Question: To Your name From Supervising

To: [Your name]
From: Supervising Attorney
Re: Eldridge v. Eldridge; modification of child support
We represent Gwen Eldridge in the case of Eldridge v. Eldridge. The Eldridgeswere divorced in 2010. Mrs. Eldridge was awarded custody of their two minor children. Mr. Eldridge was ordered to make child support payments in the amount of $700 per month. He lost his job in January of 2011 and was unemployed from that date through October of 2011. He then obtained employment as an electrician.
Mr. Eldridge did not make child support pay¬ments for the months he was unemployed. In January of 2012, Mrs. Eldridge filed a motion with the court that entered the divorce decree, seeking an order forcing
Mr. Eldridge to pay the child support payments due for the months he did not make payments; the amount totaled $7,000. Mr. Eldridge countered with a petition to modify his child support obligation. The petition requested that he be excused from having to pay the obligations that accrued during the 10 months he was unemployed. The court ordered Mr. Eldridge to pay one-half of the amount due, $3,500, and excused him from paying the remaining $3,500. The court stated that Mr. Eldridge did not have to pay the full amount because he was unemployed during the months the child support accrued. The attorney that represented Mrs. Eldridge in the trial court told her that there is no basis for an appeal of the court order.
Please check the statutory and case law to determine if the trial court acted properly when it excused Mr. Eldridge from paying $3,500 of the back child support.
Statutory Law: Ind. Code § 31-2-11-12, Modification of delinquent support payment, provides:
(a) Except as provided in subsection (b)..., a court may not retroactively modify an obligor's duty to pay a delinquent support payment.
(b) A court with jurisdiction over a support order may modify an obligor's duty to pay a support payment that becomes due:
(1) After notice of a petition to modify the support order has been given ... to the obligee ... and
(2) Before a final order concerning the petition for modification is entered.
Case Law: Cardwell v. Gwaltney, 556 N.E.2d 953 (Ind. Ct. App. 1990) (see Appendix A).

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