Child Support services are available to anyone with legal custody of the minor child(ren), regardless of socioeconomic level. The Child Support Division can establish paternity for children born out of wedlock, establish a support order and health insurance order for children whose parents are separated where a child support does not exist, and enforce and modify existing support orders.
Despite having a limited staff and almost 22,000 open child support cases in Vanderburgh County, the Child Support Division has been successful in enforcing and collecting child support. This office is prohibited under state and federal regulations from becoming involved in custody and visitation issues. You must contact a private attorney for those issues. Questions regarding child support may be answered by contacting the Child Support Division at 812-435-5326.
To open a new case with the Child Support Division, the custodial parent must provide the following items:
- A copy of the child(ren)’s birth certificate(s). Please obtain a copy of the birth certificate(s) from the health department. This will be at your expense.
- A photograph of the absent parent, if available.
- A completed Paternity Information Questionnaire, if the child is born out of wedlock and paternity has not been established through the courts.
- A completed UIFSA Questionnaire, if the noncustodial parent lives in another state.
- If the child(ren) have been legally adopted, you will need to provide a copy of the adoption decree, or the name and location of the Court that approved the adoption.
If court documents are requested and are not located in Vanderburgh County, please provide us with the name and address of the courthouse and we may be able to obtain the documents for you.
For parties married but separated and have no pending court action, the Child Support Division will prepare a support petition and file it with the court. Both parents then have to appear in court, during which a support and medical order will be entered.
Application for Services
If the custodial parent is a recipient of Medicaid or TANF benefits, they are automatically participants of the Title IV-D Program. If the custodial parent is not receiving Medicaid or TANF, he or she will need to submit an application to our office.
Opening a File
After verifying that application information is correct, the Child Support Division opens a case file and sets a hearing date for the custodial and non-custodial parent and their child(ren) to appear in court, if there is no existing order.
If the child(ren) are born of out wedlock, and if the alleged father of the child(ren) denies paternity, a DNA test will be done at the court hearing. The State of Indiana fronts the initial cost of $55 per DNA sample, which is subject to reimbursement by the proven father.
If found to be the father, the results will be filed with the court and a hearing will be set for entry of a support order and amendment to the child(ren)’s birth record. The birth record can be changed to include the father’s last name, if requested and approved by both parties. The support order will be made retroactive to the first Friday after the initial court filing.
Income Withholding and Making Payments
If an income withholding order is entered, it is forwarded to the non-custodial parent’s employer immediately.
Until the payments are withheld from the non-custodial parent’s paycheck, it is the non-custodial parent’s responsibility to make payments to the Clerk of the Court for distribution to the custodial parent. The non-custodial parent should not send money directly to the custodial parent because the payment may not be regarded as a child support payment, but as a gift.
If the non-custodial parent changes employment, the non-custodial parent needs to provide the Child Support Division with the name, address and phone number of the new employer. A change in employment may result in a delay of withheld income, but the non-custodial parent is still responsible to make child support payments, until he or she sees it coming out of his or her paycheck.
Indiana Child Support Rules & Guidelines
The Indiana Child Support Rules and Guidelines are complicated. Information about those rules and guidelines and internet resources for them can be found here. Child support calculators for Indiana also are available online from the Indiana judiciary web site.
Do-It Yourself Court Forms
Representing yourself may not be a good idea. A lawyer has to attend law school for (usually) three years to learn the law and must pass a demanding exam to earn a license to practice law. But if you decide to represent yourself, the Indiana judicary web site has a self-service section with divorce and child support modfication forms.