Thursday, April 9, 2009

Indiana Law: Child Support and Incarceration

A bit of delay news from The Indiana Lawyer. While High court expands Lambert decision would appear to apply only inmates, I think it serves as a reminder that child support amounts must relate to the inancial realities.
The Indiana Supreme Court issued two opinions today dealing with incarceration being considered as a substantial change in circumstances to justify modifying a child support order and what date a modification may take place.

In Todd Allen Clark v. Michelle D. Clark, No. 35S05-0809-CV-506, the justices used the same reasoning it employed in Lambert v. Lambert, 861 N.E.2d 1176 (Ind. 2007), to justify modification of an existing child support obligation. Todd Clark went to prison after his original child support order had been instituted; he claimed he is unable to pay the $53 a week due to his incarceration. He filed a verified petition for abatement and/or modification order requesting it reduce, revoke, or abate his child support obligation until his release in 2013.


In Gary Becker v. Heather Becker , No. 49S04-0903-CV-113, the justices determined the effective date of modifying an existing child support order because of incarceration may not take effect on a date earlier than the date on which the petition to modify is filed.

Nothing new about this last case - which is why a petition to Modify Child Support must be filed as early as possible.

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