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COA finds trial court acted within its discretion when calculating father’s actual income

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A father’s messy financial statements do not prevent a trial court from doing its own calculations and increasing his weekly child support payments, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.

The appeals court rejected the father’s arguments in In Re: The Paternity of Jo.J., J.W.J. v. D.C., 29A05-1209-JP-447, and affirmed the judgment of the trial court.

On May 25, 2012, the trial court held a hearing on the mother’s request for a temporary child support order to be issued pending a final decision on her appeal of the original order which reduced the father’s support obligation.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial court asked the mother and father to submit their financial statements. On June 21, 2012, the court issued a formal written order and filed a separate order changing the father’s weekly support obligation to $252.52 per week.

The father appealed. He argued the trial court lacked jurisdiction to issue a temporary support order while the mother’s appeals was still pending. Moreover, he asserted, even if the lower court could temporarily modify child support during the appeal, the specific support amount ordered was not supported by the evidence.

The appeals court found while the mother’s request for modification was premature, the trial court did not issue a final written order temporarily modifying child support until one day after the Indiana Supreme Court denied transfer.

Thus, since these orders recalculating father’s income and support obligation were not issued until after the denial of transfer, the trial court did not err in modifying the father’s child support payments prospectively.

In regard to the $252.52 weekly payments, the COA speculated the trial court arrived at that figure based on the mother’s statement that she needed at least $250 a week to meet her bills.

Pointing to Elbert v. Elbert, 579 N.E. 2d 102, 112 (Ind. Ct. App. 1991), the COA noted trial courts must consider the children’s needs and the parent’s general economic condition when determining the amount of child support.

Consequently, the COA ruled that the trial court did not err when it arrived at a figure that would allow the mother to continue living in her home and providing for the child.

 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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