Child Support Modification – Deviation

In Rolley v. Rolley, an Indiana Court was faced with the issue of child support modification, when the parties had deviated from the child support guidelines. When Father and Mother divorced, they reached an agreement regarding child support that substantially deviated from what would be ordered by applying the Indiana Child Support Guidelines. Later, Mother petitioned to modify Father’s child support obligation. The trial court granted the motion and modified Father’s support requirements. Father appealed, arguing that agreed child support terms cannot be modified absent a substantial and continuing change in circumstances that renders those terms unreasonable. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court granted transfer, adopted the portion of the Court of Appeals’ opinion that addresses the available grounds for modification, and summarily affirmed the portion of the Court of Appeals’ opinion addressing the trial court’s calculation of Father’s support obligation. Thus, the Court determined that the standard for modification was not only a substantial and continuing change, but also the timing and amount of the deviation.