Click on the questions below to take you to a detailed answer:
 
Opening a Case See the “Open a Child Support Case” tab to print off an Application for Child Support.

Establishing a Court Order Enforcing Court Orders See the “General Information” tab for more information on what our office can do to assist with collecting your child support.

Modifying Existing Orders Visitation and Parenting Time Issues

 

Opening a Case
Can I open a case if I no longer have a current support order and there is just past due support owed to me? [ top ]
Yes. A case may be opened in our office even if the children have emancipated or the child support order has terminated for another reason. However, if an extended period of time has passed, we may not be able to collect on your previous order due to the statute of limitations. Our office would need to review your court orders to determine if we would be able to assist you with collections on the arrears due.
See the “Open a Child Support Case” tab to print off an Application for Child Support.

 

Establishing a Court Order
I was served with papers from your office stating I have to go to court pay child support. What are my options and how can I request a genetic test? [ top ]

If paternity has not been established or a paternity affidavit has not been signed, you may request a genetic test to determine if you are the biological father of the child(ren). You may request a genetic test at the time of the court hearing. Our office can also work with you and the mother to have genetic testing completed prior to the court hearing.

 

How is the amount of child support determined? [ top ]
Child support is calculated using the Indiana Child Support Guidelines. A child support worksheet is prepared to determine what the appropriate child support order should be. The income of both the mother and the father is considered, as well as overnight parenting time, other biological children the parties may have, day care expenses, and health insurance.
Click here for a copy of the Indiana Child Support Guidelines.

 

 

Enforcing Court Orders
An income withholding order has been sent to the non-custodial parent's employer. When can I expect the first payment? [ top ]

Once an employer has received an income withholding order, the employer must start withholding from the non-custodial parent's earnings no later than the first pay period that occurs after 14 days following the date the notice was mailed. Typically, it takes around 4 weeks for the first payment to be remitted by the employer to the Indiana State Central Collection Unit (INSCCU). If you still haven’t received any payments 4-6 weeks after you’ve received the notice of withholding, please contact your caseworker.

 

How long is a child support order in effect? [ top ]

A child support order continues until the child(ren) emancipate. Once the child(ren) emancipate, our office will continue to collect on any child support arrears due.
On July 1, 2012, the emancipation age in Indiana changed from twenty-one (21) years of age to nineteen (19) years of age.
If you have already paid child support for a child or children up until they turned 21 years of age, that amount is still due under the previous emancipation law.

 

My tax refund was intercepted even though I have been making payments through income withholding. Can I get my refund back? [ top ]

Your tax refund will be offset as long as you owe child support arrears that meet federal criteria. Click here for a general information sheet about tax offsets.

 

The non-custodial parent told me his/her taxes were taken for child support. When am I going to get the money? [ top ]

Our office is prohibited by federal law from discusses the other parent’s taxes with anyone. We will not be able to tell you a date when the money would be released to your account. Click here for a general information sheet about tax offsets.

 

I am not receiving Child Support Payments. [ top ]

Information about how to check the status of payments can be found under the “Check My Case For Payments” tab.
If you have an order to receive child support payments and already have an open case in our office, please contact your caseworker so that we may advise you of the status of our Enforcement.
If you do not have an open case in our office, please see the "Open a Child Support Case" tab to print off an Application for Child Support.

 

See the “General Information” tab for more information on what our office can do to assist with collecting your child support.

 

Modifying Existing Orders
How can I get my support order modified? [ top ]
You can contact your caseworker to see if your order can be modified. You must include a reason why you think the modification would be appropriate (such as job loss, change in daycare expenses, or change in overnight parenting time). Your caseworker will then notify you if our office can review your case for modification.

If we are unable to review your case at this time, you can request a modification from the court by filing pro se (representing yourself in court) or by hiring a private attorney. If you want to file pro se for a modification of your support order, click the button at the bottom of the page “Indiana Pro Se Court Forms”. If you need assistance with hiring a private attorney, click on the button at the bottom of the page “Contact the St. Joseph County Bar Association”.
Can the other party and I avoid having to go to court to modify our court order? [ top ]

Yes. You can meet with a deputy prosecuting attorney in our office to prepare an agreement to modify the support order which will be submitted to the court for approval. If you and the other party can’t agree after meeting with a deputy prosecuting attorney, the issue will be set for court for the judge to determine if a modification would be appropriate.

 

I am currently receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and cannot afford to pay child support. What should I do? [ top ]

If you are receiving SSI, it is important that you immediately contact your caseworker who can review your documents and determine the appropriate course of action.

 

I am currently receiving Unemployment Insurance Benefits and/or Disability Insurance Benefits. Am I still supposed to pay child support? [ top ]

Yes, your child support order continues until modified by the court. Please contact your caseworker so we can determine if you are eligible for review of your support order.

 

If either parent loses a job or earns more income, will the court order automatically change? [ top ]

No. The Court order does not change unless a Petition to Modify Child Support or an agreement between the parties has been filed with the Court and the Court enters a new order with or without a hearing.

 

 

Visitation and Parenting Time Issues
What do I do if the other parent won’t let me see my child(ren)? [ top ]
In accordance with federal law, the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office Child Support Division is not involved in custody issues or visitation/parenting time disputes.

You can request the issue be addressed in court by filing pro se (representing yourself in court) or by hiring a private attorney. If you want to file pro se, click the button below “Indiana Pro Se Court Forms”. If you need assistance with hiring a private attorney, click the button below “Contact the St. Joseph County Bar Association”.

 



 

 

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