In Ohio, child support is governed by Chapter 3119 of the Ohio Revised Code. Ohio uses a worksheet that calculates child support according to a formula based upon the income of both parents, the marginal cost of private health insurance and the cost of childcare.   Deductions are allowed for child support paid for other children, any spousal support paid, and for children of which the obligor has custody. In the case of a self-employed individual, certain ordinary and necessary business deductions are allowed.

Each guideline child support worksheet consists of three distinct figures. The first figure represents the amount of child support that the obligor pays when private health insurance is provided for the child. The second figure represents the amount of child support that the obligor pays when private health insurance is not provided for the child. The third figure is called cash medical support which paid by the obligor when a child is receiving state Medicaid benefits. The second and third figures pre paid together to the obligee and the state respectively.

The calculated guideline amounts are legally presumed to be in the best interest of the child, but Ohio Courts are authorized to deviate upward or downward from the guideline amounts based upon a series of factors contained in R.C. 3119.23 when the guideline amount would be unjust, inappropriate or not in the best interest of the child. Those factors are:

(A) Special and unusual needs of the children;

(B) Extraordinary obligations for minor children or obligations for handicapped children who are not stepchildren and who are not offspring from the marriage or relationship that is the basis of the immediate child support determination;

(C) Other court-ordered payments;

(D) Extended parenting time or extraordinary costs associated with parenting time, provided that this division does not authorize and shall not be construed as authorizing any deviation from the schedule and the applicable worksheet, through the line establishing the actual annual obligation, or any escrowing, impoundment, or withholding of child support because of a denial of or interference with a right of parenting time granted by court order;

(E) The obligor obtaining additional employment after a child support order is issued in order to support a second family;

(F) The financial resources and the earning ability of the child;

(G) Disparity in income between parties or households;

(H) Benefits that either parent receives from remarriage or sharing living expenses with another person;

(I) The amount of federal, state, and local taxes actually paid or estimated to be paid by a parent or both of the parents;

(J) Significant in-kind contributions from a parent, including, but not limited to, direct payment for lessons, sports equipment, schooling, or clothing;

(K) The relative financial resources, other assets and resources, and needs of each parent;

(L) The standard of living and circumstances of each parent and the standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage continued or had the parents been married;

(M) The physical and emotional condition and needs of the child;

(N) The need and capacity of the child for an education and the educational opportunities that would have been available to the child had the circumstances requiring a court order for support not arisen;

(O) The responsibility of each parent for the support of others;

(P) Any other relevant factor.

Determining income for purposes of child support is easy when one is a W2 employee. The process is much more complicated when either parent is self-employed.   Despite the formulaic nature of child support calculations in Ohio, there are many factors that can alter the final amount you pay or receive. If you are facing a child support case, contact my office.


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