COA affirms child support, debt division orders

September 14, 2015

The Indiana Court of Appeals Monday rejected an adoptive father’s argument that he was ordered through a dissolution order to pay too much in child support, including a retroactive amount creating an arrearage.  

The panel affirmed a Clay Circuit Court ruling in Bryan E. Mitten v. Cynthia L. Mitten, 11A01-1501-DR-8. The trial court ordered Bryan Mitten to pay $235 per week in child support retroactive to the filing of the divorce petition and assume some joint debts of the marital estate, deviating from the presumed equal distribution.

“Our review of the record reveals that Father not only agreed to take those debts, he proposed that they be allocated to him in the distribution, and that is exactly what the trial court ordered,” Judge James Kirsch wrote for the panel.  

Father also failed to persuade the court to reverse a retroactive order of child support, ruling this was not an abuse of discretion and that crediting mother’s costs of insurance for the child was proper. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in crediting father for a percentage of father’s voluntary mortgage and utility bill payments made during the pendency of the dissolution action.



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