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Child Support FAQs (by Ohio Divorce Attorney)

CHILD SUPPORT FAQs

  1. keith's child supportWhat are the child support guidelines?
    The Child Support Guidelines are guidelines are the rules passed by the Ohio legislature which calculate child support orders based upon the financial circumstances of both parents. These guidelines are presumed under the law to be the correct. (R.C. 3119.03) Your attorney provides the information to the court which will allow it to set a child support amount. You may be able to find an Ohio child support calculator by searching the web, but be warned: THESE ON-LINE CALCULATORS ARE OFTEN WRONG! The Ohio basic child support schedule can be found at O.R.C. 3119.021.R.C. 3119.23 governs the factors which must be considered by the court in granting a deviation from the guidelines.

    • (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.The court may accept an agreement of the parents that assigns a monetary value to any of the factors and criteria listed in this section that are applicable to their situation.If the court grants a deviation based on division (P) of this section, it shall specifically state in the order the facts that are the basis for the deviation.
  2. Do I need an attorney to get help from the Child Support Enforcement Agency?
    No. Any family receiving public assistance qualifies for free services through the CSEA. Families that do not receive assistance can apply for services by filling out an application and paying a $1.00 application fee. You can apply for service at your local CSEA office. In Greene County the CSEA office is located at 541 Ledbetter Road, Xenia, Ohio 45385. They can be reached by phone at (937) 562-6200. You can reach Montgomery County CSEA at 937-225-4600, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  3. If I send money directly to my ex-wife/husband will that be counted as child support?  No. Your payments may be considered as a gift under Ohio law and you will receive no credit for your efforts.
  4. What happens when if I fall behind in my child support payments?  Falling behind (called “going into default”) by just one month will result in your being sent a letter with the possible enforcement remedies that the CSEA or the other party may pursue. As you can imagine the enforcement of child support orders ranges from harsh to extremely harsh. You can request an administrative hearing to decide if the arrearage amount is correct or if you are the person who should be paying the money. If you disagree with the administrative decision you can file for a hearing in court.
  5. Can the amount of my child support be changed once a court issues an order?  The answer to this question could be (and is) the subject of its own book. In the simplest terms, if the parties agree to the change and the court approves the agreement then the order can be changed. If the parties can’t reach an agreement, the unhappy person may request a court hearing and present testimony. If you find yourself in this position, you should consult competent litigation counsel.
  6. If my ex-husband/wife is not making his/her child support payment can I deny his/her visitation as punishment?  No, failure to pay support never justifies cutting off visitation. Conversely, if you are denied visitation you cannot stop paying support. The duties are separate and distinct. The proper way to handle a denial of visitation is the petition the court to hold the offending party in contempt. If found in contempt, the court may order the offending party to pay court costs, your attorney fees, or may invite them to spend some time in jail. O.R.C. 3119.44. Unfortunately, there is not a provision in Ohio law requiring a parent to exercise visitation.

Jamie L. Anderson dedicates her practice to representing families through the changes of a divorce or dissolution.  She has made herself one of Greene County’s most prominent matrimonial attorneys and will use her experience to secure your family, your finances and your future.  Contact Jamie L. Anderson at (937) 879-9542 or visit www.OhioDivorceAttorney.com to learn more.