Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Do You Have to Pay Child Indefinitely in Indiana?

Short answer: no. I suggest you go along and listen Lee Rosen's Paying Child Support Indefinitely?, and be thankful for living in Indiana.

Mr. Rosen has a great web presence, a large family law practice and he has regular podcasts on North Carolina family law. Listening to his podcast made think of some important differences between here and there:

  1. There can be automatic change in child support here. There is an Indiana case )whose name escapes me while I write this) which expressly held that an automatic increase of child support without a hearing violated the payor's due process rights.
  2. What we can do in Indiana, and does not seem apparently possible in Indiana, is exchange income information year (or when there is a major change in a party's economic situation) and there can be an agreed change in child support (or a filing of a petition to modify support).
  3. I cannot get my mind around the idea that a contract can control child support. Indiana law sees child support as belonging to the children with the payee parent acting as a trustee for the children. No I see no way that a parent can contract away their children's child support.
  4. While a person may waive a constitutional right, but I doubt there was any intelligent waiver of any due process from what I understood the description of the North Carolina facts.
  5. North Carolina's modification procedure sounds horribly complicated compared to our procedure of just filing a petition to modify. On the other hand, I wonder if it is any quicker when one figures in our need for discovery.
  6. If any wonders why Indiana lawyers rely so heavily on irretrievable breakdown of the marriage as grounds for a divorce, just listen to the whole of the podcast for the discussion of using impotency as grounds for a divorce.
Just some random thoughts but I think I am glad to be in Indiana and so should you.

(I notice that Ohio is pretty much similar to Indiana - see The Ohio Law Blog's Child Support in Ohio – How can I have the amount adjusted if I can no longer pay the current amount? - but that Ohio has also an administrative agency. Am I detecting a North-South divide here?)

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