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If you live in Ohio and have questions or concerns about the Ohio child support laws, the good news is that all of the information you need can be found at https://www.divorcenet.com/resources/child-support-enforcement-ohio.html, including how child support is calculated and why it is considered a basic need for all children. Child support laws vary from state to state, but the state of Ohio is determined to make the rules easy to understand and even easier to apply.
Ohio Child Support Laws – Understanding the Basics
Much like other states, the state of Ohio considers both parents to be responsible for the financial and economic well-being of the children they share, whether they are married or not. Couples who are no longer together are included in this rule, and normally the noncustodial parent is the one responsible for making child support payments.
If couples share custody of minor children, it is usually the parent who makes the most money that pays child support, not as a way to punish that parent, but as a way to make sure the child enjoys a certain standard of living regardless of who he or she lives with. There is a set fee schedule that applies to all parents who pay child support, and the court system has the final approval regarding the amount to be paid each month.
To get started, the court takes into consideration both parents’ income for the past three years. This includes not only regular income, but also any bonuses, commissions, and tips received. They can also take into consideration things such as pensions, overtime pay, royalties, and dividends when calculating the amount to be paid in child support. Next, adjustments are made so that taxes, insurance, and other expenses are taken out and the correct payment can be calculated.
The process follows basic guidelines, but also takes each individual’s case into consideration so that a fair amount is decided upon in the end. More information on these guidelines and the worksheets they use to get this amount can be found at http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3119.022.
OH State Child Support Laws – Deviating From the Norm
Of course, this doesn’t mean that every couple is treated the same way because certain special circumstances may apply to one couple that don’t apply to another. Because of this, the state looks at special situations that may result in the payment amount being altered in some way, including:
- Special needs children
- Other court-ordered payments the parents may have
- Any extraordinary obligations that may apply to a particular child
- Disparity in income between the two households
- Benefits one parent may have that the other one doesn’t, including when one parent has an income-earning spouse and the other one doesn’t
- The educational needs of the child
- Any in-kind obligations such as payments for lessons, sports equipment, or clothing
- The financial resources and earning ability of the child
As you can see, there are many things that affect the amount of child support a noncustodial parent ends up paying. When parents share custody of the child, the judge can choose to deviate from the laws and guidelines if he or she so chooses, but the courts work hard to come up with a child support payment amount that is fair to both the child and the parents themselves.
Furthermore, in many cases you can have the amount you’re paying or receiving modified, as long as it has been at least 36 months since it was set or modified in the past. Administrative reviews involve caseworkers who will go over your situation in detail so that an appropriate determination can be made. If it has been less than 36 months since your situation has been reviewed or changed, you can still ask for a review, and a list of justifiable reasons for these reviews can be found at http://www.odjfs.state.oh.us/forms/num/JFS%2001849/pdf/.
Ohio Child Support – Income Guidelines Apply
The state of Ohio takes the parents’ income levels into account before applying the other rules in child support cases, and the following are the numbers they generally use when calculating the exact amount of child support:
- Incomes of $11,510.40 or less: 19.193% of the amount of income
- Incomes of $11,510.40 to $39,044.16: 19.193% of $11,510.40 plus 16.047% of the income above $11,510.40
- Incomes of $39,044.16 to $49,984.92: 16.974% of $39,044.16 plus 14.788% of the income above $39,044.16
- Incomes of $49,984.92 to $58,239.48: 16.496% of $49,984.92 plus 11.039% of the income above $49,984.92
- Incomes of $58,239.48 to $66,433.56: 15.722% of $58,239.48 plus 7.167% of the income above $58,239.48
- Incomes of $66,433.56 to $78,814.80: 14.667% of $66,433.56 plus 5.915% of the income above $66,433.56
- Incomes of $78,814.80 to $91,196.16: 13.292% of $78,814.80 plus 8.162% of the income above $78,814.80
For incomes higher than $91,196.16, the specific calculation amounts can be found at http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3119. As you can see, the state’s general guidelines are just that – guidelines, which means different circumstances can alter these amounts. In addition, the above amounts are applicable only to couples who have one child, as having two or more children will change the percentages and the resulting child support payment amounts.
What to Do If Problems Arise
If you and an ex cannot agree on the specifics of paying child support, the state has resources available that include establishing paternity, collecting unpaid child support payments, enforcing a particular child support order, and terminating an order when the time comes. Visiting http://jfs.ohio.gov/Ocs/OCSServices_Overview.stm#3 can help you get started if any of these situations apply to you, and the services outlined on this website can make it a lot easier to get the child support you need and deserve.
The state of Ohio makes paying and receiving child support a lot easier on your part, and they can even help you find an attorney who works free-of-charge in some instances. There is no reason why you should have to worry about getting the financial assistance you need from your minor child’s other parent, because the state not only sets guidelines to help you determine an appropriate amount, but also gives you the resources you need to make sure you receive this money month after month. Just make sure you take advantage of these resources and the rest should be easy.