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Ohio Child Support
Child Support in Ohio

In Ohio, either or both parents may be ordered to pay child support. Marital misconduct is not considered.

There are official Ohio Child Support Guidelines that the courts use to help determine the correct amount of child support. These guidelines are based on a prorated share for each parent of the combined net income of both parents. These guidelines are followed, unless the parents have agreed to a child support amount on their own, or the court finds these guidelines unjust for a particular case.

Ohio child support is calculated by estimating the amount of support that would have been available to the children if the marriage had not failed by using the Income Shares Model. This estimated amount is then divided proportionally to the parents according to each parent's income. Using the Ohio child support worksheet easily does this and pay records typically substantiate the estimated incomes.

This routine takes into account both parents' gross income and applies a percentage to it based on the number of minor children they have together. The court takes the combined income of both parents and works out the proportion each contributes. That figure is then divided proportionately based on each parent's ability to pay and which parent has primary custody.

If the noncustodial parent has a higher income than the custodial parent, the noncustodial parent would then be responsible for the greater portion of the child support obligation; conversely, if the noncustodial parent has a lower income than the custodial, the noncustodial parent would then be responsible for the smaller portion of the child support obligation.

Normally, the obligor of child support makes payments through the state child support agency.

The child support guidelines are presumed to be correct unless there is a showing that the amount of the support award would be unjust or inappropriate under the particular circumstances of a case. A child support computation worksheet is also contained in the statute. This is contained in Ohio Revised Code Annotated; Sections 3105.71 and 3113.217.

Additional information about Ohio child support can be found in the Ohio state statutes.

Other Expenses and Deductions

Extraordinary expenses are either add-ons, where the expense is added to the support payment, or deductions, where the amount is deducted, and indicated as either mandatory or permissive.

Generally, the marital settlement agreement spells out the terms and conditions dealing with medical insurance coverage for the child and the payment of medical bills. If it is not, the courts may order a parent to provide health insurance coverage for the child. Health care insurance also may be ordered for the child the spouse.

Childcare is an add-on expense.


Generally, the obligation ends when the child reaches 18 years of age or the child graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. A child will also automatically be ineligible for child support if that child marries, or is removed from disability status by a court order.

Child Support Enforcement

Ohio garnishes incomes to make child support payments. Obligors pay their child support by having it held directly from their earnings, much like income tax withholding.

Withholding is generally easier for both parties and considered a very dependable solution. The state agency receives and disburses payments after support is withheld and payment verified.

When a supporting parent demonstrates that he or she provides more than half of the support for dependants not included in the court order related to a second marriage and is current in support, no more than 50 percent of his disposal income may be attached when he cannot comply with the first and second support orders. When he is in arrears, the number increases to 55 percent, or 60 percent for a payor only providing support for the current order, and 65 percent for a payer in arrears and only paying on the current order.

More information about Ohio Child Support Enforcement can be found at their website.

Deviation Factors

If the court finds its guidelines unjust for a particular case, considerations for deviation and adjustment may include:

  • special or unusual needs of the child;
  • obligations for other minor or handicapped children;
  • other court-ordered payments;
  • extended visitation or extraordinary expenses for visitation;
  • mandatory wage deductions;
  • a great difference in income in the two parents' households;
  • benefits that either parent receives from remarrying or from sharing living expenses with others;
  • taxes;
  • significant contributions from a parent toward the child's expenses;
  • the financial resources and earning power of the child;
  • the standard of living of each parent and the standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the marriage had continued;
  • the age and the physical, emotional and general needs of the child;
  • the medical and educational needs of the child;
  • comparing the earning power, financial resources, assets, needs and obligations of each parent;
  • the educational aptitude of the child and any educational opportunities;
  • the responsibility of each parent for the support of others;
  • the value of services contributed by the custodial parent;
  • and other relevant factors.

Private school tuition, for instance, is a deviation factor.

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