Determining the Amount
for Child Support in Ohio
Under Ohio Revised Code section 3119.02:
"In any action in which a court child support order is issued or modified, the court or child support enforcement agency shall calculate the amount of the parents' child support and cash medical support in accordance with the basic child support schedule, the applicable worksheet, and the other provisions of the law."
The amount is determined using the following steps:
Determine Domestic Gross Income
The domestic gross income of a wage-earning parent includes the parent's earned and unearned income from all sources during a calendar year. This includes the parent's salary, wages, commissions, bonuses, overtime pay, dividends, royalties, tips, rents, pension, social security benefits, and any severance package. These will be used to calculate both parents' gross income.
Calculate Imputed Income
If a parent is voluntarily unemployed, underemployed, or refuses to provide proof of their earnings for the past three years, the court or agency may impute the parent's income to determine what the parent would have earned if fully employed. When calculating imputed income, the following factors will be considered:
- The previous employment experience of the parent
- The parent's education
- The special skills and training of the parent
- The parent's mental and physical disabilities, if any
- The availability of employment opportunities in the geographic area where the parent lives
- The predominant salary and wage levels in the geographic area where the parent is living
- Evidence that the parent is able to earn the imputed income
- The child's age and special needs
- The parent's increased earning capacity
- The parent's decreased earning capacity due to a felony conviction
- Any other relevant factor
Determine Adjusted Gross Income
After determining the gross income of both parents, amounts paid for mandatory deductions and credits will be removed to determine each parent's adjusted income. Such deductions usually include expenses such as union dues, spousal support payments, and federal and state taxes.
Calculate Child Support Payments
The Child Support Guideline will be used to calculate the net child support payments. The court may adjust the guideline amount (increase or decrease) if doing this would be in the best interest of the child.
Modifying an Existing Arrangement
Either parent can request a modification of their child support order anytime or a review every 36 months. Some reasons to request a modification include:
- Unemployment or involuntary loss of job
- A substantial change in income
- Active military duty
- An increase or decrease in the cost of childcare or health insurance
- A permanent disability
Termination of Child Support
In Ohio, both parents have the responsibility to support their child financially until the child is18 years of age. However, the existing support order may automatically continue if:
- The child is still in high school
- The child has a mental or physical disability
- The parents agree to continue supporting their child for an extended period
Work With Experienced
Child Support Attorneys
Establishing child support arrangements in Ohio often involves several complexities. If you are a parent considering a divorce and trying to establish a child support agreement; or if you believe that there have been substantial changes in circumstances since the original child support order was made, and you are seeking a modification, consulting with a knowledgeable Ohio family law attorney is important to protect your child support rights and for proper guidance.
At Heckert & Moreland Co., LPA, our attorneys have devoted their careers to offering experienced legal guidance and handling child support cases. As your legal counsel, we will help you understand every aspect of the child support process, including how to establish, challenge, review, modify, or terminate a support decree. As experienced child support attorneys, we will explore your possible legal options, work diligently to address your needs, and fight to protect your rights, future, and family's best interest.