Child support in Ohio takes into account a formula that combines the gross income of both parents. This formula allows for certain deductions including paid/received spousal support. The result is adjusted gross income (AGI), which is then applied to a chart calculating an appropriate amount of child support.
Potential adjustments may be made for work-related childcare, and the overall final figure is called the “guideline child support”.
Can You Alter ‘Guideline Child Support’ in Ohio?
The court can reduce the number if it is not in the child’s best interest after further investigating the case. In total, there are 16 of these “deviation factors,” one of which allows the court to consider anything relevant to reduce the child support order. Standard deviation factors include the amount of time the children spend with each parent, additional costs incurred by a parent for the child, or extraordinary travel expenses.
Additionally, the court has the authority to order child support above the guideline. The calculation that determines child support required to raise children only considers income up to $300,000.00 annually. Therefore, if the parents earn a combined income of greater than $300,000.00, the court must determine on a case-by-case basis whether the guideline amount is appropriate or if the amount should be increased to meet the children’s needs.
Courts also address which parent is allowed to claim a child as a dependent for tax purposes and uncovered medical expenses in child support orders.
What If The Other Parent Refuses to Work?
When a parent chooses to quit their job or chooses not to work at a job that pays close to their realistic earning potential, the court can “impute” income to that parent. This is essentially assigning the parent income to calculate child support. In determining the imputed amount, the court will consider:
- The parent’s education
- Special training and skills
- Previous work experience
- Age and special needs of the child
- The employment market in the area
- Any mental or physical disabilities of the parent
- Wage/Salary levels in the area
- Evidence parent can earn the proposed imputed income
- Decreased earning ability because of a felony conviction
- Increased earning capacity because of experience
Through these determinations, the court may ask a vocational expert to provide their opinion.
Above all, if you anticipate issues receiving your fair share of child support from a contentious spouse, you’ll want to enlist the help of an experienced and aggressive personal injury attorney to have proper representation on your side who can advocate on your behalf. Call Garretson & Holcomb, LLC today at (513) 863-6600 to learn more about our experience in Butler and Warren Counties.