In Ohio, the legal system employs a two-step process to determine child support. The initial step is to ascertain the child support payments owed by a parent, which is based on a formula. The second step is a comprehensive examination of various factors to establish the actual amount of child support required.
Typically, the non-custodial parent, or the parent with higher income, will make child support payments to the other parent. If the parents have a shared parenting arrangement, the amount of support may be decreased based on the amount of time the child spends with each parent.
Jennifer Nielsen and her team are highly experienced in providing legal assistance in matters concerning child support. Whether you need assistance in obtaining appropriate financial support for your child or ensuring that you are not paying an unreasonable amount to the custodial parent, we are here to provide the necessary legal guidance and support.
How is Child Support Determined in Ohio
Child support is a legal obligation for non-residential parents to financially support their child’s needs, and it is established in cases such as paternity, separation, dissolution, divorce, or unmarried parents. The state’s guidelines determine child support, and each state has specific rules for calculations.
Ohio uses a modified “income shares” model, pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 3319.021, to calculate child support payments. This model ensures that both parents financially contribute to their child’s upbringing based on their income proportionately. The intention is to provide the same level of financial resources to the child as they would have had if their parents were still together.
While the state has established guidelines, Ohio courts can deviate from the ORC 3119.021 rules. Factors that can lead to deviation include the amount of time the child spends with each parent, a child’s special needs, the family’s pre-separation standard of living, and the non-residential parent’s ability to pay.
If you require assistance in obtaining the appropriate financial support for your child or ensuring that you are not overpaying child support to the custodial parent, our child support attorney Jennifer Nielsen and her team can provide you with the necessary guidance.
How is Child Support Enforced in Ohio
Ohio places great importance on fulfilling child support obligations. If a parent fails to provide payments for an extended period of time, they may face several penalties, such as being held in contempt, fined, incarcerated, or having their license suspended.
The Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) in Ohio is responsible for enforcing child support payments in various communities, and they have the authority to petition the court to mandate a parent to pay their support in a number of ways, which include:
- Initiating contempt of court actions, which could result in incarceration
- Withholding income from the parent’s wages
- Denying passport
- Placing liens on personal or real property
- Issuing a bench warrant for arrest
- Garnishing federal or state tax refund
- Reporting to the credit bureau
- Garnishing workers’ compensation
- Suspending licenses such as drivers, occupational, sporting, and recreational
If a parent fails to make support payments for 26 weeks within two years, they can be charged with a felony of criminal non-support, which may result in imprisonment of up to five years and significant fines. Although the first filing of contempt can be punishable by 30 days in jail, substantial payment of support can usually avoid imprisonment.
Child Support Modification Process
If it has been at least 36 months since the last child support order or review, or if there have been significant changes in your circumstances, you may file in court or request an administrative review from the Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA). During this review, a caseworker will examine the financial information of both parents and assess the change in circumstances to determine whether a modification to the child support order is appropriate.
If one or both parents have a complex financial situation, we strongly recommend that you contact us to file for a modification in court directly. However, if neither party has a complex financial situation, then you may try a modification through CSEA first.
To initiate the process, you must complete and sign a CSEA administrative review request form. Additionally, you need to gather the necessary documents that demonstrate your eligibility for a review and any evidence of the changes in your circumstances.
After submitting the form and required documents, a caseworker will notify you if any further financial information is necessary to complete the review. Once they have received all necessary documentation, they will examine your case and provide a recommendation either to modify the current order or leave it unaltered.
If both parties are in agreement with the CSEA’s recommendation, the changes will be incorporated into the new child support order. If either party objects to the recommendation, then the matter goes before the Domestic Relations Court.
Contact a Columbus Child Support Attorney Today
For legal assistance with any matters related to child support, it is advisable to contact Jennifer Nielsen and her team at your earliest convenience to ensure that all necessary steps are taken.
Jennifer has extensive experience in handling child support cases and is dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome for her clients.
In addition, if you require assistance with child custody matters, please don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule a review of your case.