Those who are paying a non-custodial parent child support in the state of Indiana should be aware of how they are required to pay child support in order to receive proper credit for paying child support. A great number of mothers and fathers paying child support in the state of Indiana are unaware of the rules set by the Indiana court regarding child support payments. Non-custodial parents in Indiana who don’t go through the proper channels to pay child support may find themselves owing the custodial parent thousands of dollars – even if they have proof of payments made.
A Very Costly Mistake
Parents in the state of Indiana who want to bypass the courts and pay child support directly to the other parent could be in for a rude awakening. According to the Indiana Child Support Division, any child support money paid to the custodial parent that does not go through the court first is considered a gift. The term “gift” means the child support paid is considered free. That means, even if you paid child support by check, or went so far as to obtain receipts from the custodial parent, the child support you paid did not legally count. The custodial parent is legally entitled to keep that child support money, and you are still obligated to pay the full amount of child support determined by the court in the state of Indiana. This seems very unfair, especially if the non-custodial parent paying child support holds receipts, but this is the rule set by the court. If you paid the custodial parent directly, in the eyes of the court you did not pay a dime.
Where to Pay Child Support in the State of Indiana
Parents who divorce in the state of Indiana should be educated on the rules of paying child support, but they are expected to already know the rules. Pleading ignorance will not change the fact that child support money must be paid through the clerk of the court in the county in which the divorce was finalized. Short of a voluntary or mandatory wage assignment, there is no other acceptable way to pay child support in the state of Indiana. Child support has to be paid through the court clerk in the county of the divorce or it does not count toward current support or any arrearage.
How to Pay Child Support in the State of Indiana
You cannot pay by personal check when paying child support in the state of Indiana. The clerk of the court does not have the time or resources to collect on insufficient funds . When paying child support in the state of Indiana, if a voluntary or mandatory wage assignment is not in place, you must pay the clerk of the court in the county in which child support was determined, and the support must be paid by certified check or money order. The other option is to go in person to the clerk of the court and pay cash. The clerk of the court will issue a receipt for the child support money received. After the child support is paid, if the clerk of the court does not send the funds directly to the custodial parent, the funds are sent to Indianapolis where they are distributed either by check or direct deposit.
If You’ve Made Payments Directly to the Custodial Parent
The only hope for a non-custodial parent who has paid child support directly to the custodial parent in the state of Indiana depends on the honesty of that parent. Although in the eyes of the court, child support paid directly to the custodial parent does not count, where honesty is concerned it does count. The custodial parent has a legal right to consider that money a gift, but it is up to their sole discretion and honesty as to whether or not they choose keep that money.
A custodial parent in the state of Indiana who has been paid directly by the non-custodial parent can sign an affidavit of payments received. The courts in Indiana will accept the affidavit as proof of child support payments made. Whether or not the custodial parent presents the affidavit stating the proper amount of child support paid by the non-custodial parent is up to that parent. If you have an amicable relationship with the custodial parent, and if the custodial parent is honest, there is a good chance he or she will sign an affidavit of payments made. If the custodial parent is not truly honest, or if your relationship is less than cordial, you may be stuck paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars you’ve already paid.
My Personal Story
Many years ago, my ex husband was issued a mandatory wage assignment to pay support in the state of Indiana. After my ex husband’s employer made errors that delayed the receipt of my child support again and again, and after my ex husband changed jobs, I decided not to pursue mandatory wage withholding. By this time he was through playing games that ex spouses sometimes play, and he realized the importance of paying child support. He began paying me directly. Sometimes he would mail a personal check, and other times he would give me cash.
I kept track of the child support owed to my kids by writing the word “support” on the calendar in every “Friday” box. As the support was paid, I’d cross out the word “support.” For me, this was a good method of keeping track of the child support owed, and I was confident it was an accurate method.
Recently I had trouble collecting child support from my ex husband, and I decided to sign up with the IV-D program in the county where I live in an effort to start receiving regular child support payments. According to Indiana records, my ex husband was in arrears more than $29,000.00! In reality he was only about $900.00 behind. I was informed by my Noble County Indiana case worker that I had been given a gift. At first I didn’t understand what she was talking about. What she meant was, legally I could keep the money paid in years past, and my ex husband would legally owe me $29,000.00! My case worker seemed to be prompting me to pursue money I was not really entitled to. I told the case worker I felt this was not honest, and again, I gave her the child support figure my ex husband actually owed. I signed an affidavit of payments made in order to correct the problem.
Although I could have taken full advantage of the situation, I am an honest person, and I signed the affidavit of child support payments made that clearly stated the correct amount of child support owed. Hurting my ex husband financially would also hurt my children, and if I claimed money I was not entitled to I would personally consider myself a thief. Everything I have I’ve worked for, and all I’ve ever wanted is the child support my kids are entitled to. I never wanted to profit from the divorce.
My Husband’s Story
Not all parents who pay support in the state of Indiana are as fortunate as my ex husband. My current husband also pays child support in the state of Indiana. He paid child support through the clerk of the court in Noble County Indiana. He fell a little behind on payments due to the loss of a job. Although he was about $500.00 behind, he made a constant effort to make the child support payments. He kept county issued receipts, but when the arrearage was determined, the amount of past due child support was much higher than he expected. He was told he was in arrears more than $2,600.00! My husband was positive he did not owe that much money in past due child support. Although he had child support payment receipts, he could not convince the Noble County Clerk’s office or the Child Support Division of Noble County that he didn’t owe that much in back support. Even the mother of the child he paid support to agreed he did not owe $2,600 plus in back support.
My husband was ordered to pay about $10.00 above the regular amount of child support toward the arrearage. Even though this amount was incorrect, he paid well above that set amount, and when he was just $600.00 away from having the unfair debt paid in full, Noble County took the rest of the child support money directly from his checking account without his consent. He personally feels because he is a man he was treated unfairly by Noble County.
I did not know my husband when he was ordered to pay more than $2,600 in child support he firmly believed he did not owe, but I know the following to be true. Although my husband’s ex wife admitted to him and the Noble County Child Support Division he did not owe more than $2,600 in past due child support, in the end she kept the money. She could have returned the money to him, but she chose to keep it. She was more than likely also told by Noble County that she had been given a gift. That gives a whole new meaning to the word “gift.”
One Final Note About Paying Child Support in the State of Indiana
Fathers and mothers who pay child support in the State of Indiana should heed this warning and make sure their child support payments are made through the clerk of the county where the divorce was finalized, and non-custodial parents need to keep child support receipts issued by the county clerk. The Indiana courts will not acknowledge personal checks or child support payments made directly to the custodial parent in the state of Indiana. The non-custodial parent will be told they have been given a gift – as if they’ve won the lottery. That “gift” could cost a parent who has been paying child support hundreds or even thousands of dollars in child support they’ve already paid. They could also end up spending time in an Indiana jail for an unfair child support debt.
To Contact the State of Indiana Child Support Division
Call the “KidsLine” at 800-840-8757 for Indiana child support payment inquiries. You will be connected to an automated system that will provide detailed information on the past five child support payments made in the state of Indiana. During the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. EST you can talk to a representative regarding your Indiana child support case.