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How Far Behind in Child Support Before a Warrant Is Issued Indiana

Title: How Far Behind in Child Support Before a Warrant Is Issued in Indiana


Ensuring the financial well-being of children is a crucial responsibility of parents, and when one parent fails to fulfill their child support obligations, it can have significant consequences. In Indiana, as in many other states, there are legal measures in place to enforce child support payments. One such measure is the issuance of a warrant when a parent falls behind on their child support payments. This article will explore the guidelines surrounding how far behind in child support a parent must be before a warrant is issued in Indiana. Additionally, a section of frequently asked questions (FAQs) will provide further clarity on this topic.

Understanding the Child Support System in Indiana

In Indiana, the Office of Child Support Services (OCSS) is responsible for enforcing child support orders. The OCSS assists custodial parents in obtaining and enforcing support orders, ensuring that children receive financial assistance from non-custodial parents. The OCSS works in collaboration with the Indiana Child Support Guidelines, which provide a framework for calculating child support obligations based on the income of both parents.

When Does a Warrant for Child Support Arrears Get Issued?

1. Minimum Arrearage Threshold: In Indiana, a warrant for child support arrears may be issued when the non-custodial parent owes a minimum of $2,000 in unpaid child support. This threshold is in line with federal guidelines and ensures that warrants are not issued for minor arrearages.

2. Timeframe for Payment Default: Typically, a warrant is not immediately issued when a parent falls behind on child support payments. The OCSS will first attempt to collect the unpaid support through various means, such as wage garnishment or intercepting tax refunds. If these efforts fail, the custodial parent may request the issuance of a warrant.

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3. Review by the Court: When a request for a warrant is made, the court will review the case to determine if it meets the necessary criteria. The court will consider the amount owed, the length of time the parent has been in arrears, and any extenuating circumstances that may have contributed to the delinquency.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Can child support arrearages be resolved without a warrant being issued?
A1. Yes, OCSS employs various enforcement methods, such as wage garnishment and intercepting tax refunds, to collect unpaid child support before resorting to issuing a warrant. It is in the best interest of both parents to resolve the arrearages without legal intervention.

Q2. What are the consequences of a warrant being issued for child support arrears?
A2. When a warrant is issued, law enforcement agencies may take action to locate and apprehend the non-custodial parent. They may face arrest, fines, and even incarceration. Additionally, any Federal tax refund due to the non-custodial parent may be intercepted to satisfy the outstanding child support debt.

Q3. Can a warrant be lifted once issued?
A3. Yes, a warrant can be lifted if the non-custodial parent pays the outstanding child support arrears or agrees to a payment plan approved by the court. It is advisable to consult with an attorney or contact OCSS to explore available options.

Q4. Can the custodial parent request a warrant to be issued?
A4. Yes, the custodial parent can request the issuance of a warrant if the non-custodial parent falls behind on child support payments. However, the court will review the case and make a determination based on the relevant circumstances.

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Q5. What should I do if I am unable to pay child support due to financial hardship?
A5. If you are experiencing financial hardship, it is important to communicate with OCSS and the court. They may be able to modify your child support order based on your current financial situation. Ignoring the issue will only exacerbate the problem.


Child support arrears can have serious legal consequences, and in Indiana, a warrant may be issued when a parent owes a minimum of $2,000 in unpaid child support. However, before issuing a warrant, the OCSS and the court will make efforts to collect the arrears through other means. It is essential for both custodial and non-custodial parents to be aware of their rights and responsibilities regarding child support. Seeking legal advice and working with the OCSS can help resolve any issues and ensure the best interests of the child are protected.

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