Indiana Child Support Law Change Penalizes Delinquent Parents
SENATE BILL No. 85 has passed as of July 1st, 2010 which now prohibits a person from disclaiming property interests if the person is delinquent in child support payments. As of July 1, 2010, a disclaimer of an interest in property is barred if the person is delinquent in child support payments. Lawmakers believe this addition to child support laws will increase collections and possibly federal IV-D funding which is based on total child support dollars collected by the state.
Indiana Enforcement Action for Child Support Delinquency
This new addition is only one of the many ways that Indiana enforces child support laws. According to Indiana law, enforcement action must take place when a person pays less than the awarded amount or fails to pay child support, including:
- Child Support Division Reminders: Such reminders may be in the form of telephone inquires or letters which may include a description of the risk for contempt proceedings, incarceration, regular compliance reviews, and establishment of an Income Withholding Order.
- Contempt of Court: The intentional violation of an order for support may lead to the court’s determination that the person is in contempt of court. If so, the Court may commit the person to jail for a maximum of 180 days.
- Income Withholding Orders: As required by Indiana law, the Child Support Division will obtain an Income Withholding Order to withhold child support payments from the delinquent person’s wages or other income. Failure to comply with providing accurate employment and address information is punishable and qualifies for contempt, subjecting the person to incarceration.
- Tax Intercept Program: The Tax Intercept Program allows authorities to intercept of federal and state income tax refunds and lottery winnings of the delinquent party.
- Professional and Driver’s License Suspension: Under Indiana Code 31-25-4-32, whenever the Indiana Child Support Bureau finds that a party is delinquent in child support payments by $2,000.00 or 3 months behind in payments, a notice is issued which informs the party that they must pay back payments in full, make an arrangement with the Indiana Child Support Bureau, adhere to an Income Withholding Order or request a hearing within 20 days. If the delinquent party fails to comply, the Indiana Child Support Bureau may suspend their driver’s license, professional license, hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses. The Indiana Child Support Bureau oversees the management of these activities.
- Motor Vehicle Liens, Liens and Judgment: Under Indiana Code 31-25-4-30, the Indiana Child Support Bureau may issue a motor vehicle lien which restricts the party’s ability to buy and sell vehicles by enforcing a lien until child support payments are made.
- Criminal Charges: All civil remedies available will be enforced, but criminal charges may be filed if the issue is not resolved. Indiana Code 35-46-1-5 allows for the classification of a class D felony when there is intentional failure to financially support a dependent or overdue amounts is in excess of $15,000. A Class D Felony is punishable and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
If you are faced with a Indiana child support dilemma, call Burton Padove for a free consultation at 219-836-2200.