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Child Support

Can Child Support Be Modified or Changed in Ohio?

One of the most contentious battles in a divorce involving children is over child support, who will pay, and how much. While many think that support orders are final and unchangeable, there may be instances where modifications are possible. This post goes into more detail about those scenarios.

Going Through the Court for a Child Support Change

Either party can file a court motion requesting a change in the original support order. In order for the court to modify an existing child support order, there must be a “change in circumstances” from the original order.

There are no time constraints for this, and the court typically has more flexibility when deciding upon support matters. You will have to “serve” the other party with formal papers, and this process can be more complicated.

Those deciding to go this route should certainly enlist the help of an experienced Ohio child support attorney, as this process can get complicated and may require some legal representation.

Government Agency Route

The state of Ohio’s child support agency can, at least in theory, ask parents if they desire a child support review 36 months from the original order date or date of last review.

A caseworker will look at both spouses’ income and information to consider any changes to the support order and potential health insurance additions or changes.

If certain circumstances are met, the state agency can review certain support orders sooner than the timeframe as mentioned above:

  • A parent has been unemployed or laid off (through no fault of their own) for more than 30 consecutive days.
  • A parent is experiencing at least a 30 percent decrease in gross income of income-producing assets for six months because of circumstances beyond their control, and they expect that decrease to continue for an extended period of time.

The Ohio Office of Child Support caseworker will look at all the facts and income information and make a binding determination about support and any potential changes.


Clients across West Chester, Hamilton, and Mason trust Garretson & Holcomb, LLC with all of their child support needs. Whether going through the state agency for a modification or serving papers to a difficult former partner, our family law team is here to help. Call (513) 863-6600 to learn more.

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