When parents split up, one of the issues to consider is how to handle child support. Determining an appropriate amount of child support can be difficult, especially when the parties cannot agree. A Cincinnati child support attorney at Goldberg Evans LLC can help you navigate the process and ensure that your children are properly supported.
How does child support work in Ohio?
Child support will largely be dependent on the custody and parenting arrangements agreed upon by the parties or ordered by the Court. Child support is the money that a party receives intended to assist with the costs of raising and supporting a child.
Once a child support order is established, an account will be set up with the Child Support Enforcement Agency in your county. That enforcement agency will engage in the collection and accounting of the order. If a parent does not make the required payments, there are other remedies, including contempt, for enforcement of the order.
While there is a child support calculation, child support is not simple because of many additional considerations related to the financial welfare of the children and parties. According to Chapter 3119 of the Ohio Revised Code, courts will consider a number of factors when making their determination, including:
The income of both parents
The court will look at all forms of the gross income of each party, including each parent’s gross wages, commissions, tips, business income, and investment earnings. If one parent is not working, the court may impute their income based on their earning potential. In this case, a Court should make a finding of voluntary under or unemployment and it is intended to prevent one parent from avoiding child support obligations by simply not working.
Ohio child custody arrangements
In the case of sole custody, the non-custodial parent will have a child support obligation. However, if the parents share joint custody (referred to in Ohio as Shared Parenting) of their child, both parents will have a child support obligation to the other, which may reduce the overall exchange of support.
The amount of time each parent spends with the child will also be considered. The current child support statute provides for an automatic 10% reduction in child support if the party exercises at least 90 overnights of parenting time per calendar year. Additional reductions may also be considered for more parenting time.
The needs of the child(ren)
Another important factor the court will consider is the needs of the child. This includes things like healthcare, childcare, and education expenses. For example, if the child is receiving private school education, the court might require a contribution from the obligor parent to maintain this level of schooling.
How long does child support last?
In the state of Ohio, child support is typically paid until the child turns 18 years old or graduates from high school, whichever happens last but not beyond the age of 19. However, there are some circumstances in which child support may be required for a longer period of time, such as if the child has a disability that will prevent him/her from being able to live independently.
It is also important to note that child support payments may be modified after the initial order is made and until the child emancipates.
What if one parent can’t afford to pay child support?
It is important to understand that Ohio takes child support very seriously. In most cases, the parent ordered to pay child support will be required to do so even if they are struggling financially.
If a party fails to pay child support, the child support agency may initiate the seizure of tax refunds, suspend a driver’s license, or initiate a contempt action which may result in jail time. As a result, the parent who is ordered to pay child support must make every effort to do so.
There are some circumstances in which a parent may be able to have their child support payments reduced or even suspended. This usually occurs when the paying parent experiences a significant change in their financial situation, such as losing their job or becoming disabled.
How much is child support?
According to section 3119.021: Basic child support schedule, child support is typically calculated using a formula that considers both parents’ incomes and the amount of time each parent spends with the child. The court will also consider other factors, such as whether either parent has custody of other children, whether either parent pays alimony to a previous spouse, and whether either parent has special needs.
Another factor that the court will consider is the child’s health insurance coverage. The cost of the coverage will be factored into the calculation. The Court may also require that one or both parents pay for childcare expenses, such as daycare or after-school care. That is typically done in cases where both parents are working. While these are some factors considered, it’s important to contact an experienced, qualified attorney from Goldberg Evans to understand more about child support.
The Ohio Child Support Calculator is a great place to start determining how much child support you may be required to pay or receive.
What can child support be used for in Ohio?
Whether asking for child support or paying it, many people want to know the intended use of child support. In Ohio, child support is intended to be used for the child’s needs. These needs include food, shelter, clothing, transportation, education, and any other necessary expenses.
What is the difference between child support and alimony (referred to as Spousal Support)?
In Ohio, child support and alimony are two different things. Child support is a payment made by one party to the other for supporting their shared child or children. Additionally, the parent paying child support cannot use it as a way to control the other parent.
Alimony (Spousal Support in Ohio), on the other hand, is a payment made by one spouse to the other. It is typically paid for a set period of time and is used to help the receiving spouse maintain his/her standard of living or to obtain additional education or training. You can read more about that here.
Hiring a Cincinnati Child Support Attorney
When it comes to child support, it is always suggested to seek the help of a Cincinnati child support attorney.
First, our attorneys will meet with you to discuss your case’s specific situation and circumstances. It’s important to be upfront and honest with your attorney about your finances and the circumstances of your case, as this will help her better understand what to expect and how to best represent you.
We will then work with you to develop a legal strategy tailored to your specific needs and goals. Maybe a dispute resolution process is the right option for you, or you need to go to court. Whatever the case, we will work with you to develop a plan that is in your best interests.
If you are facing a child support issue, contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.