What is my Mother's obligation to support my Brother in Indiana?

Full Question:

My father died long ago and I live with my mother and younger brother, who turned 10 years, in Indiana. My mother is running her own business but she is not providing any support for my brother. She asks me to provide support to him, but I don't have much income to support. Does she commit any offense by failing to provide support? If so what will be the punishment?
03/08/2017   |   Category: Minors ยป Support   |   State: Indiana   |   #33576

Answer:

Yes, since your mother knowingly and intentionally failed to provide support to her son (your brother) she has committed the offense of nonsupport of a child. It is a Level 6 felony in which she may be imprisoned for a fixed term of between 6 months and 2 and half years. In addition, she may be fined not more than $ 10,000. It is covered in Burns

Ind. Code Ann. § 35-46-1-5 which reads:
 
 “(a) A person who knowingly or intentionally fails to provide support to the person's dependent child commits nonsupport of a child, a Level 6 felony. However, the offense is a Level 5 felony if the person has a previous conviction under this section.
 
(b) It is a defense that the child had abandoned the home of the child's family without the consent of the child's parent or on the order of a court, but it is not a defense that the child had abandoned the home of the child's family if the cause of the child's leaving was the fault of the child's parent.
 
(c) It is a defense that the accused person, in the legitimate practice of the person's religious belief, provided treatment by spiritual means through prayer, in lieu of medical care, to the person's dependent child.
 
(d) It is a defense that the accused person was unable to provide support.”
 
Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 35-50-2-7reads:
“***
(b) A person who commits a Level 6 felony (for a crime committed after June 30, 2014) shall be imprisoned for a fixed term of between six (6) months and two and one-half (2 1/2) years, with the advisory sentence being one (1) year. In addition, the person may be fined not more than ten thousand dollars ($ 10,000).”