Indiana Child Support Case Law Update

2015-04-Life-of-Pix-free-stock-old-books-wooden-shelves-leeroyOn December 16, 2014, Indiana’s highest Court handed down its opinion in Rolley v. Rolley (Cause No. 87S01–1412–DR–739; 2014 WL 7157330) clarifying Indiana’s child support modification case law.

The issue before the Court was the standard to follow when modifying agreed child support orders.  On one hand, there was precedent stating that agreed child support orders can only be modified upon showing a substantial and continuing change in circumstances.  Hay v. Hay, 730 N.E.2d 787, 794–95 (Ind. Ct. App. 2000); Reinhart v. Reinhart, 938 N.E.2d 788, 791–93 (Ind. Ct. App. 2010).  On the other hand, there was precedent stating that agreed child support orders can be modified based on either a substantial and continuing change in circumstances or, after twelve months, a twenty percent deviation.  Marriage of Kraft, 868 N.E.2d 1181, 1185–89 (Ind. Ct. App. 2007); Rolley v. Rolley, 13 N.E.3d 521 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014).

The Court adopted the modification language from the Indiana Child Support Guidelines and affirmed the Court of Appeals opinion in Rolley: An agreed child support order can be modified based on either a substantial and continuing change in circumstances or, after twelve months, a twenty percent deviation.  Rolley, 13 N.E.3d at 526–31.

The full Supreme Court Opinion can be found at:                    http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/07221401rrp.pdf