ILS pilot guides pro se parents in child support

More than once, Tippecanoe Superior 2 Judge Steve Meyer has been forced to send self-represented divorce litigants back where they came from for being unprepared in his court.

News Story (Indiana)

Katie Stancombe
Indiana Lawyer
November 13, 2019

Tags: Child Support

Organizations mentioned/involved: Indiana Legal Services (ILS)


Of the divorce cases that he hears involving children, Meyer said at least 80% to 90% of litigants who appear for their court date show up without the necessary child support paperwork. Even if the parties decide to waive support, Meyer said he must file the worksheets. That leaves him and the parents in an unpleasant situation.

“It blocks up our docket, plus it leads to a delay in issuing proper divorce orders and custody, visitation and support,” he said. “There are only five or 10-minute blocks of time, and if I find that they aren’t prepared or don’t have the proper information to move forward, I continue it because I think it’s their obligation to come prepared.”

Meyer brainstormed a solution to the growing problem and settled on an idea that he pitched to Indiana Legal Services: Would they partner with his court to assist parents in filling out their child support worksheets? The affirmative answer was a relief.