Understanding Temporary Child Support in an Ohio Divorce

Once you or your spouse has filed for divorce, finances often change dramatically. As a parent, one of your paramount concerns is to make sure that your child continues to have the monetary support they need. That is where temporary child support comes in: it ensures that your child is taken care of until a formal, permanent child support order is in place. As a parent, it is your right and responsibility to make sure that your child has the security of financial support from the beginning, whether you and your spouse are separated or already seeking a divorce.

How temporary child support works

Temporary child support in Ohio can be requested from the time the divorce is filed with the courts. It is often applied when parents can’t come to an agreement as to how much child support should be paid, but may also be set up to ensure continuity of financial support for your child while you and your spouse negotiate terms. The court will always use the “best interests of the child” standard when determining both temporary and permanent child support, and typically looks at the financial contribution of both parents prior to filing for divorce. And while the the Ohio Revised Code contains factors and calculations for child support, there are also many reasons why the court might adjust that amount higher or lower. Temporary support is intended to cover basic needs such as food, clothing, housing, health care or medical needs and education.

Most importantly, temporary means just that: it is intended to be kept in place only while a divorce is pending (in legal terms, this is called “pendente lite”). Under Ohio temporary child support law, temporary child support is kept in place until a permanent support settlement is reached within the time limits set under the law.

Temporary child support versus permanent child support orders

Sometimes, the temporary child support order becomes permanent without changes. However, it can be affected by many issues that occurred while the divorce was pending. Most notably, this would include a major change in the circumstances of either you or your spouse as well as a change in the needs of the child. While temporary child support primarily covers basic needs, additional issues may be addressed in a permanent order, such as enrichment activities (extracurricular events, for instance) or extraordinary medical expenses that would increase the amount of the final support decree. In general, permanent child support is based on a calculation that includes:

    • Both parents’ gross income
    • Division of parenting responsibilities
    • The needs of the child, including medical insurance, health care needs and day care or educational costs
    • The standard of living enjoyed by the child prior to divorce

Determining what is fair while keeping your child’s best interests at the forefront

Child support is one of the most important—and often one of the most contentious—issues in a divorce. To learn more about temporary and permanent child support matters and how you can ensure that your child’s financial needs are being met in an equitable manner, please contact our office online or call us at 614-505-5555 to schedule a consultation.