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Child Support

Common Questions About Child Support in Ohio

Who Pays Child Support?

In the state of Ohio, it is a child’s right to receive support from both of their parents. That’s why the Ohio courts have particular guidelines and requirements for who pays child support and exactly how much. Generally, the noncustodial parent is assigned to make payments to the residential parent, with the understanding that the residential parent pays their half by supporting the child directly.

What If We Split Custody?

Split custody is an arrangement that involves multiple children wherein each parent has sole custody of one or more children. For instance, the eldest child may decide to live with mom, while the youngest wants to stay with dad. In this arrangement, the parent who makes the most money will provide supplemental payments to their former spouse at a rate that makes up the difference between what each parent should provide. This is a way of protecting the child’s standard of living after the divorce.

How Is Child Support Calculated?

To determine the amount each parent will pay, both incomes are examined over the last three years. This includes salary, wages, commissions, tips, worker’s compensation, unemployment, disability, and all other earned or unearned income. The two incomes are then combined, deductions are made for things like state and federal taxes, and then the adjusted gross income is applied to a chart that calculates the amount of child support needed for each child. This chart is known as the Guideline Child Support Calculation, and the state of Ohio provides a tool for you to calculate it for yourself. It can be found here.

Can I Adjust How Much I’m Required To Pay?

The Guideline Child Support Calculation is only a tool the court will use to determine a fair amount of child support. Ultimately the final number will be left up to the judge. If the judge decides that the amount of support does not serve the child’s best interest, they may adjust the number based on specific circumstances of the case. These circumstances are called common deviations. There are 16 common deviations that a judge might consider, including:

  • A child’s special or unusual needs
  • Other court-ordered payments
  • Extraordinary costs associated with parenting time
  • Benefits either parent may receive through remarriage
  • Extraordinary travel expenses
  • The separate standards of living of the parents, and the standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the parents stayed together.


You may have many more questions about your child support obligations or the obligations of your former spouse. If so, call Garretson & Holcomb today at (513) 863-6600.

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