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Understanding the Basics of Child Support in Ohio

As you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are negotiating the terms of your divorce, you’ll need to make important decisions about providing for your children. While the court will seek to create an equitable parenting schedule that allows your child to enjoy quality time with both parents, it’s typical for the judge to order one parent to make monthly child support payments that are intended to support the costs associated with raising the child. It’s important to recognize that child support applies to essentials like food and clothing, but it can also cover various other expenses.

How Much Ohio Child Support Allows for Payments

The purpose of child support is to ensure that both parents contribute to raising their child’s financial costs. As a child will typically spend more time with one parent, a child support order provides that the custodial parent does not become wholly responsible for covering every cost. The non-custodial parent may assume that these payments are only going towards essentials like food and clothing. Still, the court recognizes that the costs of raising a child are steadily rising. Ohio has a range of standard payment amounts based on combined parental income, which can be viewed here.

In addition to paying for these essentials, a child support order will often require both parents to contribute to the child’s health insurance somehow. For uninsured medical expenses, such as braces, glasses, casts, or other items, the non-custodial parent will be required to step in and help to cover these costs.

Surprising Additional Costs Within Ohio Child Support

Depending on your case’s circumstances, the court may compel the non-custodial parent to assist the custodial parent by covering expenses such as educational costs, childcare, and other costs. If the child wants to participate in an extracurricular activity, the judge may state that both parents are obligated to cover the cost together. State child support laws give judges a considerable amount of room to determine a child support amount designed to support the child as much as possible. Ultimately, the court’s goal is to ensure that the child enjoys a stable and enriching environment that allows them to gain confidence and access the resources necessary to grow and thrive.

How Ohio Child Support is Determined

When a judge calculates the amount of child support the non-custodial parent will owe, various factors can be taken into consideration. Most importantly, the court will look at the employment status and income level of the non-custodial parent. Ohio has a “guideline” formula providing for a specific monthly amount based upon a parent’s income, which, in theory, provides the child with a stable and secure standard of living. However, the court can sometimes use a different amount from the guideline amount based upon the facts and circumstances of your case. This different amount is called a “deviation” from the formula.

It’s also important to recognize that the court understands that circumstances and needs change. If your child requires more financial support, or if the non-custodial parent loses a job or becomes unable to afford the monthly payments, you can seek a modification to the existing child support order. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that both parents can provide the financial and emotional support necessary for their child to thrive.

When Does Child Support in Ohio End?

Child support ends if any of the following occurs:

  • When the child turns 18 and graduates high school
  • Gets married
  • Is deported
  • Enlists in the military
  • Is emancipated by court order
  • Dies
  • The child reaches 19 years of age

 

For more information about child custody in the West Chester area, contact the dedicated and compassionate divorce and family law attorneys at Garretson & Holcomb, LLC by calling (513) 863-6600 today.