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Child Support

Understanding Your Legal Rights in Child Support Cases in Ohio

By April 26, 2024April 29th, 2024No Comments

Navigating child support in Ohio can be complex, but understanding the legal framework and knowing your rights can help any parent involved in these issues. When you understand your rights, you can better protect them, and you can identify the appropriate agencies that enforce them.

If you’re reading this, you’re trying to get a better understanding of Ohio child support laws, and you’ve come to the right place. This article will look into the rights and responsibilities that affect both custodial and non-custodial parents in child support cases across Ohio, and how Garretson & Holcomb, LLC can help.

If you need an experienced, reliable, and professional child support attorney or divorce lawyer, call our office today.

Introduction to Child Support in Ohio

In Ohio, when parents divorce, if one parent will be the primary caretaker of the child, that parent will usually be referred to as the custodial parent, at least for child support purposes. The other parent, who the child does not live with full-time, is called the non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent pays child support payments to the custodial parent to help cover the costs of raising the child. It’s a way to ensure that the child is well taken care of and maintains a stable life with the financial support of both parents.

Calculating Child Support in Ohio

In Ohio, the amount of child support a non-custodial parent has to pay is determined by a standard method called the Ohio Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines help ensure that the calculation is fair and consistent. Here’s what goes into determining the amount:

  • Parental Incomes: The incomes of both parents are considered to make sure that the child benefits from what both parents can financially offer.
  • Healthcare and Education Costs: Costs related to the child’s health care, insurance, and education are added to the calculation to meet the child’s particular needs.
  • Childcare Expenses: If the custodial parent needs childcare because of work, school, or vocational training, the costs will be included in the calculation.
  • Number of Children and Special Needs: The amount can be adjusted if there are multiple children or if any children have special needs for education or comfort.

Establishing Child Support

In Ohio, setting up child support usually happens during divorce proceedings with a court order, but it can also be arranged through a local child support enforcement agency. The process starts by filing a request for support and providing documents that show each parent’s financial situation. Often, there can be hearings at the local child support agency to finalize how much the non-custodial parent needs to pay.

Modifying Child Support

Child support agreements are designed to be adaptable to the changing circumstances in life. This means they can be reviewed and adjusted if there is a significant change in the situation of either parent or the needs of the child. For instance, if a parent gets a much higher salary, loses their job, or has a change in their health that affects their earning ability, these changes can prompt a review of the child support amount. Similarly, if the child’s expenses increase due to medical issues, educational needs, or other care requirements, the child support payments may need to be increased to support the new demands adequately.

Enforcing Child Support

Making sure child support is paid is crucial for the child’s welfare and the custodial parent’s rights. In Ohio, the local (county) child support agency uses several strategies to ensure parents fulfill their child support obligations. One common method is income withholding, where child support payments are automatically deducted from the non-custodial parent’s paycheck. Additionally, the agency can intercept tax refunds and suspend professional licenses. In extreme cases, when a parent refuses to pay, the agency can take legal action that could put the parent in jail. Child support enforcement is the only legal form of debtor’s prison in the U.S., although it’s generally avoided if possible.

Rights and Responsibilities of the Custodial Parent

  • Receive Payments On Time: The custodial parent is entitled to receive child support payments according to the schedule set by the court.
  • Enforcement Support: If the non-custodial parent fails to make timely payments, the custodial parent can seek assistance from child support enforcement agencies to ensure compliance with the support order.
  • Modify Support Orders: The custodial parent can request a review and modification of the child support amount if significant changes occur in either parent’s financial situation or if the needs of the child change.

Rights and Responsibilities of the Non-Custodial Parent

  • Fair Assessment of Payments: The non-custodial parent has the right to a fair calculation of child support payments that considers their income and financial capacity.
  • Request Modifications: If there is a substantial change in their financial circumstances, such as a job loss or health issue, the non-custodial parent can petition to revise the support payments to reflect their current situation.
  • Dispute Calculations: They also have the right to challenge and correct any inaccuracies in the calculation of their child support payments to prevent overpayment or underpayment.

How Garretson & Holcomb, LLC Can Help

At Garretson & Holcomb, LLC, we understand the challenges you face in child support matters. Our experienced child support attorneys and divorce lawyers are dedicated to ensuring that your rights are protected, and that child support orders are fair and just. Whether you need assistance establishing, modifying, or enforcing a child support order, our team is here to help.

Call Garretson & Holcomb, LLC today at (513) 863-6600 to learn how we can assist you in navigating your child support case with confidence.

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