Justices order $7,025 credit applied for father’s arrearage

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In a per curiam decision released Wednesday, the Indiana Supreme Court accepted a case involving owed child support and ordered the father be credited for more than $7,000 seized from his bank account for the arrearage.

M.R. was ordered in 1999 to pay $146 weekly for child support for his two children with B.Y. In November 2010, he was found to be $21,337 in arrears. The court ordered $15,000 from his bank account be sent to B.Y. for child support. A June 2012 hearing showed that $7,025.84 had been intercepted from his account and sent to B.Y. in early January 2012. B.Y. acknowledged receiving that additional amount.

But at the hearing, the summary of M.R.’s arrearage as of Dec. 31, 2011, did not accurately reflect that the $7,000 had been distributed. The trial court took note of it and found him in arrears of nearly $6,500.

M.R. continued to fail to pay child support, so at another hearing, the trial court calculated that father owed $13,055, which included the $7,025.84 that had already been distributed. He appealed, but the Court of Appeals affirmed in a divided decision.

The justices found in In re the Paternity of D.M.Y., et al., M.R. v. B.Y., 34S04-1410-JP-607 that the trial court’s math doesn’t add up to the correct arrearage. The Supreme Court also noted that the trial court did not include the disputed amount as an amount paid or part of the arrears calculation and left it under the heading “amount in clerk of court’s undistributed account.” The trial court failed to give M.R. credit for the payment, so the justices ordered the trial court to recalculate his arrearage to provide him credit for the $7,025.84 payment.

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