Monday, May 12, 2008

Indiana Child Support, Social Security Benefits, and the Indiana Court of Appeals

As of April 30, Indiana has a new case involving the interplay between Social Security benefits and child support. Jamie Hieston v. Gregory Hendricks, et al (PDF format) had two issues: 1) whether the payor got credit against arrears where the application for Social Security was known by the court and Child Support Enforcement prosecutor two years before filing a petition to modify support, and 2) how to credit the payor when the Social Security payments were more than the child support payments.

Following Brown v. Brown, the trial court offset child support arrears against the lump sum Social Security payment only to the date of the payor filing her petition to modify. The Court of Appeals upheld the trial court on that issue. (See my Lump Sum Social Security Payments and Child Support in Indiana for a discussion of Brown v. Brown.)

The Indiana Court of Appeals treated the children's Social Security payments exceeding the child support order as a gift. Just as with any overpayment of child support, any excess is not credited as a child support payment.


Greg said...

I am Greg Hendricks and all I can say is I am getting literally screwed in this case. Mother has gotten by without paying a dime of support for years. She owes me approximately $15,000 and I will never see this money at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sam Hasler said...

I published this comment with some reluctance. Frankly, it would have been better to explain rather than rant.