of MY income and MY expenses!
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  • State of Indiana ruled back in 2014 that children age 19 are emancipated for child support purposes. Therefore, the non-custodial parent gets off the hook for any and all child support. Even if the child is in college. Additionally, child support was calculated to give non-custodial parent credit for overnight parenting times, as well as carrying health insurance.

    There is no enforcement of parenting time, or healthcare, just the garnishment of the child support from his wages. So non-custodial parent quits job. Keeps himself underemployed so he makes less money than custodial parent. Also so that no health insurance would be available to him. So kids have no insurance. Who gets socked with the bills?

    Custodial parent, who after going into debt over carrying entire burden of paying all uninsured medical expenses in addition to all extra curricular school expenses, books, fees, etc., finally can afford health insurance. Then the ACA rules mandate all kids stay on health insurance until age 26 or until they get their own through work. Meaning...custodial parent gets stuck paying for ALL MEDICAL for the kids between ages 19-26!!!

    Now that he's off the hook, he gets a management job like he was qualified for 15 years ago. There is no enforcement of any of this, except the child support $. Custodial parent has to pay a lawyer to take other parent to court in order to get it changed. We don't have this kind of money. I get $50 every week for the one child under 19 now. And you're telling me this is supposed to be his share of food, clothing, medical, school expenses, lunches, field trips, dental, vision, medicines, etc.?? The formula, and the system doesn't work!!
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  • Additionally, he doesn't even fulfill his overnights, and hasn't for 3 years!! :(
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  • Is it legal for a step-parent to adopt a step-child if the non custodial parent hasn't paid child support and is $30k plus behind in child support and if so what are the steps to take to adopt the child?
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  • Was wondering if you get a divorce and in the papers it says to pay child support until 21 while they are in school but you are also paying half of the college tuition then the law changes to say 19 years old how do we summit the papers to have the judge go over it.
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  • To make matters worse...I make barely over the maximum allowable, so I haven't qualified for any welfare assistance in over 10 years. So many non-custodial parents know how to work the system, and it's their kids who suffer!!! We need advocates who can help us fight this brokenness!
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  • I have been to court too many times to count and called the prosecutor's office on Tuesday and Thursday most the time receiving no help or answers. I am owed almost $16,000 in child support and still no justice on my side. When will it be enough to get help? When my child is grown? Literally 5 and a half years I have been going to court and he has not been arrested once. Enough is enough!
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  • In addition, there is a big problem with the lag time it takes to receive the child support monies collected. Before the system was automated, I could count on receiving the money the week after he got paid. All this was done with paper checks. When the system was automated and we were given the option of debit cards, or direct deposits to our checking accounts, there was a delay of a few weeks during the switchover.

    I thought I'd missed a check, or that he'd quit his job. I went an entire month without any money. So now, although the process is "automated", the monies take more than 2 weeks from the time he is paid, until the time the deposit is received. And, if a holiday or holidays fall during that deposit week, it's delayed by however many days the offices are closed. Additionally, we are told that FDIC rules imposed yet another delay, causing an additional day to be added.

    So, for those of us who used to receive deposits on Friday, 2 weeks and a day after the non-custodial parent gets paid, we now have to wait the entire weekend until the following Monday to receive the money...meaning 2.5-3 weeks now in some cases. Even though this is an automated process! So I can only conclude that the State is keeping our money longer, to earn daily interest longer. Am I wrong? Because I just don't understand how it could take that long, when the employer has about 3 days from the time they collect the money from the employee to turn it over to the State. So what's the hangup?
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  • I have four children. My ex-husband was ordered to pay only $150/week. He never pays and has never been held on a purge bond. I've been in court and watched non-custodial parents being held on a purge bond for missing 2 payments? How does this deadbeat spend no time, pay no bills and make no child support payments continue to get past his responsibilities. Yes, he shows up in court but he is NEVER EVER held accountable. Something needs to change FAST!
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  • Why is it that when a child getting support is left on their own by the custodial parent has no way of getting their due support when they turn 18?

    My mom put me out of the house when i was 17 1/2. CPS said they could not force her to take me back because i was close to 18.

    She gets support even though she says otherwise. My dad showed me where the state gets it.

    Mom is taking my child support and buying drugs and booze with it. The court said that i cannot do anything to get it.

    Why is it that i'm 18 and cannot get my due support? Why is it still going to my mom when im not even under her care?
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  • Three years ago, my ex-husband decided he didn't want to be a parent to our daughter anymore. Before then, I didn't pursue child support because he was providing her with a home, electricity, heat, etc for his 50% of the time he had her. When he decided he didn't want his visitation, I pursued child support. He is over $9,000 behind. He is ordered to pay $54.00 a week. The judge ordered he pay an additional $5 a week towards the back child support owed. My daughter will be 30 years-old before that is paid in full (providing he continues to make payments). I am positive that he also makes it so that he will 'owe' taxes instead of getting a refund so that our daughter will not get the money. I do it all by myself. No help. For two months I kept receipts and the cost of this child is way more than $400 a month! And that is with her grandparents buying all her clothes, food stamps, and utility assistance. He has not given an additional dime since the divorce than what he 'has' too. And the only reason he does that is because I took it to court.
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  • Why doesnt the "custodial" parent have to claim child support as income? And better yet why dont the "non dead beat dads get a tax break for being current? Worst part of the whole thing is that they dont take into consideration the cost of living increases 5% every year and it makes it harder to keep up with your personal bills when due to increasing insurance yearly (which you not credited for) your lucky if your annual raise is 2%. Dads get ROBBED!
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  • I live in boone county and all of my kids are now over 19 and my ex still owes me a lot of money due to back child support. Among all the other things he was court ordered to pay. Over the years he has moved back and forth between here and Florida so they wouldn't go after him. Several times I have contacted the court I even paid the 25.00 and went through the Child Support divison and he is still behind. I hired a lawyer at one time and it was all in writing what he was to pay. Every time I call the court house they tell me they will look I to it. So ultimately in the end I have raised our 3 kids and he has not had to help unless he feels the need to send me 25.00 here and there. Maybe at some point I will get the back child support I am owed and then I can help my children with there college loans or it will help me with the bills I owe due to raising them.
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  • Parents should be made to split everything down the middle all fees a child occure. Some children go without cause cs is not enough to raise them barely enough for a meal and the costodial parents has to pay for everything I have tried to argue for year cs is not 50/50 but parenting time is supposed to be. So one parent is paying all expenses while the other gets all the time and has to pay crap in cs if they ever even pay. The children are the ones suffering wit the way cs is figures and if it isn't paid.
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  • I need to know what is child support -writ!!! I'm not behind on my support so what is this being take out of my check
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  • I want to know why they don't go after repeat offenders? My ex does not pay till they pretty much threaten him and then he pays enough to get them off his back till the next time. They always say they can't find someone. Marion County is the worst. It's sad when years and years have gone by and they have the correct address for the parent an do nothing. If these parent knew what it really cost to raise kids they would no their child support covers nothing. They should have a more fair amount to pay they should be ordered to pay school cost clothes and other stuff with the weekly amounts. With kids things are alwa
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  • I'm the custodial parent and I just found out I wouldn't be receiving no more child support even though my child is still in school, he is in his first year of college and 19 I found out by checking my account I was never notified about him being emancipated,being a single mom on disability you would think they would notify people or is there anything I can do,to get child support again
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  • The thing is these mothers are not interested in the children's welfare. It's mostly about their self hate, bitterness, vindictive methods selfishness and money. They do whatever they can to accomplish their vindictiveness, but don't give a shit about whether the children ever talk to them again afterwards. So your advice goes thru one ear n out the other.

    If the laws were such that the one who can afford the child without support, gets the child because there will be no child support n any enforcement, most women will still remain married or more understanding to maintaining cordiality with their spouses. The barest minimum cost of raising a child should be what is set, not a percentage of how much the one who doesn't have them or barely sees them pays. Explain to me how a 10,000 dollars or more child support in some cases makes any sense? How much does it cost to raise child?

    If that's what the state determines as child support, why is it not paying that much in welfare if the dad is unable or unavailable ? See? No one should be forced top pay anything. The state should stay out if it n mind their own business. The rule should be u make a child u raise ur own. The fact that all they do is chase one person for money but don't chase the other for visitation tells u these law makers, judges n enforcers r just a bunch of a greedy bunch of gay dock sucking mofos.

    Why should child support be the only debt that gets u in jail? Those other countries that don't have these child support laws n aggressive enforcement, foo you see or hear the children dying or sick just because daddy didn't pay money to mom? N why is the system biased against fathers? Who n how did they determine that the dad is not worthy to raise our have custody of his children? That tells u the animals we dealing with.
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  • I have given the prosecuters office all the info to have my child's father served in order to prove paternity and start child support for the past 3yrs. But for some reason he "cant be found" what else can be done? I am ready to say forget it since you all cant find him.
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  • I wish it were all bout money, like I've read in so many hateful comments already posted. My children's father has been behind in child support since our divorce, nearly 10 years ago. At one point he was $14,000 behind. The state suspended his license, so he quit seeing his kids, blaming me. He then (finally) got a job, and paid double his court order for about a year. Then,towards the end of last year, he quit his job and quit paying. One of our kids has health issues. He has never helped me with her medical expenses, and I've never asked him to, since you know, paying support is such a task for him. In just the months of November and December, I had to spend $800 out of my own pocket to get her meds because Medicaid dropped her and she wasn't on my insurance yet. Why are our laws so lax on child support? Why are noncustodial parents allowed to go years without financially supporting their children? When did the State of Indiana deem it appropriate that parenting is optional?
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  • I got a letter that offered another look at my child support to see if it needs to be adjusted my daughter is 17 getting ready to attend iu in a year. Would they likely raise it or lower it. Don't want to waste my time
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  • My son's father has been in felony range for several years due to the amount he is behind. However, a felony is not enforced unless I sign papers to enforce it. I do not understand why I have to enforce it, if it is indeed a felony to be that behind, why doesn't the state enforce the felony and the consequences?
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  • Our divorce was final in 09 and I started to get child support Since the I have become seriously disabled with CHF. Should I ask for more child support now since I have little income and no chance of working? Plus we share custody but has lived out of state since 2011. Can we nullify that?
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  • I am currently ordered to pay the health insurance on my child and child support weekly. I also am ordered to pay 15% of any overtime I make to the mother quarterly. This past week I started a new job with a substantial pay increase but it is also salary so no more overtime payments. Do I need to report this or wait until my ex petitions to modify when she realizes she will not get a second quarter overtime check? I will still carry the health insurance and as of right now the support remains the same.
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  • I take care of my check out financially by myself I have my son every other weekend and every Wednesday but I constantly get called a dead beat because I don't have him four times a week would it be better for me just to put myself on child-support
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  • When I was responsible for paying child support, I ended up on long term disability and/or unemployment several times. When I went to court to have my child support reduced to state and federal guidelines, I was ruled against each time. I was ordered to pay the state/federal guidelines; however, the difference between that and what I was paying would become an arrearage. Thus making me a "deadbeat dad". The last time I was laid off due to a reduction in force, I was ordered to pay $200.00 per week, even though my only income was from unemployeement. How can any reasonable person consider this fair?
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  • Why does it take so long to get the non custodial parents tax offset and y is it held an additional 29 days after a holding period of 5 months?
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  • My sons mother owes more than 20k in c/s. Every time we go to court for a noncompliance the Judge gives her Community service. How is community service going to help me take care of our son
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