Monday, October 29, 2007

New Indiana Court of Appeals decision - child support, uninsured medical expenses and educational expenses

Timothy D. Knisely v. Susan L. Forte has all of those issues.

Decided by the Indiana Court of Appeals on October 23, 2007, the Court of Appeals upheld increasing Father's child support, and sent the educational benefits portion back to the trial court.

The case has two support issues.

  1. First, whether Father's lump sum settlement for a disability was includable in the child support calculations.
  2. Whether the modification was retroactive to date Mother filed a Petition to Modify or to an earlier date that the parties had agreed to a temporary reduction.
The Court of Appeals ruled the lump sum was properly included and that the modification went back to the earlier date.

About the educational expenses, the Court of Appeals found that more evidence was needed and sent that part of the case back to the trial court.
...However, the record fails to indicate that the parties brought forth any evidence of scholarships, grants, loans, or any other type of financial aid for K.K.’s education. Instead, the trial court made very general findings apportioning KK’s college expenses between her parents without any inquiry into KK’s ability to receive student loans. There were no findings regarding what percentage of the cost should be borne by KK and what type of financial aid she was expected to receive. Moreover, there was no requirement in the trial court’s order that she apply for financial aid of any kind....
The opinion does a bit of explaining about the relationship between child support and educational expenses:

We first note that a child support order and an educational expense order are separate and distinct. See Sutton v. Sutton, 773 N.E.2d 289, 294 (Ind. Ct. App. 2002) (education expenses are addressed separately from child support). I.C. § 31-16-6-2 governs educational support and provides that an education support order may include amounts for the child’s education in institutions of higher learning. See also Sebastian v. Sebastian, 798 N.E.2d 224, 231 (Ind. Ct. App. 2003)....
If you have an Indiana case and are seeking a lawyer, please contact my office.

You can read other articles I have posted on child support by clicking here.

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