All Things Family Law

Discussion of all things related to family law from an Indiana divorce attorney.

This blog provides general family law and divorce law information. If you have a specific issue or case you need assistance with please contact me directly. 

Child Support & Divorce - Child Support Order Will Not Predate Divorce Petition

On March 31, 2010, the Court of Appeals held that a child support order cannot predate the filing of the divorce petition. The Court of Appeals stated:

If child support is requested, pursuant to the foregoing authority, this has heretofore been the point at which support commences or can commence. Prior to this event (i.e., the filing of a dissolution petition), the court has no jurisdiction to issue orders pertaining to matters involving the children of the marriage except in situations involving criminal neglect or abuse. There are no such allegations in the instant case. Until a dissolution petition is filed, the parents are free to decide between themselves financial matters involving the children, such as whether they will pay an allowance, whether they will buy cars for their children, or whether they will pay for a college education, to cite just a few examples. This autonomy ends with the filing of a dissolution petition. With the filing of the petition, the parties immediately confer considerable authority upon the court to make decisions, from that time forward, previously reserved only for the parents. In our view, that rule and the bright line it represents should remain inviolate.

However, there was a dissent by Judge Najam in this case. If you are interested in this topic I strongly encourage you to read the entire opinion.

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