Northwest Indiana Child Support

Serving Lake and Porter Counties: Portage, Chesterton, Valparaiso, Crown Point, Hobart, Gary, Merrillville


"If our American way of life fails the child, it fails us all."   ~Pearl S. Buck



There are two types of custody:  (1) Legal Custody, and (2) Physical Custody.  

 Legal Custody identifies who will have the authority and responsibility for major decisions about the children including education, health care, and religious training.  You can have Joint Legal Custody with the other parent of your children even if the other parent only visits with the children one day out of the year.  What matters most with regard to Joint Legal Custody is whether you and the children's other parent are able to communicate and make major decisions about the children in a reasonable manner.  

Physical Custody  identifies where the children physically spend time.  In most cases, parents share physical custody, and each parent exercises parenting time according to an agreed schedule. 

For more information on Custody and Parenting Time please read the Parenting Time Guidelines.   

Absent agreement of the parents, once custody has been established by a court order, it is difficult to change custody unless there has been a continuous and substantial change of circumstances.  Indiana law favors stability for the children, and courts frown on frequent shifts in the children's custody arrangements.   


Indiana bases a parent's child support obligation on many factors including, but not limited to: the salary each parent is earning; the salary each parent is able to earn; the number of children in each household; whether either parent has benefits which can be imputed as income; the amount either parent pays for child care while at work; the amount either parent pays for health insurance for the children; and the number of overnights the children spend with each parent per year.  

Once a child support order is in place, you may ask the court to modify the child support order if you have reason to believe that any of the above factors have changed enough to impact the amount of the current child support order by more than 20% as long as it has been more than 12 months since the previous child support order was issued.

 Parents have a legal duty to support a child until a child turns 19 year old.  If a child has a disability or is planning to attend college, a court can order a parent to support a child past his or her 19th birthday. 

For more information on Child Support, please read the Child Support Guidelines and visit the Child Support Calculator.  

If you have questions about the custody of your children or believe your child support amount needs to be modified, contact Rebecca for a consultation.  


Rebecca Billick Attorney & Mediator