Child support and tax deduction rulings reversed

September 23, 2014

A Lake County father prevailed in appealing a trial court order regarding his child support obligations that deviated from those recommended under Indiana’s official guidelines.

In James Bogner v. Teresa Bogner, 45A04-1310-DR-505, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that a trial court improperly substituted its judgment for the father’s obligations calculated under the Child Support Guidelines. The trial court ruled James Bogner should pay $105 weekly instead of $59 per week recommended under the guidelines.

“(W)e conclude that the trial court abused its discretion when it held that the child support worksheet created an unjust result warranting a deviation from the worksheet. We remand for the trial court to modify Father’s support obligations to $59, which is the amount that is presumptively correct based on the worksheet and the Guidelines,” Judge Rudolph R. Pyle III wrote for the panel.

The trial court also erred in eliminating father’s right to claim his child as a dependent on income taxes every other year.

“Here, the trial court did not indicate in its order that it considered any of the factors that it was required to consider under the Guidelines,” Pyle wrote. “... Accordingly, we conclude that the trial court abused its discretion in modifying Father’s exemption. We remand to the trial court to re-evaluate the issue of the Parents’ tax exemption based on the factors listed in the Child Support Guidelines.”


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