Indiana Paternity Lawyers
At Efron & Efron, in Hammond, Indiana, our paternity lawyers are committed to helping parents work through the complex issues associated with paternity. Often, establishing paternity is a stepping stone toward the resolution of another issue, such as child custody, child support, or inheritance and probate disputes.
Skilled Indiana Paternity Attorneys
A paternity action takes place in the Juvenile Court system in Lake or Porter counties to determine the biological father of a child that is not born of a marriage. This proceeding is typically filed by the mother or the father. Another reason to file this type of action is to obtain an Order of custody, visitation, and child support.
Parents have a legal obligation to financially support their child. Once paternity is established, the Juvenile Court will calculate child support. This is based upon each parent's gross income, whether a parent pays health insurance, day care expenses, child support for children from another marriage, and whether either parent has subsequent children.
Although child support is usually ordered on a weekly basis, it will more than likely be paid in accordance with the obligor's pay schedule. This is the effect of a Wage Withholding Order.
The Court also calculates child support keeping in mind how often the non-custodial parent regularly visits with their child during overnight visits.
Normally, the non-custodial parent paid child support until the child turned 21 years old. Beginning July 1, 2012, IC 31-14-11-18 will be modified to be more in line with the majority of states. Child support will now be terminated at the age of 19. Yet, there are exceptions: if the Court finds that the child is incapacitated, child support can be extended past his or her 19th birthday or if the Court finds that the child is emancipated before the age of 19 child support can be terminated upon the Court's finding of emancipation before the child's 19th birthday. Even with a finding of emancipation, secondary education expenses can continue.
For parents that have an existing child support order entered prior to June 30, 2012, they can still petition the Court for educational expenses before the child turns 21; for any new child support orders entered July 1, 2012 and after, the petition must be filed before the child turns 19. If you are paying child support or receiving child support, please review your Order and consult with Julie A. Stephens if you have any questions on how the new law will affect your particular case.
Custody, visitation and child support can be modified by a Court approved agreement or by Court order when there has been a substantial change of circumstances, pursuant to statute or for other reason that your attorney may explain after consultation.
If your child was given his or her mother's last name on the birth certificate, you can request the Court to change or hyphenate your child's name to include your last name as well at the Paternity hearing.
Contact our Indiana Paternity Lawyers
If you have any questions about paternity, please contact the Indiana paternity lawyers at Efron & Efron. Our attorneys can be reached by phone at  931-5380, by e-mail, or by filling out the intake form on our Contact Us page.